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.
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.