Not too long ago the DOC was tasked with writing about the most awesome thing we’ve done in spite of diabetes. There were so many great posts, and today’s Diabetes Blog Week topic takes that same notion of awesomeness, and gives it a twist. Rather than the awesomeness that we’ve achieved DESPITE diabetes, today’s topic is to write about the awesomeness achieved BECAUSE of diabetes.
I am who I am because of diabetes. Diabetes isn’t all that I am, but there is no way that I can say that it isn’t responsible for helping to shape who I have become.
I’ve written before about how I don’t have the perspective of life without diabetes. I was diagnosed at age two, so it has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. To some that may sound tragic, but I rather like who I am. I don’t have any guarantees that I would like the person I might have been without diabetes being such a big part of my life.
Since struggling with yesterday’s Diabetes Blog Week post, I’ve realized as I’ve continued to reflect that maybe I’ve accepted the fact that I have diabetes, instead of hoping and pretending like it isn’t there and might magically go away. Accepting diabetes is a hard pill to swallow, and shouldn’t be confused with being happy about it or giving up hope. You have to sometimes embrace the monkey on your back to keep him from choking you to death.
The Diabetes Online Community (DOC) has been a huge part of my life in since I discovered that there are other people who go through the same trials with diabetes as me. How I live with my diabetes has changed a lot since I began sharing and being a contributing member of the DOC. I’ve pulled back the curtains on what it is like to live with diabetes, not only for everyone that reads my blog and follows me on Twitter, but also for myself. I still fall into the habit of hiding it sometimes when I shouldn’t, but I am getting better about putting diabetes out in plain sight.
As I write about diabetes more, talk about it more, and teach others about it more, I know that I will continue to get more comfortable with sharing the spotlight with diabetes. Because of diabetes, I have found a community of people who I can lean on when I stumble, and who can rely on me when they struggle. Diabetes is a condition best treated in a community. Because of diabetes I can focus my energies strengthening that community, increasing awareness, and improving the lives of all people with diabetes. Because of diabetes, I have a lifetime of knowledge and experience with this disease to share.
Because of diabetes, I win.