Click for the I Can – Monday 5/11 Link List.
In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of “I can…” that participants found wonderfully empowering. So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes. What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could? Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of? Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life? (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)
Happy to be back after two years…
When I was 10 years old, I felt a very strong sensation bubbling up inside of me that I can now identify as drive and motivation. For what? I wasn’t sure. I just felt a seriously strong longing to do something important, something that would help people. This intensified when my sister was diagnosed with type 1 that year. The most memorable dream of my entire life was right after her diagnosis. I wrote it down. Basically I was in the Amazon rain forest, just south of where I was born, looking for a cure for cancer (interesting that cancer be the disease I was curing in my dream-I think this had to do with all the talk of curing cancer from some unknown plant in the jungle at that time). Anyway, my memory of this dream is freakishly long and detailed. When I woke up I thought it was a sign I was going to at least work in some way or other to help others.
Then I was diagnosed with type 1 (the same year). I felt ok for the first 6 months. I was driven to succeed. Then reality set it. Diabetes was a bitch. And I was stuck with it until someone lived my dream (in my child’s mind) and cured it? Oh no no no this was not ok. I got negative about it pretty quickly. I felt my personality changing. With every passing year I was further and further from myself. I couldn’t help anyone-I couldn’t help me.
In my early 20’s, after depressing times due to friends dying and other losses and major fear over my physical and mental health, I began to turn around. I tried to come back to myself. That really was the way I thought of it. I would remember how I was a positive kid, with a ton of spirit and wonder, and with a yearning to act on the compassion I felt for others.
So to wrap this up what I’m saying is that I can be ME despite my diabetes and because my journey has been as I described, that feels rather victorious. I know diabetes can pull us away from all the good parts of ourselves with constant stress and suffering. This is something I will constantly continue to struggle with. But, I feel very much myself these days and for that I’m quite grateful.