Reinventing Myself After My Kidney Transplant
Last updated: November 2023
This year in December will be 3 years post-transplant for me. There is this bizarre feeling I still have with myself that I’m going to refer to as 'dating.' When I say 'dating' I’m simply talking about the relationship I am building with myself. I have come to terms that I am not the person I was three years ago and I’ve desperately held on to her. I'm coming to the reality that I have to let 'her' go.
What do I like now? What life experiences am I looking forward to? What foods do I actually love now that I’m able to eat more variety? What relational ties didn’t serve me and what relationships am I seeking that will add substance to my life? So, so, so many questions! Who am I now?
Letting go of the old me
I will be referring to myself moving forward as ‘her or she’ so there is no confusion as to who I’m referring to. It makes me a little sad to even say it. But I have to let go of her. There are parts of ourselves we create to survive things. Those parts served me well in the ‘struggle, fight, survive’ season of my life, but it’s not the cape I have to wear right now. I am now embracing taking that cape off.
In this season of flourishing career, stable health, spending time making memories with family and friends, remaining ‘her’ isn’t as helpful as I thought it would be. I thought I could be the survivor I am, with the same mentality and flourish. It wasn’t true and in fact not possible. I’d get presented with a really good opportunity, but pass it because the survivor doesn't go outside comfort zones especially if it feels outside of my control. The old me would be on a time limit to be away from home. Always incredibly cautious of what I ate or drank because I’d need to do dialysis by the end of the night. Down to the clothes I wore. I wouldn’t wear certain things so my port wasn’t visible. I didn’t want to be bothered with stares or questions. I remained the same even though my life was changed and staying comfortably stagnant.
Changing my lens
Soon, my lens began to change and my vision got better. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. What I started to feel in my heart was that I deserved greater. I was in the position to receive greater. My mind followed just shortly after. There is so much adjusting whether good or bad when it comes to chronic illness, I call it chronically trying. I can see my new opportunities and know that I need to take chances or take risks. I can see the relationships that didn’t serve me well and now have a clear vision of what I look for in friendship. Even my wardrobe is completely different from three years ago. The only colors I would wear were gray and black. Being seen doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable anymore.
The greatest thing about reinventing myself is the fact that I whole-heartedly believe and know I can do anything. The battles I’ve gone through, how couldn’t I? It has taught me that no goal is too far out of reach as long as I believe and put in the work. I decided to write a short, but sweet letter to ‘her’ so I could have peace and part ways so I can become my absolute best self.
A letter to her
Hey there. We’ve been through so much. Some good and a lot of really trying times on our heart and spirit. I’ve grown so much and learned so many things. I’ve surpassed a level of strength I didn’t think was possible. I’m so proud of us. While I could never forget you, it’s about time we part. Not because of the bad, but because of what I’ve become in the process. To become greater I have to break out of my warrior mentality to embrace new exciting things that’ll allow me to evolve.
I know you are apart of me that I’ll need again at some point in My life but I truly thank you. I have a journey to brace with a different cape. One lightly hanging on my back that I maneuver through life a bit easier. One that allows me to shine a bit brighter than usual. When I need you I know you’ll be there. So proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
This or That
In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?
Do you have chronic kidney disease without any symptoms?