As long as I can remember, I have been afraid of having blood taken out of my arm. A finger prick sample, no problem, but the mere thought of having that needle close to the crook of my arm would send waves of apprehension coursing through me. I had to give blood once when I was a child, but I don’t remember the details. I must have been sick. Why else would you need to take blood from a little kid? What I do remember is that it took several sticks (from more than one person) before the job was done. I remember someone telling me that I had “rolly” veins, meaning veins that liked to dart out-of-the-way as the needle was approaching them.
So that is who I have been, the person with rolly veins for the last 40 odd years of my life. I have never donated blood in times of need, and I avoid getting blood work done if possible. Recently, everything changed.
I went to get some routine blood work done that I could not avoid. I told the lab tech about my rolly veins after she was well into her process and she said that I had great veins. This surprised me. So I am not the person with rolly veins? But I had spent so much energy being that person. So much anxiety, so much worry and avoidance, all for something that was not true, or was true no longer. Suddenly, giving blood held no terror for me.
I let someone else’s words define who I was for most of my life. Someone else’s opinion. And so the tale was written: the story of John with the rolly veins and that’s the narrative I lived. All it took was a different point of view to rewrite that story. So I ask myself, how much time do I spend living out stories that are not of my choosing or that are based on inaccurate information? How easy would it be to rewrite those tales?
Our lives are a collection of interwoven narratives, screenplays we act out as we go through our days. We should be asking ourselves which of these storylines are serving us and who wrote them? When we find that one or many of these scripts are not contributing to our well-being, it’s time to write a new story.
Based on a journal entry from 3.18.15