Tips For Surviving Everyday Life With Diabetes
Today I need to draw upon the collective wisdom of the online community. Today, I don't much know what to say to help anyone with diabetes or life. I'm in it. I'm living with it moment-to-moment, and the words won't come. Writer's block, or something akin to it.
So while it's easy to blow off advice from others (especially when pre-packaged for mass-consumption by experts or marketing mavens), I am in want of it today. I know dismissing the "digestible nuggets" of wisdom is not always the right move. Humans, for all their imperfections and flaws, know some valuable things. How foolish to not take advantage of all that can be gained from listening to the collective wisdom of others, in whatever form that wisdom takes.
Surely platitudes are overrated. Opinions? Well, you know the comparisons to be drawn between opinions and other, ahem, body parts we all have. But there are days when it feels good, necessary even, to be reminded of what we once knew, but have forgotten. And as much as my English scholar heart resists acronyms and the quick sum-up, I have to admit I've found many important, friendly reminders that way.
When something we hear or read resonates, it can feel almost like epiphany. And while we can't really go out looking for epiphanies, we can make a conscious decision to remain open to the possibility. I have done that.
I am reminded of the final page in every O Magazine. It's a column by Oprah entitled What I Know For Sure. Some months it's been a real struggle for her to write (she's since brought in some experts to help answer the call). Like you, I know some things. About diabetes. About life. About a variety of topics. Yet one of the most important things I am aware of is how little I actually know in the grand scheme of things. Even the things I think I know, I cannot be absolutely certain of. I'm learning to be alright with that.
Knowing something for sure is a bold claim. In thinking about what I know for sure about diabetes and life, these three things came to mind:
- You matter. Like, a lot.
We all matter far more than we typically have a clue about, and are really so much more than we appear to be.
It isn't easy to know the impact we have on others sometimes. It's easy to forget how much our being here, exactly as we are, matters. A lot. I believe we're here to figure out precisely what that means and looks like to us. For me, diabetes is part of the equation, and likely always will be.
I don't like diabetes, but there's no sense in denying or rejecting the good things having diabetes has helped bring into my life (a sense of community, new friends, a platform, a new way to be of service, to reach out, etc.). It has given me a platform. It is one I am grateful for, even if the price of admission is unspeakably high and the opt-out button is sadly missing.
Translation: Some Will. Some Won't. So What? Someone's Waiting!
This nugget has helped propel me forward in life and reminds me that what I have to offer is good and valuable. Maybe not to everybody, but to somebody. Not everyone is going to like me or what I have to offer, but someone will, and that's enough for me. People are hungry for connection, for friendship, for help.
What we do, and who we are, matter (see #1). We don't have to be perfect to begin. It's akin to that saying that if only the best birds sang what a mighty quiet forest it'd be.
- It's good I rarely get exactly what I want.
Hindsight tends to be 20/20, right?
I know what a blessing it can be to not get what I want. Oh how many times I have tried to force the hand of fate in my favor only to find out not only am I powerless over many things (um, how many times must I relearn that lesson?). I'm also no expert in what I need much of the time. Oh sure, daily decisions and preferences, I'm good there. But the big picture stuff? Well I'm just plain guessing much of the time.
As humans, we can't always see around corners. We can't know how the outcome of this or that will impact us. Truth is, the best blessings of my life have come as a result of things I never would have chosen for myself-diabetes included. Thank goodness there's a power greater than myself that knows better than I do.
So, what do YOU know for sure?