“I Have Diabetes”
By: Tiffany Slabbert
“I Have Diabetes”–
A phrase said by a number of people at any point in the day. It is a phrase that can limit you or it can motivate you – the choice is up to you.
In the beginning when I was first diagnosed –
I used to think it was some sort of punishment to be labeled as “the kid who is sick” and all the stigma attached to being diabetic. It was a combination of being slightly teased about being diabetic as well as the half-hearted: “I would never be able to eat sugar” or “Can you eat that?” responses. Or the constant blood glucose readings and injections and having to excuse myself from class or exams to eat due to low blood sugar. All of this somehow caused me to become ashamed of my diabetes.
It wasn’t my fault and it was definitely not a punishment –
Yet I felt as though saying that simple phrase “I have diabetes” would cause my world to shatter and fall apart. I felt judged, like somehow I did eat too much sugar or not exercise enough and that’s why I became a diabetic. When deep down I know there’s nothing I did or could have done to prevent this. It’s a disease that can happen to anyone.
It took me a long time to get over this mindset I had created –
It was a battle to change the way I viewed myself, I am not a broken human, but instead I am completely 100% me. Now wherever or whenever I say that phrase, I own it. I am proud to be a survivor and a type 1 warrior!
Be proud of how far you have come, and never give up. You are greater than your highs and lows.