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The Vulnerable Journey

Where to even begin? A question that must be answered at some point and time. But with questions of this nature, I guess it’s always best to start from the top.

Don’t worry, this will not start at the beginning of my life journey, just a little time hop backwards to the glorious year of 2014.

Glorious is probably entirely too optimistic because in all honesty, 2014 was probably one of the more challenging years that I have ever encountered.

Medical news of the unpleasant kind was something that I was familiar with, however ones of the more serious nature was never something I experienced before.

Yes-I know, brain surgery is a big deal but at the time being a 21 year old college graduate it seemed as though it were a mere stepping stone to true adulthood. Yet somehow sitting across from a doctor who is calmly explaining to me the ins and outs of a liver disease I have never heard of threw me for a loop.

A failed attempt that would turn into one of the darker moments of my life. Forever ingrained in my memory is the harsh reality of what that could possibly mean for me.

I quickly plummeted into a pit of despair and depression. That even my best friends couldn’t pull me out of.

I spent days and weekends on end sulking in the comfort of plush couches and silence. Spending time between various locations just taking up space in the corners of the homes of confidantes. Arguments with my parents at the depths of my emotional ruins caused a rebellion of a grown woman who no longer had to submit to their rules or authority but so desperately clang to the hopes of someone seeing the true depths of her pain.

I painted a brave face and masked my true feelings as best as I could. Sadly, the facade was not held up long or strong enough and my emotions became consumed by endless trips to Target for copious amounts of Oreos and tearjerkers in the form of Oscar worthy performances.

At the encouragement of one of my dearest friends, my favorite cousin and an absolutely amazing aunt I begin to explore the world of therapy. A decision that drastically changed my life.

Fast forward several years, countless therapy sessions and appropriate coping skills gained from those dark moments, I’m at another crossroads.

But spoiler alert-I’m better equipped on how to handle this one.

On September 4, 2019 (Exactly 5 years from the initial diagnosis of a chronic illness) I heard words that often times still echo in my ears. “The next step in your journey is to be evaluated for a liver transplant.”

Through all of my countless hours of research (the wonderful knowledge bank of Google) and coming to terms with the fact that I would not be the first invincible person alive, those words sat silently for a moment before creating a deafening echo.

Bombarded by friends, families and coworkers asking what I needed, I nonchalantly responded with a shrug of the shoulders calmly saying “I’m just riding the wave of life”. And, although that is true I think it’s time that I shed my tough exterior for a moment of honesty and sincerity.

Fear is not present this time as I prepare for this journey. I have taken time to carefully create my village of support. However I am nervous that I may have to give up my steady diet of “All the carbs” and find something more suitable and healthy.

What this journey holds and what it means for my hopes and dreams is unknown. How it may change the dynamic of my relationships with my loved ones is uncertain as they process their own emotions with the heaviness of this news.

But one thing that I can personally guarantee is that being honest, open and vulnerable will be how I proceed.

So buckle up folks-we are in for a quite a surprising journey!

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