Now that I have had T1D for 24 years and have had the experience of living with it through childhood, adolescence, teens, 20s, and now 30s, I can say with certainty that it is finally okay with ME that I have diabetes. If you would’ve asked me about my experience with diabetes ten or 15 years ago, my response would not have been a positive one, as it is now. I might have told you about how much work it is, or how hard it is to live with it, or how much I hated it, or a variety of other mainly self-pity-driven descriptions of how I felt, and they all would have been the truth at that time. Truth be told, feeling that way all the time sucked—like really sucked—and I’m sure I’m not the only one who experienced or is still experiencing these feelings towards their diabetes.
If you ask me now about my experience with diabetes, I would tell you that it is the card I have been dealt, and I have learned to play it to my advantage, much like any other perceived disadvantage can become an advantage if we change our perceptions, or the meanings we give things and experiences. Before, it was like I was alone in this diabetes world and nobody understood what it was like to be me. I had T1D for 15 years before I even met anyone else who had diabetes; and even then, I barely knew that person and unfortunately didn’t put forth the effort to get to know them better. I continued on through my 20s, occasionally meeting others with diabetes; but again, I never really sat down and had a conversation with anyone specifically about what it was like living with diabetes from their perspective.
Fast-forward to the present, where it is my passion, my career, and my true mission in life to help other people with diabetes by teaching them the systems I have developed over the years that have allowed me to consistently have a hemoglobin A1c level below 6.5%, and has also allowed me to be in the best physical shape of my life. The experiences I get to have with my clients add intense fulfillment to my life; I honestly learn as much from them as they do from me. Ten years ago, I would not have had a very clear picture of my future, and whatever picture I did have wasn’t filled with positivity and optimal health. Now when I look into my future, I see only possibilities, opportunities, and experiences that will make me a better, more understanding and accepting person who is always learning, growing, contributing, and adding value to life for myself and others. Changing our perspective is a choice that we all have the ability to make. Anything is possible. Change is good. Change is the price of survival.
Have you made peace with your diabetes? Leave a comment below and let me know where you are in regards to your relationship with your diabetes.