Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Face of Liver Disease ~ Hope

One issue that has always bothered me, and what triggered the addition of my, Talk About It, segment is when people close their minds to certain subjects without making the effort to understand them first. After all, it is so much easier to pass judgment based on what you see or think you know rather than taking the time to absorb the right information to understand. That is something I have always taken great pride in. I may not like a specific subject or issue but I will give everything a chance by researching and talking to others. I so wish we all approached life this way.

I was judged a lot when I was young. Not necessarily by things I had done, but more often by things those around me had done and either plopped me in the same category or labeled me in some way. How on earth is a young person supposed to aspire to have a better life when other people's labels and opinions have them believe they are no better than that and will never be? I refused to accept that.

Oh, sure. I have fallen to the wayside myself, believing I was no better than what others thought of me. Then I started developing a line of thinking where if you tell me I can't, I will do everything in my power to prove you wrong. I started speaking up for those who felt they couldn't. I gave my voice to those who weren't confident enough in their own voices. I worked so hard to aspire others never to be afraid to be who you are and go where you were meant to be no matter what others may think or say.

It is the same thing when you are fighting against something so much stronger than you are and you have no control of. I feel that way every day since I was first diagnosed with my condition. I was angry at first, and probably didn't handle it as well as I should have, but when I met my specialist things didn't seem quite as grim. He said, "You must have hope. What you are going through is strong and will try taking over but hope is what makes you stronger than the disease. Do what you must do, take your medications, surround yourself with supportive individuals, avoid what you must but never, ever give up hope."

When I left his office that day, it occurred to me. Everything I'd always done to help others (which, for me always starts with solid research) is being given back to me now. What I was actually trying to do for these people, those unheard and misunderstood people, was to try instilling hope in them so that they had the courage to face their own battles.

So, in my heart, if I've done nothing else right, my wish is for others to help understand what they aren't seeing. Research a disease or issue you thought you knew about and help give another person what they really long for:

Understanding and, most of all, hope.

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