I feel unworthy.

Posted by shepn7 @shepn7, Sep 23 9:00pm

This goes along with my previous post about greif over my kidney donor….I've just been thinking and feeling recently that I'm not worthy. That I'm not worthy of this transplant….

I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder in high school and gained the ptsd diagnosis from some events that happened when I was a child.

I just keep thinking if I didn't have these mental health issues…then I would be worthy. Then I would be worthy of this kidney. But I just feel like a fraud. Like I've stolen something precious from someone else who is more deserving…

There have been a variety of times in my life I've struggled with my mental health and diagnosis. But…it just seems like recently–when I started thinking about my donor– my mental health diagnosis makes me ashamed. I can't be good enough for them. No matter what I do, because my brain is inherently broken.

If I was normal, I would be worthy of them. Of their gift. But I'll never be normal, and I'll never be worthy. And the thought of living with that feeling the rest of my life is depressing, and discouraging. I want to honor them. To be someone who is worthy. But I don't know how to convince myself that I am….

@shepn7 My heart goes out to you. You were evaluated to receive a kidney, and a family chose to help have their loved one live on, giving you [and perhaps others] a second chance at life.

You are normal, for you. We each have a history, physical, emotional, and mental. It makes us who we are, today. Being diagnosed with bi-polar, are you under any professional care at this time? If you are, what has that person's response been to you when you talk about feeling unworthy? If you are not under any care, would you consider checking with your local resources so you can delve into why you feel this way? Having a mental health diagnosis is nothing to be ashamed of. It sounds to me that you have done a lot of work on yourself, and certainly do deserve the second chance your new kidney has given you.

What would you think of doing to honor your donor, how would you go about accomplishing that? Will you tell me what you come up with, please? I'd love to hear all about it!
Ginger

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@gingerw thanks for your response. I am under the care of a psych dr, and am in the process of switching therapists at the moment. I haven't brought up this particular topic, though I did discuss my grief over my donor with my previous therapist. I was unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion about my grief. Im just hoping I will be able to accept and get over it with time. Its difficult to discuss these things because very few people understand, and I'm afraid of the platitudes that many people will (and have) offered.

I spoke to a peer mentor from the National Kidney Foundation about this topic( I've been speaking with her about twice a month) and she did her best to reassure me and provide encouragement. The problem is thats the words of encouragement just seem to bounce off.

Identifying what specific thing I could do to honor my donor is difficult. I have a lot of ideas about what I should be doing– exersizing more, eating better, being more productive, just being happier and more content with my life–but they are vague and driven by an odd sense of guilt. Which makes me not want to do them at all.

I just feel like I should be happier, I shouldn't struggle so much with my mental health. I feel like my donor and their family would be disappointed in me because I still struggle to find motivation to do simple things. I know part of this is probably depression, and it is an issue I'm in the process of addressing with my psychiatrist. But I just feel like I shouldn't feel the way I do, because I've been given this incredible gift.

I guess I almost thought getting a kidney would solve a lot of my problems. And it did to some extent. But life is still life. And there are still struggles and issues to deal with. I suppose I just thought being healthier( i.e not being on dialysis) would make things better, easier, more simple.

Expectation and reality are often at odds. I just need to figure out how to get rid of this guilt that I'm carrying around, and then I truly feel like I can embrace this gift–and my life as a whole. I am just not sure how to do that yet.

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@shepn7

@gingerw thanks for your response. I am under the care of a psych dr, and am in the process of switching therapists at the moment. I haven't brought up this particular topic, though I did discuss my grief over my donor with my previous therapist. I was unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion about my grief. Im just hoping I will be able to accept and get over it with time. Its difficult to discuss these things because very few people understand, and I'm afraid of the platitudes that many people will (and have) offered.

I spoke to a peer mentor from the National Kidney Foundation about this topic( I've been speaking with her about twice a month) and she did her best to reassure me and provide encouragement. The problem is thats the words of encouragement just seem to bounce off.

Identifying what specific thing I could do to honor my donor is difficult. I have a lot of ideas about what I should be doing– exersizing more, eating better, being more productive, just being happier and more content with my life–but they are vague and driven by an odd sense of guilt. Which makes me not want to do them at all.

I just feel like I should be happier, I shouldn't struggle so much with my mental health. I feel like my donor and their family would be disappointed in me because I still struggle to find motivation to do simple things. I know part of this is probably depression, and it is an issue I'm in the process of addressing with my psychiatrist. But I just feel like I shouldn't feel the way I do, because I've been given this incredible gift.

I guess I almost thought getting a kidney would solve a lot of my problems. And it did to some extent. But life is still life. And there are still struggles and issues to deal with. I suppose I just thought being healthier( i.e not being on dialysis) would make things better, easier, more simple.

Expectation and reality are often at odds. I just need to figure out how to get rid of this guilt that I'm carrying around, and then I truly feel like I can embrace this gift–and my life as a whole. I am just not sure how to do that yet.

