1. Diabetes is not for the meek.
It takes and it demands. It offers no reprieve.
I'm still learning to be okay with that.
And with the reality that for me, it's here to stay.
Because life is still big and bountiful and beautiful.
And I am here to live it. Out loud. And without apology.
And I've got a lot more livin' to do--diabetes or not.
No more hiding in the shadows.No more sulking in the corner.
No more pity parties of one.
Such moments remind me why life is meant to be lived.
Not regretted. Not just written about.
Not just reflected upon.
2. You have to love yourself as you are.
Change is good, but the core of who we are is, well, who we are.
Love that part unconditionally.
To love well. To live my truth. It's why I'm here.
Those two things alone are purpose enough for me to be born.
In this body.
With this disease.
With this family.
With this mind.
And these circumstances.
With all of me. Complicated, beautiful me...
Learning to love all that didn't come automatically for me.
But it's that kind of love and acceptance of which I speak.
Self-love. True love. Love of self and the essence of everything else.
In that space we are more alike than different.
In that space, diabetes is an after thought.
We accept ourselves regardless.
What else is there to do but love yourself through it?
I'm talkin' the kind of self-love that allows you to be fully yourself, fully alive.
The kind of love that breaks you.
The kind of life that challenges you.
That stretches you beyond your limits.
The kind of life and love that gives breath to your lungs.
And puts a fire in your heart.
Love that pushes you to keep on keepin' on.
Even on those cold February days that feel bleak and neverending.
On those days especially.
3. I'll never figure it all out.
This community, this country, this world, is enormous and wonderful and strange.
This disease is mine, and yet so much bigger than just one pancreas, just one body.
And I am not alone.
Even when it feels like it.
This life is so much bigger than me.
And I, for one, am glad for it.
On days like today when the wind whips by me without thought, and the snow piles up around me, I realize how small I am.
On days like today I celebrate that I am still here.
Still healthy and in love.
Against all odds, I remain.
Strong and perfectly imperfect.
Like each of us.
4. All that is required is the strength to be myself.
To find out again and again who we are.
When it seems no more can be taken from us.
When it feels like one more change will push us to the brink.
In a weirdly persistent way, living with diabetes aids me in finding out who I am and what I'm made of.
And what I believe.
And making my diabetes visible helps *me* become more visible too.
Shy little ol' me who used to be afraid to speak up.
In a weird way, diabetes emboldens me.
To correct misinformation and assumptions.
Encourages me to stand up for my truths.
And begin speaking them.
5. I’m used to diabetes and will never be used to it.
I can't remember what life was like before diabetes.
Like many with Type 1, I've had diabetes since childhood.
I'm used to it, and still it takes me by surprise some days.
Knocks me off course.
Derails my plans.
I'd be lying if I said it were easy.
Truth is, living the highs and lows (and unknowns) is much harder than I ever thought it would be.
But I am much stronger than I ever thought I'd be because of it.
It's something I'm proud of, this strength.
And this visible fragility. I'm proud of it, too.
Because I'm still here. Still standing.
Learning this tender balance and embrace of both.
What else is there to do?
Quitting? Well, it's not really an option for me.
And on days like today, I am grateful for that.
P.S. Life with chronic disease(s) offers up myriad lessons. Most we'd rather learn elsewhere. But sharing those lessons with others helps lessen the aggrevation. A few more hard-earned lessons from the DOC can be found here (Texting My Pancreas)--and please, add yours as a comment below!