In 2009, I was told that I had 17 tumors in my womb and no one knew if they were benign or what...they just had to come out because they were pushing against my vital organs and my womb probably had to go to...
Uhm, I was still looking for my "baby, daddy" and the clock was ticking. I was like totally, are you serious. There has to be another way. I went all over the country to 16 different doctors trying to find one who would operate on me and at least try to save my womb.
I mean, four generations of women in my family had all lost their wombs without their consent at the same exact age I was when this was happening. (Wish I was making that shit up)
It's cheaper, easier and opens doctors to much less liability to just give you a hysterectomy; but what it does to the woman is unthinkable. Without your womb (at such an early age), your hormones go insane and many women end up deeply depressed because the body is confused and doesn't know how to regulate your hormones. Everything gets out of whack because you're too far away from menopause. Hormone replacement therapy rarely works and especially not on young women. And the horror stories I heard from my Puerto Rican sisters who were given constantly given hysterectomies without their consent was beyond terrible. Not only is it a form of genocide giving women in their 20's and 30's unnecessary and unauthorized hysterectomies; often, they remove the womb and then replace it with a plastic womb. Yes, a plastic toysRus womb, which of course collapses a few years down the road and is incredibly difficult to remove because scar tissue has formed around it. So you live your life in constant, life-dimming pain. I mean...I can't...
Everywhere I went: they took one look at my black skin, consulted their rulebooks about how to deal with the 1 in 3 black women with fibroids and basically summed up my predicament the same way the woman doctor at the NYC Fertility Clinic did. I'm paraphrasing, but she casually said to me:
Yeah, saving your womb means 3 hours in surgery where you could bleed out, so let me just take care of it, won't you? And I mean, they're 17 of them, they could be cancerous. Besides, removing them 1by 1 could take forever and then I'd have to sew you back up. It would be a swiss cheese job and you still probably couldn't conceive. If I were your doctor, I'd schedule you for surgery today, I wouldn't wait.
Did this hippie, pixie-wearing, feminist-sign-toting white WOMAN doctor just tell me the best she could do "was swiss cheese" my womb because it wasn't worth her time to do better?
Is that what I'm hearing?
And then she wanted her $500 check because she didn't take insurance.
I was so upset, I started weeping in her office because I was tired, in pain and scared shitless...and then my anger kicked in.
Sorry, saving my womanhood would be such a trial for you you, but I need my womb: because it's mine! And I come from four generations of women who didn't have their say...
"Fuck you very much for inconveniencing you."
This was the final straw. This woman was supposed to be on my side, she couldn't be bothered.
You know what got me through this time? Writing down what I want. Writing it down EVERY SINGLE DAY in my morning pages.
Writing is prayer for me.
Writing is meditation.
And if you write enough, all of your actions begin to align with what you asking for.
But you have to do it everyday. You have to carve out time for it, otherwise, it's not a prayer or a meditation. We give time, priority and importance to prayer and meditation in order for it to work....otherwise, it's just a time-filler on your to-do list...
When you make your writing time sacred, the world starts to respond because all of your actions, motivations, the way you walk in the world are screaming this one prayer over and over again...So, the world feels this and aligns with what you've been asking for. You become a magnet for what you've been asking for. Works every time...
Stephen King's "On Writing" where he says, write every day, no matter what. Lock yourself in a room, tell your family, "do not fuck with me until the door is open and leave lunch outside the door" and sit in front of that computer with the internet turned off for 6 hours everyday, even if nothing good comes up. Don't have 6 hours, write for 1 hour or 30 mins or 10 mins during your commute, just don't ever miss a day. I'm paraphrasing, but he was right.
For 2 years, I never missed a day of my morning pages. Never. I wrote down what scared me during every doctors visit, I wrote down how I felt that day. I wrote down the details of the plane ride to the Cleveland clinic, I wrote down the stories my mother told me about my great grandmother, grandmother and her and how they suffered this loss and all the failed painful homecures. And I wrote down my mother's words:
"Do. Not. Let. Them. Take. Your. Womb.
You keep meeting doctors until you meet one who says, 'yes.' Do not take no for an answer because if you don't fight for your womanhood, they will take it away. And then they will leave you with so many other health problems...depression being at the top of the list."
I heard Mommy. I shivered with fear, but every time fear came up...
2 years later, I was healthy, tumor and cancer-free with a wonderful Asian woman Ob-GYN in my corner and a doctor of Chinese medicine whose work saved my womb.
I wrote every time the fear came up and it make me open up to new ideas, new strategies for finding help. And most importantly, it led me to finally finish my play "Good Bread Alley" about my great-grandmother and grandmother whose struggles to balance their womanhood with the harsh realities of the Jim Crow South were the stuff of legend.
Writing saved my life.
It saved my life as I sat there in examination room after painful examination. Writing gave me the courage to go on. To not take 'no' for an answer. To forge ahead even though it was painful to breathe, to walk...
Writing helped me feel like I still had a place in this world and something worth coming back to...writing would not allow me to forget my life, my blessings and all the stories left to tell and loves to live out.
Writing and learning to ask for what I needed and wanted saved my life....
So what do you want that you're not asking for?
**- To move people....**
**- To do what you're good at doing...**
- To do work that has meaning for you?**
- To "put a dent in the universe" or **
- Leave the world a little better than you found it?
- To make a living doing what you love?
- To be happy?
- To be in love?
Well, guess what?
If you don't ask for these things, they will never happen.
Treat this writing time like a chemo treatment. You wouldn't miss that, would you?
When you treat this writing time asking for what you as sacred, so many things become clear about what you need to do in order to get what you want. That's what happened to me, I was so busy focusing on what I wanted: To save my womb; that when folks told me 'no,' I was unfazed. I couldn't hear 'no' because what I wanted and needed was 'yes' and I wasn't stopping until I found "yes, I will operate and save your womb." When you ask for what you want and expect it to show up, all you can hear is 'yes' because anything less is not an option.
How do you get to expecting what you ask for to show up?
Questions like what makes me happy or what do I need to learn to get what I want start to get answered because you're putting your focus on getting what you need.
How do you do that?
Well, stay tuned because in my next post, I'll begin to lay out some concrete steps to getting your head and heart at complete understanding that what you ask for is exactly what you will get.
Moving from asking to expecting is coming up next...
What are you thinking?
Please share your comments below...
is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers