Lemonade Life

Thursday, January 26, 2006


We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;

Sometimes I am so tired.
Tired of checking to see if my pump has enough insulin to last me through the day (because you can't survive without it). Tired of the beeping reminding me to test (because you don't want to drive off the road). Tired of filling in numbers that tell me whether or not I'm doing a good job (because a high number means you suck as a person ). Tired of wondering (is today the day I will have a seizure?). Tired of the fear (will I be in pain when I go?). Tired of being positive (please stop telling me it's okay, I just want to scream in peace). Tired of being alone (nobody knows about anything). Tired of talking (I am not a diabetes educator. There is no acronym after my name). Tired of thinking (so, now what are you going to do?).

Tired of stupid questions (I thought you couldn't eat sugar?).
Tired of stupid comments (That's a cool MP3 player).
Tired of stupid doctors (All you need to do this, that and the other- what's so hard about that?).
Tired of stupid critics (Diabetes doesn't really take that much time. They practically give you the formula. Carbohydrates/insulin - exercise. A monkey could do it. So what's wrong with you?).

perplexed, but not in despair;

Diabetes, the "job", has become my life. I think about my projects all the time. Every day. Hours and hours. When my professor is talking, when I'm walking home from school, when I'm drinking my third cup of coffee, when I'm brushing my teeth, when I check my phone messages, when I'm in a bookstore, when I'm eating a sandwich, when I'm in the shower, when it's 2:30 in the fucking morning and I still can't sleep because my mind keeps talking to me about everything I'm doing, should be doing, could be doing, want to be doing, and CAN'T because I'm a 20-year-old college student who is trying to graduate with a degree and her sanity.

I'm trapped at a large university in the middle of nowhere with thousands of students and thousands of opportunities and all I can think of is graduating so I can try to convince somebody in the "diabetes industry" to hire me and so I can move across the country to be closer to everybody I really want to be around (because these people don't understand) and actually do what I want to do because what I'm doing now isn't good enough (obviously).

persecuted, but not abandoned;

The whole point of This is to help people. That's what I keep telling myself. Everyday. You're helping people. You're an inspiration. You're a role model. People Like You. You can't quit now. What would you do? You're the Expert on Teens, for God knows what reason. How did I become an authority? Because I created a website when I was 17 and talked to a couple of Really Important People? I don't get it. I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

I eat cupcakes. I skip testing when I'm too busy to open my backpack. I forget to bolus. I don't count carbs unless there's a label on the package. I can't remember the last time I went to the gym. I smoke sometimes. I drink occassionally. The majority of my professors don't know I have diabetes. I went 12 years without wearing a Medical ID bracelet. Sometimes I don't eat breakfast. I've run out of juice and eaten half a package of cookies because I thought I was going to die.

I'm an inspiration (so they say); but I still do ridiculous things.
And I'm just as scared as you.
Twelve years and I'm still crying myself to sleep.
I am still begging God to make this all go away.

struck down, but not destroyed...

I have thought about quitting. Five years in the "industry" and I've considered retiring. What would I do? I would have so much Time. When Diabetes Portal closed, I thought about not coming back. I thought about volunteering somewhere else. Some place where the results don't affect me directly. Some place truly philanthropic, without this Little Voice going, "You're still doing it for yourself. You still want this for you more than anything."

But I can't. It's an addiction. Helping people is habit-forming, it's true. The comments (as few and far between as they are) really are the reason I stay. When you say I've helped you, that's all I need to hear. I need feedback. I don't just do this for kicks- I do this for You. Please tell me when it's working and when it's not.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

When I first started, I thought it would be Really Cool to be famous like Clare or Jeff and get to travel and have people talk to me and be interviewed and have my picture taken (the Paris Hilton of Diabetes). I can't tell if it has happened or it's happening or if it ever will happen. Then I became a Christian and realized how selfish I was being. I felt very guilty.

I still feel guilty. I'm sorry for wanting to be in a magazine more than I want to help people.

I'm repenting.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

I want to cry and be bitter. Bitter not so much for what I have lost, but bitter for the pain of those who are hurting even more than me. I can see the tears through the words typed in the dozens of blogs and essays and comments I read everyday. I can hear the prayers of the Mothers (and the Fathers). All the wishes and the dreams that Diabetes challenges and threatens to take away.
I can feel the strength in each one of you.

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Being negative drives me nuts. I can't spend very much time in this frame of mind, which is why I'm glad that tomorrow I will remember all my reasons for why it will be okay.

One of the reasons why I wrote Cutting Honesty to begin with was to allow myself the freedom to be both Happy and Sad at the same time. To become a whole person again, rather than a dual identity. Happy Role Model on one side, Depressed Teenage Diabetic on the other. I am Both.

And I'm not perfect. Sometimes a girl's just gotta vent. I like being positive. But it's really hard sometimes.


This is my Prayer:

May we all be strong.
May we all be courageous, for courage is not strength in the absence of fear but in the face of fear.

May we all love.
May we all listen, for the words that are shared between friends can save lives.

May we continue hoping.
May we fight the good fight.
May the Dream stay alive and bold.


At January 26, 2006 6:39 AM , Blogger Vivian said...

This was so honest. Thank you for writing it. It is ok to have all the feelings you have and please know that we all need to hear both the positive and the negative. How else would we know we are not failures when we let it get to us? You are a great person and you are on a journey of many paths. Hold tight to God first and the rest will all work through the way it is supposed to. Love ya, Vivian

At January 26, 2006 7:19 AM , Anonymous Kevin said...


