Hi CLC, so glad that you joined the forum to share your story. Many of us on this forum are living with chronic hep b as well, so you will be able to find support and care from us since we traveling the same road, albeit with different experiences along the way. Having been diagnosed more than 30 years ago, I’ve certainly had more time to adjust and accept my diagnosis. BUT, it wasn’t until 2017 that I publicly told friends and colleagues that I had hep b. Disclosing my condition is still relatively new, and being part of the hepbcommunity.org forum is new for me in that I’ve never really shared as much as I have since joining.
It’s been very cathartic to speak freely and without self-consciousness. Honestly, I felt like I “came out” of the closet when I first shared my story publicly - a huge weight came off my shoulders and I felt whole for the first time. I didn’t have to compartmentalize my life anymore. For decades I’ve listened to friends who have suffered from asthma, diabetes, MS, Lupus, etc. They were part of in-person and online support groups. I listened quietly without sharing my experiences. Now I am finally able to talk much more openly about living with hep b. And I especially value this forum where I can share with others who understand!
With that said, I hope that you have friends and family members with whom you can share your diagnosis and situation? If not, then this forum is a great place to start opening up and learning to be more comfortable. Since you write that you suffer from mental health issues, then you probably already know the importance of being part of a community. We all want to share your burden to make it lighter. Thanks for trusting us and we look forward to hearing from you again. Always, Joan