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I received a stem cell transplant from a donor in Germany, a 21 year old college student who cared enough about an anonymous person with leukemia. I wasn’t worthy of his sacrifice that ultimately saved my life. I am focusing on feeling grateful and expressing it to my donor and his family. I met my donor and his dad, and probably didn’t measure up to their expectations of me. I know that receiving a transplant brings on a lot of different new emotions in us. I try to focus on the positive ones.

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@shepn7

@gingerw thanks for your response. I am under the care of a psych dr, and am in the process of switching therapists at the moment. I haven't brought up this particular topic, though I did discuss my grief over my donor with my previous therapist. I was unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion about my grief. Im just hoping I will be able to accept and get over it with time. Its difficult to discuss these things because very few people understand, and I'm afraid of the platitudes that many people will (and have) offered.

I spoke to a peer mentor from the National Kidney Foundation about this topic( I've been speaking with her about twice a month) and she did her best to reassure me and provide encouragement. The problem is thats the words of encouragement just seem to bounce off.

Identifying what specific thing I could do to honor my donor is difficult. I have a lot of ideas about what I should be doing– exersizing more, eating better, being more productive, just being happier and more content with my life–but they are vague and driven by an odd sense of guilt. Which makes me not want to do them at all.

I just feel like I should be happier, I shouldn't struggle so much with my mental health. I feel like my donor and their family would be disappointed in me because I still struggle to find motivation to do simple things. I know part of this is probably depression, and it is an issue I'm in the process of addressing with my psychiatrist. But I just feel like I shouldn't feel the way I do, because I've been given this incredible gift.

I guess I almost thought getting a kidney would solve a lot of my problems. And it did to some extent. But life is still life. And there are still struggles and issues to deal with. I suppose I just thought being healthier( i.e not being on dialysis) would make things better, easier, more simple.

Expectation and reality are often at odds. I just need to figure out how to get rid of this guilt that I'm carrying around, and then I truly feel like I can embrace this gift–and my life as a whole. I am just not sure how to do that yet.

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Hi Shepn, I like the guidance that @gingerw offers about turning the feelings of unworthiness into action – but action in small steps. You made a rather long list of things you think you should be doing. It's a big list and perhaps daunting. Let's take one bite at a time.

Choose 1 goal – something that you will be successful with. I suggest starting with something that gets you moving. How about this?
I promise to get up every morning and get dressed in my walking clothes.

That's it! That just may be enough for a while. I did this and eventually I started to go for short walks in the morning. Heck, I was dressed for it. Why not go?

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@shepn7, I'm thinking about you. Have you thought about taking a short walk today?

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@rosemarya

@shepn7, I'm thinking about you. Have you thought about taking a short walk today?

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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm at work a majority of the day and by the time I get off it will be dark, so I'll skip the walk today. But I do think it is a good idea and want to try to implement it–especially on my days off. They seem to be harder because my mind isn't occupied with work. Thanks for the suggestion.

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@shepn7

Thanks for the thoughts. I'm at work a majority of the day and by the time I get off it will be dark, so I'll skip the walk today. But I do think it is a good idea and want to try to implement it–especially on my days off. They seem to be harder because my mind isn't occupied with work. Thanks for the suggestion.

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@shepn7 Even being able to work at your job is an honoring of your donor, because where would you be now if you had not received this gift? Would you still be on dialysis? Have you though of looking at what you do each day, as proof you are worthy? That could be a different approach to viewing your transplant!
Ginger

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@shepn7 I am a recent kidney donor and my recipient, who I've known for most of my life (I'm not related to this person) has been public about their severe mental health problems for decades. This person is an incredible person and I am grateful I was able to help them by donating. Additionally my daughter has been diagnosed with treatment resistant depression and borderline personality disorder. I see her struggles first hand and know if she ever needed a transplant I would be her biggest advocate. Your mental illness does not make you unworthy, nor do I know of anyone who would feel that way, especially the donor. I know me saying this doesn't instantly make it all OK in your view, but I wanted you to know I donated to someone with mental illness and I couldn't imaging not doing it. I'm hoping the support you receive on this forum and elsewhere helps bring you closer to accepting the gift without guilt.

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@mtbiker

@shepn7 I am a recent kidney donor and my recipient, who I've known for most of my life (I'm not related to this person) has been public about their severe mental health problems for decades. This person is an incredible person and I am grateful I was able to help them by donating. Additionally my daughter has been diagnosed with treatment resistant depression and borderline personality disorder. I see her struggles first hand and know if she ever needed a transplant I would be her biggest advocate. Your mental illness does not make you unworthy, nor do I know of anyone who would feel that way, especially the donor. I know me saying this doesn't instantly make it all OK in your view, but I wanted you to know I donated to someone with mental illness and I couldn't imaging not doing it. I'm hoping the support you receive on this forum and elsewhere helps bring you closer to accepting the gift without guilt.

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This is an awesome post. Thank you for your honesty and openness. I think we can all be just a step away from anxiety, depression, breakdowns in this life. Grateful to be alive and for my donor, yet embracing all the ambiguity that transplant brings. Thank you for your donation and for lifting up a blog-mate.

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