My mind is going in so many different directions right now. I’m in the middle of some amazing projects, and we’re living life full time while the darkness that clouded my summer has lifted … I don’t know where to start.
It’s so worth it to duck your head in the middle of the weakness and fight like hell. I wanted to give up on a number of things this summer, everything felt overwhelming. The looming indecision and all the unknowns, and on top of that, dealing with new health concerns and equipment. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, metaphorically, we have so much more work to do on my book and sifting through emotional baggage and literal baggage – but every day feels simpler than the last.
So much emotional clutter has been lifted.
This summer I started an insulin pump as part of my (type 1) diabetic care plan. This decision was mine, it’s something I researched last year and ultimately wasn’t able to move forward with. But for various reasons this summer I went ahead with it.
However, the day of my install appointment when I arrived at the Hospital, I started sobbing. I was late to my appointment even though I was early to arrive. I couldn’t get control of myself to walk in.
Good news is I made it through the appointment, and in the months that followed, although I couldn’t talk about it without crying, and very few people knew what I was going through, I did get better results with my blood sugar control. I gained confidence, support, and another stripe on my “Jodi can do this” list.
A few weeks ago I was still struggling with this change. There’s a medical device hooked up to me at all times. A part of the identity I was used to was replaced with a new one I haven’t known how to own yet. I branded myself as sick and broken and I tried to crawl my way out of that existence every day, unsuccessfully. Plenty of people with type 1 diabetes live healthy, vibrant lives. They’re athletes, mothers, fathers, and they live long enough to have grandchildren. This can be true for me, also.
A seismic change occurred for me when I opened up about how I was struggling in an online support group. Another member said “Some people don’t make enough serotonin, so they provide it. What if you could look at this through that lens? Your body doesn’t make enough insulin, so you’re providing it. That’s all! You are not broken.”
I am not broken.
I am not broken.
This might seem easy to you, from the outside I can even see how this perspective is attainable and something to grasp for.
The problem isn’t in the symptoms for me. It’s the fact that before I was even diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I felt broken in so many other ways. Why wouldn’t it manifest itself into something physical, chronic and potentially debilitating.
It just became the name for the rest of the pieces of me I couldn’t put back together. And hooking myself up to a pump with tubing that I have to constantly be aware of, sleep with, and an infusion site on my person at all times- was as if I was walking myself to my funeral without telling anyone I had picked the date to die.
I can’t type that without crying.
It was game over for me.
But you guys, I’m still here. I’m not broken. (!!!!!) I can’t tell you how long it’s taken me to believe but how instantaneous it sunk in and changed everything when I finally did.
I had a plan for my life, like most of us do, and not one thing has gone according to plan. It’s always changing. And when we finally let go of our plans, we might also finally grasp just how wide open this life can be.
Things feel light these days. Open, happy, simple. Not without overwhelm or struggle. Definitely not without reality. Just, free.
We can do hard things. We can climb the mountain of disappointment or dreams that have died – and when we reach the summit – may our breath be taken away by the view. Something so completely different than we could have ever imagined.
The place of next steps. One at a time.
We can keep going.