10 years later, I admit it…I am a diabetic. It has taken me a solid decade to embrace this truth. And if you’re a rational person such as myself, that may at first sound a little ridiculous. But if you stop to consider something about yourself that you wish weren’t so, you’ll better understand why I have struggled with this admission for so long.
First, I’m a young woman, and I just don’t want to be sick. I’m an accomplished, happy, evolved woman. A loving friend. A motivational speaker. A compassionate mother. I have gifts and talents and beautiful relationships. I am described as a “glass half full” kinda gal, so I have a hard time reconciling my identity with someone who has a chronic illness.
Second, my diabetes began with two cases of gestational diabetes (a condition in which your body is in a diabetic state only when you are pregnant). So my first experience with being diabetic was that the condition was simply temporary. After the birth of my first daughter, the diabetes went away. After the second, it didn’t. And I have been waiting for it to simply go away ever since.
Third, I had not, in the past, been blessed with caring, insightful or patient endocrinologists…it seemed everyone I met had a different theory about my diabetes. Type 1 or Type 2? Not sure, because I exhibited symptoms of both. Some even said I had “Type 1.5.” This lack of medical clarity only enforced my belief that this was a complete misdiagnosis that would eventually be revealed. “We’re so sorry,” they would say. “No worries,” I’d respond, secure in the knowledge that I’d been right all along.
Finally, a friend with a strong spiritual perspective and equally strong good intentions told me that I didn’t have to be diabetic if I spiritually chose something healthier to believe. If thought creates, then at some level I was choosing to be diabetic. OK, I can think something else. I can think the opposite.
But, if I were being truthful with myself, I could have taken a different approach; an approach I take now:
1) Yes, I am young and optimistic – two great assets that will better empower me to get healthy.
2) Yes, it started out as a temporary condition, but then morphed into a permanent one which requires treatment and focus.
3) Yes, my initial doctors weren’t a good fit. So I kept looking til I found one who is.
4) Yes, I can approach the issue from a spiritual perspective. I can envision my body as healthy and strong, which will serve to reduce my stress and maintain a mindset of wellness in my daily habits. Taking it a spiritual step further, it is entirely possible that I came in with diabetes for a spiritual purpose.
The lies we tell ourselves only serve to keep us stuck. Solving a problem requires the courage to admit that one exists in the first place, so in order to get healthy in any way (physically, financially, emotionally, etc.) we must first stop lying to ourselves and admit that there is an unhealthy pattern that will harm our current and future wellness if it continues to go unchecked.
For me, it’s diabetes. Maybe for you it’s the nightly glass of wine that’s now morphed into the nightly bottle. Perhaps your credit card debt is too scary to look at, so you shove the statements in a shoebox. Or, maybe you tolerate a spouse who verbally abuses you for sport.
We all have one illness or another. Drag it out into the light, and give it a name. Only then can you begin to treat the condition.