If you follow me on Twitter, you can’t have helped but notice that it’s been a very busy week, with no less than five pieces of media telling my story during transplant week. (Links to follow).
Transplant week is always a special week for me, for very obvious reasons. It’s a chance to harp on about the miracle of organ donation and for me to tell my story to inspire people to have difficult conversations with their family and sign the Organ Donor Register to record their wishes.
It’s also a challenging week. It forces my life into a spotlight, not just in the media, but in my own head as well.
Talking about the difference between pre- to post-transplant me shows just how far I’ve come, but also challenges my perception of my life and what I’ve achieved. It challenges my understanding of the world I live in and it challenges the decisions I’ve made in the years since my transplant.
And here’s what it all comes down to:
I feel a pressure to “succeed” and make a difference that my donor would be proud of.
The funny thing is that I know this is silly. I know there’s no reason for me to feel this way, or for it to leave me feeling inadequate if I haven’t achieved what I feel is “success”. Yet it’s a feeling I can’t shake.
As one very good friend said to me during the week when I voiced this to her, “Your donor will just be happy they’ve allowed you to still be here, regardless of what you’re doing and how successful you are.”
The problem I face is that I don’t know that for sure. Yes, it makes sense. Yes, I can see the logic. But I’ve never met and will never be able to meet my donor, so I don’t know what they think.
That’s why I’ve been so busy this week. That’s why I remain so willing to talk so openly about my transplant journey. That’s why I’ll always take advantage of transplant week. Because it’s the one chance I get to demonstrate just how much this all means to me.
To that end, I’ll be sharing links to the various media hits I had this week here on the blog in the next few days. If you’ve heard them already, thanks for listening. If not, perhaps download them and have a listen in the car or when you’re out for a walk. The two radio interviews are the most in-depth I’ve ever done and in both of them I share some thoughts and stories I’ve never shared publicly before.
And, of course, if you haven’t already, please sign the Organ Donor Register.