Hepatitis C Survivor  

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Written By:  Teri Gottlieb

We've all heard the phrase "Don't sweat the small stuff" but do you know what the small stuff is? If it's not going to make a difference in the world 20 years from now, it's small stuff. So basically, a lot of the stuff we fret about in our daily lives is small stuff. I want you to think about all the things you've either worried about, argued over or just stressed on in the past 48 hours.  In the grand scheme of things, was it small stuff? I bet a lot of it was. I'm not talking about a health crisis or wars or a kidnapping, I'm talking about stuff that is basically a hangnail in comparison. Yeah, that stuff. It's a proven fact that stress is not good for you and if you have health problems, stress can make you sicker. So why are we stressing about trivial crap?  

I have found that on the whole, the Hepatitis C Community is a close knit one. Most of us will reach out and help others struggling with their illness because we know what it feels like. We've been there and we get it. We understand that unless you've walked in our shoes, for the most part, you're not going to get it. But WE get it and that's what brings us together and that's the bond we share. We do have different opinions on things HCV related and that's normal. What's not normal is blowing those things out of proportion to a point where the common goal gets trampled on. We DO have a common goal. That common goal is to find a cure that works for everyone and to encourage people to get tested. We need to remember that.

Over the past few months, it seems that more people are getting drawn into situations that wind up ending badly. I'm not talking about everyone but it's a good handful of people. I've seen arguments get heated over the use of the word "cured" on more than one occasion. I have also observed that most of the time, the person arguing against the use of that word is one who has either failed at treatment or has never attempted it. For some reason they tend to have a bigger chip on their shoulder than most folks do. My suggestion, get over it. If you don't want to use that word then don't use it but do not jump all over someone else because they choose to. The medical professionals are now using the word "cured", so like I said before, get over it.

I have seen online friendships go into the clinker over the interpretation of a picture. That's just petty. Before you go getting all offended by something someone has done, ask yourself a couple of questions. First, did they do it maliciously? If they didn't, get over it and go on with your life.  I think the worst thing I've seen is someone getting their feathers ruffled about something intended to be humorous. I have to admit, in the past, I've been guilty of this one myself. There have been a few incidents on television where a joke was made about Hepatitis C. The first few times this happened, I flipped out. I sent messages to television networks, to show producers, to anyone I could think of. My thought process was that living with this virus is not funny. It's not a joke. You wouldn't make fun of someone with cancer so why make fun of Hepatitis C? I lost my sense of humor for a bit. That's not good. I've since realized that we can't take stuff like that personally. It wasn't directed at us individually, although some people will say that because we have HCV it was. They don't know us. It wasn't directed at us. It was a joke. In hindsight, those jokes were actually funny.

Living with Hepatitis C is not funny but if we don't laugh, we're going to cry. Laughter is better. So the next time someone says that they are going to Disneyland to talk to Mickey Mouse and urge him to get tested for Hepatitis C, don't get your panties in a bunch, let out a giggle. It's better for you.