As I sat down to write this month’s sisterSTAFF blog, I glanced at the date and realized it’s my diaversary. Twenty one years ago, with a blood sugar of over 1200 mg/dl, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
It’s interesting how over the course of 21 years, my perspective has changed so many times. From resentment to anger to acceptance, I have experienced every emotion possible. And when I found myself in a deep hole of depression, I managed to get out of it and realize that diabetes did NOT control me. Once I realized that, I grew empowered. And I have never looked back. Sure, I still have bad days where I am angry and resentful of a disease that does whatever it wants, but overall, I live a very complete and happy life, despite diabetes.
This month, I hope you empower yourself to live the best life you can. It makes all the difference in your attitude every morning. If you are struggling and looking for support, I urge you to visit the many online and in-person support avenues, especially DiabetesSisters. If you are on the fence about attending one of our in-person programs, just come on out and join us. Attend one of our many PODS Meetups or meet us in Los Angeles this October to experience a weekend of support, sharing and Sisterhood. Worried about financing a trip? Apply for a scholarship! Years ago, I decided to attend a DiabetesSisters’ event and I have never regretted that decision.
There is still much I can learn from others who have been living with diabetes for longer, much I can share with those who were diagnosed after me. Twenty one years does not make me an expert, although for many, 21 years is quite a career. But with diabetes, there is always more to learn, more to experience, more to understand.
Twenty one years have come and gone. I can barely remember what life was life before diagnosis, having lived more than half my life with diabetes at this point. But I do remember what it was like to feel helpless, alone and scared because of diabetes. And I don’t want anyone to feel that way. Diabetes is not a life sentence. It’s just “one more thing” to add to a list of things that make me who I am, something that falls way down past being a daughter, mother, wife, employee, volunteer, citizen.
It means nothing to who I am. And yet, it means everything.