Thursday, September 12, 2013

The hand I was dealt

Kerri at Six Until Me just posted a well-wrought piece about living with diabetes and what the utter endlessness of it can do to you. It's beautiful, and you should read it: "Filling Back Up."

A chronic disease can be soul-sucking. It's exhausting, and overwhelming. Diabetes and its ilk is basically a neverending marathon - and we all know what happened to the original Marathon runner. So, like many other PWDs, Kerri's post rang painfully true. It resonates.

But that's not really what brought my own fingers to the keyboard today. This did:
I wish I had a more gracious outlook on my experiences with diabetes, but I don’t. I wish I felt that it was some kind of blessing, but to me, it isn’t. It’s a thorn in my side that digs in deeper with every passing anniversary, but fuck you, diabetes. I’m tired at times, but I’m not stopping. I’m afraid, but I’m still going.
In the past few years, I've seen a lot of people asking a lot of variations on the "gracious outlook" question "How has diabetes benefited you?" And there are a whole host of ways to answer that are all essentially true: diabetes has made me a stronger person, more capable, self-reliant, independent, blah blah blah. I just don't think that "benefit" happens because it's a hidden blessing or a good thing in your life - MANY horrible, crappy experiences form who you are. If you've grown from it, to me, it means you've managed to find some way to make the bad hand you've been dealt not a complete waste.

So when people ask me that, I bristle a little. I know why they're asking, I get it. But I'm just not really on that page. Instead, I'm with Kerri's "fuck you, diabetes." To me, that's it. A LOT of what keeps me moving through burnouts and logging and complications and all the 2-steps-forward-1-step-back is the FUCK YOU. My inner rage about all the diabetes bullshit I have to deal with fuels 90 percent of my self-care. "Oh, I just don't know how you can stick yourself every day!" and  "Oh, I could never have to watch what I eat like you do. How do you live without pizza?!" You know how? Because I'm pissed that I have to, and I'm not going to let my bad luck dictate my health. I am fiercer and stronger and more determined than the hand I was dealt. I do it to prove I can, to flip the bird at fate.

9 comments:

  1. "I am fiercer and stronger and more determined than the hand I was dealt." Oh hell yes you are. xoxo

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  2. Word! Thanks for this. I am grateful for many things and I see the gift in many many areas of my life. Illness is not one of them. (At least not yet).

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  3. Word! Thanks for this! I see the gifts in many areas of my life. I am grateful for many things. Illness is not one of them. (At least not yet). Cheers, M

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  4. You posted this on the day that Pheidippides died from exhaustion! Awesome reference!

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  5. Totally, Completely agree with your post. Thanks. Hope the walk is shaping up well too.

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  6. Very much on the same page, and agree. If I need to be positive, I will be. If I need to channel some inner rage and "battle" diabetes, then that's how I'll roll. To do what needs to be done, and live and cope and all that jazz - for as long as I happen to be here. It takes two to tango, Diabetes, but know this: If you step on my toes, I will punch you in the teeth. Let's dance.

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  7. Very much on the same page, and agree. If I need to be positive, I will be. If I need to channel some inner rage and "battle" diabetes, then that's how I'll roll. To do what needs to be done, and live and cope and all that jazz - for as long as I happen to be here. It takes two to tango, Diabetes, but know this: If you step on my toes, I will punch you in the teeth. Let's dance.

    ReplyDelete