… I’ve mulled over this post for a while. Well, almost 4 weeks – to be more precise.
Y’see, 4 weeks ago I started insulin.
And I kinda, sorta didn’t know how to tell you guys.
Cos a huge part of me felt very much like a failure. A lot. Like a failure. Actually.
– which I knew was silly; as I’d just spent 18 months accomplishing what I wanted to do: which was extend my honeymoon period for as long as possible – whilst also maintaining my health. I’d always said that if my “lifestyle” choices compromised what was best overall for my health; then I would re-evaluate… and so, with an as-low-as-I-could-go-carb diet and blood sugars sitting in double figures it was time to re-evaluate.
But despite my logical, rational brain telling me this – still I felt like a failure.
Honestly, reflecting on why, I think part of this wa/is wrapped up in the huge confusion that’s out there around type 1 and type 2 diabetes – the number of people who have commented “but you’re not overweight” or “but you’re so healthy” since I’ve mentioned that I’m a type 1 diabetic (or, as I shall henceforth refer to myself as ‘a super-pancreatically-challenged-chick’) is a bizarre thing to experience – and though it’s often, I think, intended as something of a compliment, it often, somehow, manages to morph itself inside my brain to an overall feeling that I should have tried harder – if I were slimmer, or even more healthy – perhaps I could have avoided this.
I’d let myself get caught up in the confusion – and needed to take a step back.
It’s still all settling inside my still slightly grieving brain – grief for the loss of a life without daily injections and needles – grief for my still poorly pancreas… and like anyone going through loss and the stages of grief; I’ve definitely been experiencing anger and sadness these past few weeks – but I’m also starting to adjust and move to a place of acceptance… I’m remembering to aim true.
Every choice we make is based on love or fear
And though the injections are a bit sh*t, and though I would have done almost anything to avoid starting insulin*, there are – undoubtably – upsides to this new journey…
….Such as… though I’m not about to start eating dairy and grains; because I still believe what suits me best, is a relatively low-carb diet – big salads, and nuts and plenty of good oils really suit my body – and it’s interesting to realise that, now I have more choice in what I can eat, it’s still what my body craves and does best on…. but it is however, a huge release of pressure to know my diet doesn’t now have to be 100% perfect. If I do decide to eat something “naughty”, I won’t have to spend a week trying to get my numbers back in range anymore. I can relax a little; and that release of pressure feels good.
I can eat my long missed fruits. I missed them sooooo much – and now I can (and do!) have strawberries every day. This makes me smile :-)
I can exercise. This was one of *the most* frustrating things about the last 6 months or so…. as my own ability to produce insulin reduced, it became infuriatingly impossible to do anything other than go on walks. I wrote more about why here. I’m not planning to enter any iron woman contests just yet; but its SO nice to be able to do some more “exerting” stuff – and actually see my blood sugars go down afterwards – as they should… I fully understand the importance of keeping my body as insulin sensitive as possible – so I’m embracing this new ability to be more active again. So much so that I’m writing this on the terrace of my local pool – having just been for a swim…. and that feels gooood…. :-)
(*I need to point out that the above reluctance to start insulin is not because I think insulin is the devil reincarnated; it is – ultimately – what will keep me alive – and for that I will always remember to be grateful… but my avoidance is mostly borne from the utter fear that accompanies using insulin, for me. I may or may not expand upon this in another post – but for now – lets just say that I’ve barely slept a full night through these past four weeks and my fingertips are looking more like pin cushions than ever before. Anyone who uses insulin will, I think, get what I mean…)
…. There are other ‘upsides’ to this new path: not least my big appreciation for my sweetheart – we’ve spent much of the last 4 weeks together just pottering and playing cards and having garden picnics and going for walks – and doing the most simple of life’s things: and it’s been bloody brill. Relationships are relatively easy when there’s no major incidences and all is fluffy and good; but when you catch yourself in moments of feeling happier than you can remember – admidst a time when life has thrown you some big juicy lemons – then you know you’re a pretty lucky gal.
In fact people generally have been super wonderful and super kind – from friends to family to doctors to strangers… We hear that people have lost empathy and the ability to connect and be compassionate and kind – but recent experiences tell me that – when it matters most – that’s not the case at all. Each little gesture of kindness has been felt – and helped me more than most might ever be aware. I try to remember to be sure to go back and tell them – but I also hope that karma will smile on them as a gesture of my gratitude.
… and so, all that was left, was to tell you – to “confess” – to hope you’ll not judge, not be disappointed – and cos my super-anylytical brain has been foraging for all sorts of new information to run alongside this new way of being; I hope you’ll still want to join me on this new part of an ever learning journey…
With much love, and remembering to aim true…