To say that I'm in the best mental health of my life is an understatement. I honestly don't know when my emotional well being has been so peaceful. I worked a long time on trying to improve myself, I will admit that. I feel like I was way too emotional and would burst into anger over nothing among other things. I certainly didn't handle stress very well and I would attach to people in an instant if I thought they might like me for more than 5 minutes. I was my own roller coaster ride for a couple dozen years, that's for sure.
I really have to credit the entire process of going through a liver transplant with my husband (at the time), Tom. All the years of self-help books that I read cover to cover, all of the positive affirmations, all of the daily washing of being good to myself, learning how to control most of my emotional outbursts and desperately trying to handle stress so that it didn't build up inside, all came together when we learned Tom was sick and was needing a transplant. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was going to need every every word I ever read and every safe place I ever envisioned to get me through it and the years following transplant. I knew Tom was going to get a new lease on life with the liver transplant, but I didn't know it was going to profoundly change my life as well.
The best combination of things I ever did was get married to Tom, who needed a transplant, who was transplanted at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and ultimately we decided to move to Jacksonville to be close to Mayo. That combination of events brought me to the happiest place on Earth and it wasn't Disney! After Tom's transplant I started attending the support group meetings. I have talked many many times on my blog about how much I love my transplant community here in Jacksonville, Florida. Sometimes I think the support group I've attended for the last 10 years actually did all of the reshaping of me, but I'm sure I had something to do with it, too. I was able to use all that I learned in those books and help the patients and the caregivers get through pre/post transplant and in turn, I could see all of that good working on me, too. One hand washes the other. I help them, they help me and on it goes. Despite all of the health problems that so many have, the support group was and is an incredibly positive experience. It's my favorite day of the week, Support Group day.
Kristin and Steve at lunch with the support group
Even in the midst of being the happiest I'd ever been, I still needed more change. I had to get out of my marriage. Tom was the one who got me to where I needed to be, but we weren't going to go further. I spent years doing everything possible to make it work but ultimately it wasn't to be. I talked about that a few years ago, also right here on my blog, so I won't get into all that again, but our marriage had run its course. Steve and I got together shortly after and I discovered that my puzzle finally had all the pieces! He was a transplant recipient, he was active in many organ donor awareness projects and and and I could go on for days!! We had met nine years earlier and were friends in our support group, but this new time in our lives the stars lined up. We knew right away that together we were something special.
The Love Bubble had formed.
to be continued....
Have a great day!
Come visit our website which will get you to our store. We have transplant and caregiver shirts, mugs and tote bags. We decided to start our designs with what we know best and that's transplant, but we won't stop there. Steve and I are having too much fun getting ideas and running with them, so pop on over and see what we have to offer. When you do get to Zazzle - always get a coupon code! You'll see it at the top of every page. They have a sale all the time, so don't ever purchase at full price when you don't need to.
KNS Gear website --- and yes, KNS stands for Kristin and Steve