Most days it can feel like diabetes is holding us back. We can feel exhausted, frustrated at the numbers that appear on our blood glucose monitors, and angry at the dilemma that is diabetes. I used to be the type of person that hid my diabetes. I never wanted to talk about it, let alone meet and talk to others who had it too. I figured that if I just kept quiet and got on with things, it wouldn’t bother me so much. It wasn’t until the day I decided to embrace my diabetes that things changed. I figured that the only way to make sure it doesn’t hold me back is to accept who I am and what I have, and use this condition to educate, help, and inspire others.
People oftens tell those of us with diabetes to give things up, or that some ideas aren’t worth trying, because of diabetes. We hear “that’ll be too stressful on your blood sugars” or the “Oh you can’t do that” excuse. But nine times out of ten, WE CAN DO IT!
It’s not easy, but it IS possible. On my diagnosis day I told my doctors that I had ambitions to travel every corner of the world. They responded, “Maybe you should consider something less risky.” I didn’t think it was risky at all, and I am certainly glad I didn’t listen to them. If I had, I wouldn’t be travelling the world or writing this blog post today!
If you want to travel the world, then do it. If you want to become a doctor, go for it. Don't let diabetes hold you back. Use it as a motivator to achieve the things you've dreamed of! Then you can inspire others as well as yourself.
In order to thrive with diabetes, we need to dive in head first into all of our hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It may be a little more difficult and perhaps it takes us a little longer to get where we want to be, but we will get there in the end. I have had diabetes for eight years. That may seem quite short to some people, but it feels like a lifetime to me. It's taken me that long to get where I am with my diabetes today. That doesn't mean I have perfect blood sugars, or that I always get things right. But I am willing to try.
It took an adjustment period to begin talking confidently about my diabetes. I began with an Instagram account and joining some Facebook support groups. Once I introduced myself, I was amazed by all the stories of diabetics in the world that surrounded me. I instantly felt like I was part of a community and a new type of support network. Since then I have started the biggest type 1 diabetic travel blog on the internet, guest blogged for DiabetesSisters, and started speaking at events as an inspirational speaker. Diabetes is now truly a part of me that I am happy to share.