Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Wrote the Gospel on Giving Up

I hate Fallout Boy, so forgive me this one time for quoting them. I always use a song lyric on the title of my blogs, and unfortunately this one was the most appropriate.

Years ago, when some days feel like yesterday, I wanted to give up on my life. It was a hard one. People would tell me, "some have it so much worse than you! Be thankful for what you have!" (Which is horrible advice to give to any one struggling, by the way.) But I struggled ALL THE DAMN TIME. It was hard to believe I could make it out alive. Luckily, even when my mental health didn't stick in there, my body did.

Tonight, I hosted DSMA on Twitter. And it was incredible. I wanted to focus on things that reflected National Suicide Prevention Week, that took place just last week. But, I didn't want to be bleak. I feel like some have talked about mental health and diabetes for years, but MANY have been discussing it as a problem as of late. Thanks to my attendance to MasterLab this past July, I realized I wasn't alone. And, I wanted to highlight to others that they weren't either.

You see, for many years, even before my 2011 LADA diagnosis, I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. While, at many attempts at my life, and many people telling me it wasn't worth it, I just couldn't take the depression. I cannot say that diabetes has made life easier. It hasn't. It affects my wallet, my emotions, and my every day struggles with diet and exercise. I know I have privileges where many do not. I recognize I have had some things come relatively easy for me. Mental health and diabetes has not been some of them. I don't regret most things. I think I've got a pretty good reality on what is going on in my life, TODAY. But there are some days, where I wonder. I wonder what I could do better. What I should be doing. What I can do tomorrow. That's the difficult part.

But, here's the deal. Diabetes threatened my ego. The depression and agoraphobia I had leading up to my diagnosis told me "You cannot do this. You SHOULD give up." For whatever reason, it made me stronger. Maybe I needed a kick in the pants. Maybe, I needed a doctor to look at me and say, "Do this or DIE."  Maybe I needed something to focus on, other than my mental health. Maybe I needed to be panicked about making car payments, rent payments, AND taking care of my physical and mental health. Whatever it was, Diabetes helped me kick my life into gear.

I started working out and making better choices about what I eat. (I'm not saying I don't indulge. I do. But now it's not every meal because, if it was, it would cost me a fortune.) I started looking at myself and realizing I really could make a difference to the lives I touched. I made friends that I would never know without diabetes. I began to advocate for something SO much bigger than me. I began to love my life and knowing that, if I didn't, no one else would.

That was the point I tried to make at DSMA tonight.

Maybe, I didn't get it across. Maybe I did.

All I know is that I learned so much from so many people. I pray I helped them, too.

A few years ago, I realized that I have so many supporters in my life. They come in all different lights. Some have no health problems. Some have diabetes. Some have so much more than that. Some have cried on my shoulder. Many, have let me cried on theirs. I'm lucky to have the people in my life. I'm lucky to have the support I have.

I want to extend that to the people who need it.

We can lean on each other. When you are falling, I want to catch you. When you are crying, I want to reach out and tell you I am here. When you are burning out, I want to put out your fire.

A very important supportive person in my life told me just recently: "I don't do these things because I feel obligated. I don't. I do these things because I know I can. And I know that, when you can, you will."

I've faced the rough patches. And I could again. But, for now, I am strong. And I am so happy to know all of you. Thanks for making my first moderation of DSMA amazing.

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