Something I’ve been thinking about lately has been fueled by reading what fellow diabetes writers/bloggers have been saying. So many of us feel like we’re living life on the edge and in fact, I would say that living with type 1 diabetes IS the epitome of living life on the edge. It would be more fun to do by choice like these brave/foolish people but instead we are literally forced to make life/death decisions all day long. And yes, we could say that we all make those decisions-like when we drive (shall I stop at this red light or continue?) but, the truth is that we’re walking on a tight rope for a living. It’s a breeding ground for those moments movies like to dramatize the most. Those moments when we are at our limit. I think this is when we are our weakest and our strongest.
Sometimes we are spiraling down…down…until something happens and finally stops the spiraling. Why? Because we’ve hit rock bottom. I refer to rock bottom as a way of saying someone has hit a wall, emotionally or mentally. For example, denial often ends when one finally gets forced to snap out of it and although they’ve now reached a low point, it’s also a turning point and the beginning of healthy and necessary change.
When our diabetes management routine isn’t working for us we will often go days, weeks, or months plagued by it. We’ll complain that our numbers are not where we want them to be and we’ll do our best to chase our high and low blood sugars, but we’re not necessarily focused on troubleshooting. We’re too busy living. Besides, we’re getting by alright. But eventually we hit a wall and are finally so intensely frustrated or upset that we break down and have the chance to look at our problem from a new perspective and with a sense of despair and urgency. This sounds awful but it’s really not.
The idea to write what you read on this website came to me about six years ago after I spent 48 hours being closed up in my room. I had finally had enough of my high blood sugars and my general state of health and felt so frustrated I cried for oh I don’t know, maybe 4 hours straight. Funny thing happened afterwards…all my frustration was gone (due to exhaustion) and a sense of calm came over me and I thought to myself “When you hit bottom there is no where to go but up”. I laid on the floor of my messy room-messy because I threw everything all over the place in a fit of emotional fury and that is when I came up with the idea for a book I would one day want to write. Thus, the idea for The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes was born.
There have been many of what I call “healthy breakdowns” and they have all led to some substantial improvement in my life. I think it’s natural for humans although it’s probably a more frequent occurrence for us diabetics than for the rest of the population. The key, I think is to realize that when you feel your lowest you are standing on the edge of something big. You are facing an opportunity to face your mistakes logically (instead of emotionally), to forgive yourself, and to choose a different plan of action.
Many great things in this world have been accomplished by those who have been pushed to their limits and forced to make important decisions. So as diabetics, maybe we should think of ourselves as people with huge potential…