frankly, i can’t even remember the first time.
i must have been in about third grade? maybe even before that…
i’m not talking about diabetes. i VERY clearly remember my first anything and everything diabetes.
i remember my first injection.
my first blood test.
my first over the top 90’s style “you’re going to be okay, just different” video.
the first look of relief in my mom’s eyes at the hospital when i told her pricking my finger didn’t hurt so bad.
i remember my exact words to the first friend i called to share the news, “don’t worry, it’s not contagious, and i’m going to get better really fast”.
my first ‘get well soon’ card.
i remember my first feeling of anger.
my first high blood sugar tantrum.
my first bout with DKA.
with diabetes, i don’t forget any firsts. but before? it feels like everything that came before diabetes just melted away at diagnosis. the memories faded into what i once was and will never be again. … and that was that. no take-backs.
but this part of me, this… thing. aspect? behavior? whatever you want to call it…
this is something that has been within me all along, making it’s way to the surface on occasion. just appearing often enough for me to reflect back and say with some vague sense of certainty that it is an innate aspect of my being.
are you dying to know what it is? even if it isn’t a good thing? .. because it is not a good thing. at least at first.
so here it is…
i have a superiority complex. if you have heard me talk about colleges before, then you have a sense of how this comes out in me, which is the good part. the ambition, the drive, the confidence.
BUT, i like honesty, and i like outing myself, so here is what is under that.
ever since i can remember, i have felt like i am ‘better at basketball’ or ‘more mature’ or ‘more intelligent’ or ‘more emotional’ or a ‘better listener’ than the people i call friends. and i know i am not making any friends by writing this. BUT this is a truth that has led me toward success and happiness on one hand but isolation and stress on the other.
i have this feeling that i am superior to my loved ones and acquaintances.
my truth is that i dont want this feeling. i dont want it like i don’t want diabetes, but it has this power over me.
i can’t even remember the first time i felt it. i do know that in third grade, i felt like jordan mcbride ‘asked me out’ because i was a better basketball player than the other girls in class. i was more ‘cool’. i remember being attached to the feeling of being special. and special in a way that was admirable.
my attachment to that feeling helped fuel this toxic inner dialogue that urges me to be better, do better, be stronger, funnier, more talented, more articulate. better. better. better.
but shit. my life is proof that this kind of mentality, this attachment, only brings more struggle. i stress about everything and take on way too many diabetes projects and psychology classes and diabetes organizations and diabetes jobs and i wear myself so thin that when i fail at my own diabetes it it okay with me because at least i failed because i gave all my time to other people’s diabetes.
i don’t want to let go of my drive and ambition, but i want to let myself be moved by something other than “better”.
i want the drive-er to be health and wellness. i want to be okay and feel good. i want to love my self and my body first, and find what drives me then.
i can take this innate thing in me and transform it into something beautiful and calming.
i am going to try that. maybe it will be a key to better the better self-care and management i pretend to have.
until the next time…
move onward, my friend, onward.