Writing Through Trying Times

I’ve always been a writer. I fell in love with books as a little girl. One day I told myself I was going to have a book with my name on it, so I started writing.

I wrote in diaries and journals. I wrote soap operas. I wrote the occasional poem and short story. I wrote for yearbook. I wrote for my college newspaper. I loved/love writing.

But I didn’t truly know/understand how writing could change a person’s life until I had a traumatic experience when I was 19. I was in a car accident that pretty much rocked my world at that point. I was left with a scar that runs from the side of my mouth to my neck. I thought my life as I knew it was over. I look back on that time and am so happy that I’m in a better place. I was depressed. I was mad at the world. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I’m glad I did. Writing was a way for me to express my darkest emotions, writing was a way to try to understand the pain I was feeling. Eventually, gradually, luckily for me, the writing helped me rebuild my self-esteem. It was my therapy.

I believe this is the reason I’m drawn to dark, gritty topics that people don’t necessarily want to talk about. I am of the belief that talking about our pain/naming our pain, helps. It brings it out into the open instead of building up on the inside, that build up can cause an explosion. Let’s let it out, let’s talk about it so that we can make changes.

I say all of this because I might be about to go through another major moment in my life. One that is a bundle of complex emotions. I guess this is my first “public announcement,” I’ve sort of talked around it on Facebook and have told lots of friends–but I am currently in the process of trying to become a living donor. My little brother is in need of a kidney, and wouldn’t you know it, I have one to offer. I have made it through a number of hurdles–many tests to see if I am healthy. (I am, what a surprise to a hypochondriac.) I’ve been approved by the transplant team–but still have a few more tests to take, including a test to see if I carry the genetic mutation for breast cancer. And if all goes well, by my 33rd birthday (the beginning of my Jesus year) I may have one less kidney or I may be about to give my kidney away. And my brother will have a new, healthy kidney and a better quality of life.

I’m happy that I might be able to ease some of his pain. I’m scared that one of my organs will be taken away. I’m sad that I have to wait longer to get pregnant. I’m relieved that there is something that I can do to help my brother have a longer life. I want him to live a long and healthy life. He’s only 24, there’s so much more for him to do.

I plan to write through this experience. I’m not saying I’m going to write in this space regularly (though I probably will check in)–but along with the love and support of my friends and family, I’ll have my dear friend writing to get me through the ups and downs that may surely come.

Mostly I’m feeling hopeful and in awe of the human body, of my body, in awe of medical science–that I, little ol’ me, could do something, really do something for my brother totally amazes me.

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6 thoughts on “Writing Through Trying Times

  1. This is amazing and a little scary. You are still young and healthy. 34 or 35 is still young enough to be a mom. You’ll also have a bond with your brother from this experience that will be even deeper. I’m sending you good light and energy, and yes, do write your way through the whole thing.

  2. I know that this gift to your brother is coming from a place of love, and I know that one needs to have a lot of strength to give a gift such as this. I love you and I think you are awesome, brilliant, and unbelievably loving. Know that I am here, supporting you, and cheering for you – even if peripherally – while you embark on this endeavor of transferring possibility from your body into the waiting body of your little brother What an amazing big sister you are!

    hugs,

    B.

  3. LaToya, thank you for sharing this. I think you are so brave for being willing to donate your kidney to your brother. Also, just on the topic of writing, it was really helpful to read. When I go through difficult times, my first instinct is not to write, until everything builds up on the inside as you say. I love that you call it “your dear friend writing.” I think my relationship with writing these days is so much more like a battle or enemy I have to overcome. How beautiful to think of writing as a “friend.” Thank you thank you!!!!

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