Monday, September 24, 2012

a new lease on life~

In 2008, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
It was pretty much the most horrifying day of my life. First though, are you sure you know which diabetes I'm talking about? I'm referring to an autoimmune disease that has no cure. 
The reason I'm blogging about my disease is not to gain your sympathy, but rather, your ear. 

I used to be a worrier. I mean, we're talking like, The World's Worst Worrier. If there was an award for worrying, I'd have won it every year. People used to say things like "You're dwelling on this." "You've got that look on your face." "Just let it go." But I couldn't. I was too worried.
When I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, as unfortunate and difficult as it's made my life at times, it's also offered me a new lease on life. I don't say this lightly. I almost died and it took me a long time to come to terms with how close I came. When I did, strangely enough, looking death and a chronic disease diagnosis in the face basically forced me to give up on Worrying. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I survived; relatively unscathed, and most importantly: a different version of the same me.
It suddenly came over me that yes, we survive everything. Until we don't. And then, we really have nothing to worry about.
I'm trying to avoid sounding cliché here, and I wish I had magical words to allow you to see inside my head and my heart somehow to understand the depth of that diagnosis experience and what effect it had on me. But all I can offer you is this pathetic blog post in an attempt to tell you to live. Fully. As if something could come down the pike any day that swallows up a good amount of your mind and your time and you still manage to wake up with a stupid grin on your face and say Fuck it, I'm alive. 
Because when I think back on all that time wasted worrying, I want to take up running just in an attempt to catch up to it and change things. The problem being, of course, that no one takes up running backwards. What's done is done.
So I truly live for the moment now. Mostly because I laugh at my old, worrying self and know that everything has always, often in strangely serendipitous ways, worked out. Despite how worrisome my old self was. Things don't get to me anymore. I'm not trying to sound enlightened here. It's just a fact: I can listen to people say awful things to me and I just don't take them personally. I'm sitting there, looking them in the eye, or dealing with their awful behavior, and thinking quite kind thoughts, actually. And not the condescending 'kind' thoughts people often have; a barrier to what they really feel about the person. It's the strangest thing in the world because I tried and tried for many years to become this person. When I was religious, I prayed about it. Then, I just read a lot of philosophy. Then I just journaled and cried a lot. Then I got sick.
Funny how the most terrifying things are often the ones you need the most to grow. Even the ones you don't choose. Well, especially those.

The waking up was just that---a waking. A gradual process I was mostly unaware of, stubborn and impatient with. Struggling and itching and angry, I thought I would never see the end of that tunnel. And then, about a year ago, it started lifting. Like a fog. The kind you see standing against the railing on a dock by the river early in the morning and it's happening so slowly, at first you forget you started out by complaining how little you could see, how heavy it felt. And it is only after you've finished saying it, the fog has lifted and you can see...everything. Because it's a new day. A fresh start. The one you've been waiting on forever.

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