Tomorrow morning I am donating blood. No. Big. Deal. Right? Wrong.
A few months ago, I was going to donate blood but I ended up in Marquette Michigan for a co-worker and wasn't able to donate. Tomorrow I will donate.
I'm not sure how I feel about it. A little sick to my stomach actually. A little fearful. A little apprehension.
When I was in high school, we had a blood drive. I donated blood. I do not do well with needles. I don't like the sight of blood or needles for that matter, but I don't pass out or hyperventilate. I've actually done rather well with all the blood work that I have done over the past few years for a variety of tests. I just have to breathe, a lot, and look away and think of flying unicorns and rainbows. Well not exactly, but you get my point.
Why am I so squeamish about donating you ask? Back to high school...I gave blood. I felt dizzy and nauseous. I made my way to the table and sat and ate chocolate chip cookies and sipped juice. I was starting to feel a little better, but more importantly I was feeling inadequate and dumb and girly in front of my peers. I didn't want to be that girl. I don't know exactly what that girl was or who she was, I just know that I didn't want to be made fun of for not handling donating blood. I got up from the table to leave the library and head back to class or somewhere, anywhere. I felt dizzy again. I started to walk back to the table and realized I wasn't going to make it. I collapsed, after falling into a free standing paper back rack and knocking it over.
The Red Cross lady yelled at me. All I remember to this day, some 18+ years later, is a woman yelling at me that "WE DON'T NEED OR WANT YOUR BLOOD! DON'T EVER DONATE AGAIN!"
I still hear her like it was yesterday. I still have fear that I'm not good enough, that I'm not strong enough that my blood isn't needed, that I'm not needed. I know that there is a shortage of blood. I know that I have some I can donate. I know that I'm not anemic. There is no reason that I can't give blood.
But in the back of my mind, I hear that woman. I feel the emotions and I get the tingly sensations up my arms and the pit in my stomach as I recall and as I type this. And for 18 years I have let that woman keep me from donating. For 18 years I have allowed someone to tell me NO. No more. Not again.
Tomorrow I will try to bury the skeleton in my closet. Tomorrow I will put it to rest and know that I can do this. That I can and will donate blood.
And if not...I will lower my head once again and try again in 18 more years!