when today rolls around each year, i wonder what i shall do, explore how i should feel.
i sit here, on the day marking the start of my fourteenth year post diagnosis, and question…
should i feel:
thankful for the life i’ve sustained because of medication?
grateful to the scientists (banting) who made my continued life possible?
blue because an unexpected anniversary will forever be a part of my life?
aggravated at the part of my existence, needy and constant, that i cannot change?
appreciative for the gifts and skills i’ve acquired as a result of living with a chronic illness?
pleased with my own resilience since the ever-recycling adversity invited itself to my forever?
frightened to not know how many more diagnosis anniversaries i will see?
morbid because i still consider not having kids in fear of dying and leaving them motherless?
proud of the inner work i have done to build the relationship i have with my disease?
but also terrified that i haven’t gotten far enough?
indebted to the community that has taken me in, offered understanding and care?
wishful that advances in technology will lessen the burden my condition has on my life?
relived because it could be a lot worse?
loving towards the family and friends who have made it feel more okay?
happy to have met friends online who i can support and who support me?
when i sit down and break down how i feel on this day every year, i learn that one sentiment doesn’t cover the bases.
my relationship to diabetes is muddy and convoluted and complex.
‘still diabetic’ is loaded.
it’s messy and, well, that’s the way (uh huh – uh huh) i like it.
it is real.
today, of all the days of the year, i feel the most human.
today is my diaversary, and i’m happy to be here writing this blog post.
for your viewing pleasure:
What a great list of feelings. I don’t think I could pick just one; and it sucks that we even have to think about it.
I hope your d-teen years are calm…
I never knew that video existed! Happy Fourteen. Sending you a virtual thumbs-up…
Happy (and emotionally-convoluted) diaversary! We all so get what you mean. Nice post! Hope 14 brought some cake or ice cream along for the celebration.
Happy diaversary! I always try to mark my day with some kind of celebration, usually dinner out these days, as a reward for another year done (mostly) right. 🙂 This year we’ll be in Mexico though, which I think is fitting for #21. Bring on the margaritas for this of-age diabetes!
I first read this post a couple of days ago and tried to think of an answer (then the kids started calling and I became distracted). My train of thought at the time was something along the lines of “none of the above” — since you really had no control over many of the things you listed, and therefore shouldn’t feel pleased nor disappointed over the outcome. But that didn’t quite fit, especially for the last couple of feelings on the list.
But now that I’ve got time to revisit this post, I’m changing my tune, and I think that there is a fundamental flaw in the question itself.
“How should I feel?” There is no right or wrong answer to that; just like there are no right or wrong feelings. True feelings are impulsive, not rehearsed. They cross your train of thought before you have a moment to consider if the particular feeling can be justified or not. If you are aggravated or frustrated, then allow yourself to feel that way. If there is reason to be appreciative or indebted but the exact moment isn’t quite right, don’t fake it. And if you just tend to live in the moment — not thinking about what happened 14 years ago, what will happen 14 years from now, or the discovery made in the 1920s — then let your feelings revolve around the now and only the now. Nobody can possibly feel a century’s worth of events in a single moment.
Once you put your feelings through that filter, they are no longer authentic, they are twisted into what you think you *should* be feeling and what others will view as “proper”.
I don’t know which of these feelings are ones you really feel and which you just contemplated and compiled for the purpose of this blog post. But I’ll tell you this: whichever feelings you are feeling at any given moment, whether inspirational or resentful or silly or cruel, are yours and yours alone and they make you into the wonderful and unique person that you are. And because you are feeling them, they are the correct ones.
And since I’ve just used up my yearly allowance on philosophical meanderings on the very first day, I’ll pipe down now. Happy New Year!
Diaversaries really are quite the landmines. Much love to you.