I've been reading your countdown blogs and have meant to drop you a line to let you know how great they've been. The only thing I can say is: Keep punchin'! You're dedication is awesome and impressive. You are well on your way to becoming a Rock Star in the Diabetes world.

Thanks for all you do.
(I eat cupcakes too).

At January 26, 2006 7:41 AM , Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Allison,

This is a magnificent post. Very touching, mostly because I think we all can identify with the feelings, both positive and negative. There can't be one without the other.

We are strong. There is some reason behind the struggles we face, and as hard as they are I think we are stronger people because of them. They still suck though.

People don't understand, and being able to connect with others going through the same types of things is incredibly powerful. We need it. You have helped, and are helping to facilitate that communication, and it is working!

I have personally gained so much from everyone in the OC. I can't even begin to explain how beneficial it has been for me.

Keep fighting the fight - and it's Ok to take time off when you need to.

Thank you!

At January 26, 2006 9:40 AM , Anonymous Caro said...


I don't really know what to say. I don't know you very well, as I'm so new to this, but I already know how much you give and how much so very many people get out of that.

Don't believe for a moment that in order to be inspirational you need to be perfect. I am much more inspired by people who have a human side. People who have a struggle and fight, but keep going just the same. And people who are honest.

I really admire your honesty here. Don't for a second believe that most people don't feel exactly as you do at times. Not everyone is strong enough to admit it. That is inspiring in itself.

I'm glad that you're not quitting this, that you will go on making a difference. Because you do.

At January 26, 2006 10:26 AM , Blogger julia said...

I don't think it's selfish to want some recognition for all the work you do, to want some validation in whatever form it takes - comments on your blog or pictures in a magazine. It's a slightly superficial way of getting some feedback, but so what? It's something you can point to and say, even if it's only to yourself, "I did a good thing."

It does get tiring, having diabetes going around and around and around in your head all day. I liken it to Chinese water torture - drip, drip, drip, without ceasing. We all get tired and discouraged and beaten down. Thankfully, not all on the same day, otherwise...gah, can you imagine? The Great Diabetes Implosion. That's why the OC and the CWD email list are so great. There's always someone there to pull you up, give you a pat on the shoulder and say "It'll be ok." Just conisder this your virtual atta girl.

At January 26, 2006 11:37 AM , Blogger Jamie said...


What a touching post you made. (even brought a tear to my eye).

I truly don't think you should abandon your "calling" so to speak. I am just new to the world of Diabetes and am still learning and I can tell you that being in touch with people such as yourself is a huge consolation to me. I see people like you (and Kerri) and see what sort of life my daughter is going to have.

It's entirely normal for you to want to be recognized for your work - do not feel guilty about that. I also think that you do have a natural talent to help people and you should take that, and your knowledge of Diabetes and go nuts with it.

I am sure it will take you to high places - and don't feel guilty for wanting that either - we all have aspirations and dreams and it is those of us who actually achieve them that others look up to and admire. Someone has to step up to the plate - someone has to speak up, speak out and help others. (am I making any sense here? LOL) We all have our down days - makes us normal - and we all want to eat cupcakes - that's ok too!

Keep up the great work. I thank you for supporting me while I deal with this disease in my daughter.

At January 26, 2006 11:40 AM , Blogger Allison said...

Aw, thanks you guys! I really appreciate all comments. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing to myself, even though I intellectually know people are reading this (the counter goes up everyday, and I know it's not just from me).

In heaven, there will be cupcakes for everyone.

Your Future Rock Star

At January 26, 2006 11:58 AM , Blogger julia said...

Can I have my cupcake now? I already have a spot reserved for me somewhere a little...warmer when I die.

At January 26, 2006 12:12 PM , Blogger Kassie said...

I was eating a proverbial cupcake as I read along.

Being a role model is one way that you manage your diabetes. Taking care of yourself isn't selfish - isn't the body a temple?

Regardless of beliefs, being here, living well, staying healthy - it's a tribute to all you hold dear.

Do what it takes to make that happen!

At January 26, 2006 5:15 PM , Blogger Penny said...

I loved this post. Thank you for your honesty.

At January 27, 2006 9:24 AM , Anonymous Shani said...

Thank you for the post. It is great to see that the popular "Rock Stars" of diabetes aren't perfect. It is almost impossible for me to be inspired and motivated by someone who is the perfect diabetic.
I also really identify with the song. I do not know the name or artist but I often think of it when going through the stuff.

At January 27, 2006 10:38 AM , Blogger Allison said...

The words in bold are actually not a song. They are from the Bible. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18 (with a few of the verses in the middle absent). I was looking for the verses on the Internet, because I couldn't remember where they were from either. A woman had them posted on her blog, and I copied them from her, but I didn't realize until later she had about 2 or 3 of the verses missing. Oh well, I like it just fine the way it is.

Thank you for all your wonderful comments.

Happy Anniversary to Meeeeeeeeee!

At January 27, 2006 4:52 PM , Blogger Kelsey said...

Allison, You are a role model, precisely because you struggle with this disease and are a real person. How "well" you handle diabetes isn't what makes you inspiring, it's how honestly and beautifully you share your story.

Just so you know, I had a chance to cut out of work early today, but I started reading your last few posts and couldn't pull myself away! Thank you for being such a loving voice for all of us.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home