Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
– Simone Weil
Photo: Marrakech, Morocco – 2013
It’s the middle of the week. I think we all might need a good laugh.
There are many things I should ‘clean out’ diabetes-wise. There are bad habits I need to break, carbs I need to count more precisely, fears I need to figure out how to deal with. There are medical bills I need to pay, doctors appointments I need to make, prescriptions I need to fill. As I’m writing this, I can feel anxiety ballooning in my chest just thinking about it all. There are about a million things I need to do, or talk about, or work on. ……..But not today. Nope.
Today I woke up and knew I couldn’t deal with anything too heavy. I’m tired and I’m homesick.
I. Need. To. Laugh.
Memes are spectacular when you need to laugh. When I feel like I’m taking diabetes-things too seriously, I just log in to Tumblr and look at t1d memes. I’ve realized Tumblr is where diabetic teenagers go to connect with each other. It’s cool to see, because when I was a (newly diagnosed) teenager with diabetes, there weren’t very many out there. Now there are so many T1D Tumblrs, and there is so much funny, creative stuff on them!
And all of the memes. So many memes. Sometimes they make me want to laugh and cry at the same time, because they are so true in the best and worst ways. So, here are just a few of them. I hope they make you laugh, too.
Here is something I am going to say right now that I will probably never (at least this candidly) say again on my blog:
Seriously, fuck it. Fuck the highs and the lows and the needles and the blood. Fuck it’s cureless-ness. Fuck the statistics that I will die 13 years earlier than I would without it. Fuck expensive medical bills. Fuck the emotional toll it takes. F u c k i t.
I mean, we’re all thinking it, at least sometimes. Somewhere in my gut, I’d say I’m thinking it always. But I don’t go around talking about it, or blogging about it, or even focusing on that in my daily life. In my own experience, it doesn’t get me anywhere. It doesn’t move me forward, it doesn’t inspire me, it doesn’t get me to the next moment, the next day, of doing what I need to do. It doesn’t get me living my life the way I want to be. The negativity is of no service to me.
Saying “fuck diabetes” doesn’t change the demands and realities of the disease. It isn’t a statistics class you can blow off to go to the beach instead. The mindset of “fuck diabetes” is harmful, because the cold truth is that you can’t fuck diabetes without fucking your health, and ultimately, your life.
These Empathy Cards have been all over the internet, and although they were created with cancer in mind, I think a lot of them are universal to the struggles of all illnesses. This one strikes me as very important:
I’m not trying to pretend like I’m all rainbows and sunshine and Live. Laugh. Love., but I do find that most of the time I feel a lot better when I focus on the hope rather than the despair. As a diabetes blogger–as part of a community of diabetes bloggers–I like to connect through hope. Over the past year since I started this blog, the DOC has been a great source of connection and inspiration to me. There is a community of hope here that helps me get through the tough moments, and it is essential to me.
Quite often, I want to tell diabetes to fuck right off. Don’t we all? Sometimes, the heaviness of this illness sinks into my brain and all I can think is, “….what the fuck? what the fuck?!”
In these moments, I take a deep breath and think of a quote by the brilliant writer, Cheryl Strayed:
“The fuck is your life. Answer it.”
(Also I’d like to apologize to my parents and grandparents and any of their friends who are reading this and appalled at how many times I said ‘Fuck.’ Also sorry I said it again just now.)