my cousin got married last weekend. i went to the home where i grew up before hand because it was en route. i’m not sure what inspired me to begin poking around my old stuff, but i ended up with a book of poetry in my hands. it is more like a stack of papers in a folder than an actual book, but it was none then less a collection of poems and stories written by yours truly between the ages of 9 and 17 labeled “book of poetry”.
i stumbled upon something that made big proud tears water my face. i found the first edition of my diabetes story. ever.
it’s called, ‘Arnolds story” and i barely remember writing it. what i DO remember is the deep feeling of liberation that i felt as i handed it to my mother with a smile on my face and said ‘read this’.
i had never talked about diabetes like that before. i hadn’t found a way to tell my mom that i knew i was going to make it out alright. this was an empowering moment in my life.
i didn’t write my first diabetes story about my self… directly. i disguised it. i changed a few details. from me to arnold. from age of diagnosis from 11 to 7. from dr. bechini to dr. burgertoes. — there is no way to pretend this isn’t about me and my experience with d, but writing about someone else can make it easier to access feelings. and this is where i started, eleven years ago.
here is a fuzzy photo of my first *story:
here is the way i most recently wrote my diabetes story. there are similarities and differences.
i think the way we story tell affects the way our memories of diagnosis and life with d feel now. if i CHOOSE to remember the good things, diabetes can feel like a gift rather than a burden. if i CHOOSE to retell my stories with a positive spin, then they will eventually only exist in my mind the way i tell it.
i’ll keep storytelling and allowing my story to shape-shift. who know’s where it will go if i give it freedom to morph. great things come from change and movement. warm and empowering feelings can evolve from bad ones.
have you written your first edition diabetes story? what about a second edition?
if you have or have not, here is your challenge.
write your story through/about someone else.
share it with a friend or relative.
then, rewrite it.
retell it, and each time change a little something about it. let it impact the person you are now for the better. how did the experience make you a better person? how are you stronger? smarter? more connected?
move onward, my friend, onward.
A less fuzzy version: Diabetes Story