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  • Writer's pictureArjanna van der Plas


You know what you really shouldn’t do?

Donate blood when you just recovered from long COVID, and your iron levels and blood pressure are at an all-time low.

Guess what I did? Yup…

Even after retesting my iron levels three times because it was so low, and the nurse telling me that it was totally ok for me to come back another time, I persisted that I wanted that needle in my arm.


That’s the million dollar question I’ve been trying ever since I started feeling extremely weak and dizzy the day after, with my blood pressure at a scarily low 90/50 for days.

My best answer so far: I did it because of the Invincible Mother Goose.

The Invincible Mother Goose is a character (much like Henk from my last newsletter) that lives in my brain. I imagine she looks something like those fairytale geese with a fancy hat and a scarf. And even though she looks deceivingly cute, she is actually one of my inner critics, or saboteurs.

The problem is, my inner Mother Goose is completely obsessed with taking care of others as a way to validate herself. And when she doesn’t feel like she is having enough of a positive impact in the world through work, she starts looking for other ways to make a difference in the lives of others - such as donating blood.

Oh and did I mention that this Mother Goose type believes that I am invincible, so she doesn’t have to worry about the impact her ideas might have on my health or happiness?

That’s pretty much how I ended up in the chair of a slightly worried, very caring nurse in the Blutspendezentrum Zurich, and in bed the next few days.

I guess that the Invincible Mother Goose and I had to learn the hard way that even though it’s a wonderful to be a generous person, being too generous can backfire, and isn’t helpful for anyone.

To see if I can learn a lesson from this, I formulated a few questions for myself to contemplate, and maybe also for you if you recognize yourself in my story

What if being ‘useless’ is a good thing sometimes?

What would happen if I extend Mother Goose’s concern for others towards myself?

How would it be for people around me if I allowed them to take more care of Mother Goose (/me)?

I hope this bloody story will be the beginning of a new, healthier relationship between me and the Invincible Mother Goose. I think I will start with sending her on a well-deserved yoga retreat in a luxurious bird sanctuary to thank her for her hard work

What would it be like for you to let go of the reins for a bit?

I’d love to hear from you!

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