Friday, November 4, 2011

Silver Lining on the Crap Cloud

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, it was not a happy time. Obviously, being sick for several months and being told you have a chronic illness is not like finding the Golden Ticket! It fucking sucks. I was pissed about it. I was sad. I was angry. At times, even a little resentful, especially when I would see others with unhealthy lifestyles in perfect health.

During this time, there was a lot of "Why me's?" I am healthy. I exercise. I eat well. Why me? Coming on the heels of a bad break-up, where insecurities were swirling around inside my head, I thought that diabetes was the universe's way of saying that, yes, there was, indeed, something inherently wrong with me. It was the cherry on top of the proverbial shit cake.

Depression definitely set in and my future became harder to picture. Suddenly, getting married, having children, living past the age of 30 seemed like far away possibilities. That marathon I planned to run at 60 years old would never happen. Instead, I would now have to worry about poor circulation, amputation, blindness, neuropathy, kidney failure, high cholesterol, heart disease, the list goes on. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Life seemed bleaked. My relationships suffered.

However, since that I time, I have made some significant progress. I don't see my life as cursed the way I once did. I have let go of a lot of those initial thoughts and feelings. On my optimistic days, I think, of course I got diabetes! I'm one of the best people to get it! I would have an easier time integrating diabetes management into my life then most people. Eat healthy? No problem! Want me to exercise? Got it covered! Need to not be squeamishness about blood and injections? I can work on it.

On less optimistic days, I think shit happens, in all its crappy glory! There's no rhyme or reason to it. In those moments, I let myself be angry or sad. I acknowledge that sometimes being diabetic can suck and try to move on from there. 

What I have realized in the last few weeks is that, on most days, I don't even think about it! It has become a natural part of  life, the way that brushing your teeth or feeding your obnoxious cat at exactly every fucking morning no matter what day of the week it is, does! You don't necessarily think about it, but you certainly do it every day. Although Jackson definitely has me consider otherwise!

When I reflect on diabetes, I am now able to see some of the positive qualities I had lost track of. Like that I'm resilient. Strong. Intelligent. I'm fun! I have a wicked sense of humor, particularly when it comes to amputation! I'm going to be a great wife and kick-ass mother! I have awesome people in my life who love me. Diabetes didn't change those things. It enhanced them!

Instead of seeing diabetes as the universe snubbing me, maybe it is the universe kicking me in the ass! Of letting me know that I am a much better person then what I had been telling myself. That a stupid boy and broken pancreas doesn't define who I am. I do.

Either way, I come to realize that it's all about looking for the silver lining on the crap cloud. It's there somewhere. You just have to find it.

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