I’ve Had Diabetes Longer Than I Have Not

I’ve had diabetes longer than I have not–

I hardly remember life without it. It’s become part of who I am. Sometimes I hate that part. Others times I’m proud that I’m stronger because of it. Regardless, I don’t really know any different. The feeling that one minute I’m okay and the next I feel like I’m slowly dying, is all normal to me. I’ve been closer to death than I’d like to admit.

Certain aspects have gotten easier over the years, I’ve learned more about my body and how it reacts. But trying to manage is never perfect. I constantly tell myself to just keep pushing, just keep holding on, and one day this will all be better. Maybe a cure will be found. Or maybe I can be dependent on a device that does all the work for me.

I appreciate the moments where my blood sugar isn’t high or low. I appreciate when life feels somewhat normal, even when it doesn’t last long. I appreciate life because it isn’t promised tomorrow. Having diabetes is ultimately terrifying at times, constant, annoying, demanding, inconsistent, and one crazy hell of a ride.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fearful of the future. But I’ve also accepted my challenges ahead. Social media has opened me up to millions of others just like me. Who struggle everyday, who inspire, who show diabetes that no matter what—we will never back down. It’s opened me eyes to the fact that I’m not invincible but I’m also not alone.

It’s shown me many are going through difficult times or suffering from complications pertaining to this disease. I once thought that nothing bad could ever happen to me. But then there’s others who are doing amazingly well and it gives me hope. I wonder where I fit in, where I’ll be many years down the road. Being connected to other type 1 diabetics has helped me feel a sense of belonging.

I now look at my body as a temple. I wish diabetes didn’t try to destroy it. I wish I didn’t have to fight everyday and I could just have a break. I do my best to take care of myself. I wish I could take back the years that I didn’t. I wish that diabetes made it easier on me to control. Everyday is a new battle that I never win, but everyday that I wake up is a blessing.

There’s not one minute of the day where diabetes isn’t on my mind. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if it wasn’t there. I imagine that life would be so much easier. But then I think about everything I’ve been through that’s made me who I am. I help teach people about this disease that kills so many and desperately needs more awareness. I fight through some really hard days, but I ultimately live the best life possible. While diabetes has tried to tear me down it has brought out the very best in me.

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