About eight months after my transplant we’d moved into a new house and there were major renovations happening at the house next door. I’ve been around construction sites my whole life, but this was the most poorly run job I’d ever seen.
I didn’t complain about the noise or the huge trucks coming and going, because I am sympathetic re: construction woes. However, the sub trades consistently blocked us in our driveway every day so we couldn’t drop off or pick up our kids from soccer, school, etc. Etc. This pissed me off big time.
One plumber in particular was unrepentant. I’d asked him several times to move his van and not to park in front of our driveway, but he always did.
One day I was running late to pick up Clem from school and I was hedged in by the plumber once again. I lost my shit. He was being an asshole, and I was done.
He began yelling at me, saying I should park down the block, not him, calling me a bitch, etc.. I paused for a beat, then I felt like my incandescent rage made me grow three feet taller.
“I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU!” I leaned closer and shouted into his face. “I’M NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING!” It was a roar that came from deep within me. I almost felt the air shake.
The plumber stared at me, his eyes wide. He apologized, then scuttled into his van and parked it a block away. He never parked anywhere near our house again.
It wasn’t until that moment that I realized just how much my transplant journey had transformed my relationship with fear and conflict. I had gone from being a person afraid of many things to a person afraid of barely anything.
I’m still frightened of the idea of anything happening to my kids, and getting PSC again, but besides that not much scares me.
Scared of staying up in a remote cabin on my own = nope
Scared of walking in the dark by myself = nope
Scared of bears / cougars in the forest (there are quite a few around here) = nope
Scared of flying in an airplane (I used to be so terrified I had to medicate myself) = nope
Scared of failure = nope
Scared of what people thing of me = nope
Scared my writing sucks = nope
Scared of being scared (aka how anxiety manifested for me) = nope
Once I’d been through my own version of hell (I believe there are as many versions of hell, and heaven, as there all humans on earth), all the things that used to frighten me fell away.
A dear friend made me a necklace I wore often in my journey to transplant with the word “intrépide” engraved on it. It’s one of my favorite french words that doesn’t have an exact equivalent in English. It means many things, but I love how it conveys this idea of moving forward courageously towards daunting things.
It was my goal to be brave, to be fearless, to not back down in front of the threat. Low and behold, going through hell allowed me to achieve it.