the lion sleeps tonight

tent

a1c a1c, here we go again.

feeling a little stuck: habit changes, diet changes, exercise additions
a1c same same same.

i know nothing as demoralizing as changing your diabetes habits and not seeing any diabetes change. it is like trying to dig a hole in cement with a rubber shovel. stressful and even while putting your energy into it, you know it isn’t bloody likely to work.

will this get easier, i’m left to wonder
where is my metal shovel? my jackhammer?
or am i just digging in the wrong place?
is there softer ground somewhere other than here?

——————————————

i wrote the above bit the day after master lab. thanks to diabetes advocates via diabetes hands foundation, i was able to attend in person.

i stored that post away because it was intended as a coming out story. inspired by the openness of master lab, the collective support system, and moving offers to engage in more advocacy efforts and initiatives by my (dare i call them) peers.

however, even after all the inspiration and motivation, my courage to share waned.

master lab was pretty incredible. a great many advocates in the room (find links to some of the blog coverage below), and a swelling sense of purpose illuminated by ‘we can do this’ talks and presentations.

the master lab came at the beginning of the friends for life conference, and this year for me was nothing short of a major emotionally-charged challenge.

i’d been traveling since may, had just left home and moved to a new state, and had a low under 45 every morning since we got there.

i was pre-disposed to breakdown, having checked off all the parameters forming a perfect head-storm.

overly aware of my ick-tastic toxic thoughts about identity and getting older (i know i’m not old enough for this process to begin), i found myself a clam. holding onto and conceling the parts of me i like best, i became sick with hesitation.

in the midst of master lab and all the grandness with which it was, i stayed closed and secretive. conflicted. hiding.

you see, i am 23 going on 24. i’m not ‘college age’ anymore, but i’m not quite an adult adult yet either (although i suppose that bit is my choice). i just got engaged, so while suberbly exhilarating, another wrench in the ‘find others like me’ mission became slightly more murky.

this year at friends for life, i spread myself too thin. i tried to straddle my time with one leg DOC and one leg college. i got lost in the here and there and rarely felt fully present where i was.

as the week went on, a quote from paul madden at master lab kept creeping up into my thoughts…

he said: “if you don’t stretch your limits, you set your limits

and the truth was, i stretched and didn’t set. i lived by that maxim while at friends for life and it took everything out of me.

i’m not even sure there is a point to this post any more, if not just to say: i wish that i’d been more present and less stratified.

i wish i’d been in a better head space.

i wish i’d advocated for myself like i’d been learning to do for our community at master lab.

i wish i’d been stronger.

with that said, i cannot fail to mention that we sure are a sensitive group of people. in my time of inner-conflict at ffl, many of you stepped up with open arms and generously allowed me to just be there. there was no pushing or prodding. just a kind gentleness. i’m always thankful to you for that.

so, pardon me for this exercise in flow-of-consciousness nonsense i am calling a blog post.

now. someone suggest a good sad song!

______ for your enjoyment ___________________________

blogs covering master lab:

stephen at happy-medium
sue at diabetes ramblings
mike at diabetes mine
brian at tudiabetes.org
kim at texting my pancreas
chris at a consequence of hypoglycemia
rich at rich the diabetic
christel at the perfect d
adam at diatribe
rachel at refreshing d
david at diabetes daily
meri at our diabetic life
kate at sweet success
kelly at diabetesaliciousness
alana at life on t1

diabetes action hub via diabetes hands foundation i.e. diabetes advocates

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3 thoughts on “the lion sleeps tonight

  1. I absolutely know how you feel in your “others like me” search. I was diagnosed later in life when I was 26 and almost everyone I meet my age has been doing the diabetes thing for a lot longer than me. I am attending my first big event with other PWDs next week and I am excited to meet others but also afraid that it will hard to relate or find common ground aside from basic diabetes stuff. I am at the high end of the 18-30 age range, only 3 years into this journey, and married with young kids, which I feel is not going to be the norm for the people there. That is why I love the DOC and DSMA chat because almost no matter what I can find someone who is relatable.

  2. You, being in the room, makes the difference. I’m not sure I could have handled everything you handled leading up to that day. But it was important that you were there. We’re not always at our best. But if you got something from the experience that makes a difference for you or others later? Can’t put a price on that. I’m glad you were there. Hope you’re getting a little rest.

  3. Looking forward to meeting you next winter when I return to Arizona. (I know most of your MasterLab buddies.) Abby the Black Lab weighs 80 pounds but is ready to go down on her back in submission to the powerful, well-known Lancet the Pug. No sad songs and keep smiling. T1 is a pain, but life is good.

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