One of the main objectives of donating my kidney is to compel others to consider being a living donor. While I have shared what I am doing with my family and many close friends, I am feeling shy and awkward about sharing what I am doing outside of that circle. I give a shit about what people think to the point where I allow it to effect me emotionally sometimes. Nothing good comes from that head trash, and it is a complete waste of my energy. I just can’t help but indulge in overthinking. This blog is me thinking out loud about my worries. I need to get out of my own way for this donation to have the impact I am looking for it to have on the big picture of contributing to solve this perceived “organ shortage.”
Challenge #1: I am worried that my motive for donating will be doubted or challenged. I have a new friend who recently donated her kidney to somebody she met on Facebook. Her experience after donating has been that some people speculate that she was doing it for attention or money. Her real reason for donating was that it has always been on her bucket list to help a stranger in a very major way, and she couldn’t think of a reason NOT to donate her kidney. I hate that people don’t giver her the benefit of the doubt and just take her word for why she did it, and I assume the same will happen to me on some level with somebody who doesn’t understand why I am doing this. My first challenge is accepting that this might happen, and when it does, I need to move on knowing that it doesn’t matter if such people don’t understand the motives in my heart. Thy are not part of my journey, and I cannot give them any of my energy.
Challenge #2: I am uncomfortable with praise, and being called selfless. I do think that donating a kidney to a stranger is a selfless act, but that does not make me this great, selfless person. As my sister used to say when we were fighting teenagers “I didn’t call her a bitch, I said she was being a bitch.” She’s right, it’s not the same. One is a noun, one is a verb. I can be bitchy and selfless, but that doesn’t make me a selfless bitch! So, let it be said here, I am not selfless, and do not put myself on a special list of selfless people just because I am doing this. Being selfless is actually something I should try harder at in most of my relationships, it would likely make me a nicer person to be around. Until then, no, you may not have a bite of my dessert, you should have ordered your own dessert.
Challenge #3: The way I feel about donating a kidney reminds me of the way that many people talk about having kids. People get having kids, but they might not get this. I think about what it will be like to get to donate my kidney all of the time. The thought of doing it fills my heart with love and joy. I think we all inherently are programmed to want to give life. For most of us, that is the desire to have kids and share a family. While I will never say never, I don’t think that that is something I will do. There is a part of me that looks at this experience as what I will do instead of having kids. People who have kids can share and relate to each others’ experiences, and celebrate different aspects of that experience together. Choosing a nontraditional path to share life will be different than that. That being said, it will be so wonderful if I can connect with at least 1 person in my kidney chain. That will be a special bond and celebration of life that we will share like family (I hope). I accept the challenge that this will not be a relatable experience that I can share with just anyone. It doesn’t need to be. I do want to celebrate it though!
I already have the people I need in place that truly matter to support my decision, any more that support it are a bonus. I am really thankful for that. So if that person is YOU, thanks, I appreciate your support. Rob, mom, dad, Annie- you are my rocks and your support means the world to me. As for the rest of the BS in my head, I think this journey will be a great opportunity to stop giving a shit about what isn’t important, and isn’t true.