I have come a long way in the last 12 years. Living with Type 1 Diabetes hasn't been easy, but living with it has made me, and, for this, I am grateful. (Mind you, I write this after having experienced the worst period of diabetes burnout in years.)
Yes... diabetes has defined me - although it is not the only thing that has. There's no escaping this. Type 1 Diabetes was thrown upon me and it has undoubtedly left its mark. I have finally come to acknowledge this once-discomforting thought. What I once saw as a terrifying prospect (the idea that diabetes has the power to define me) has now become an opportunity to reflect.
Having pondered how type 1 diabetes has influenced my character, here's what I've come up with:
* it has given me a sense of my mortality from a young age;
* it has given me a sense of gratitude;
* it has given me a sense of mission;
* it has increased my compassion for others, especially those living with other invisible conditions or chronic illnesses;
* it has forced me to delve deep within myself, rather than flee from my deepest fears.
All of these things are an integral part of the person I am today. If I hadn't been diagnosed, I doubt that I would've been the same person. It is this conclusion that has allowed me to accept my diabetes as an important part of who I am.
I'd like to conclude by asking you some questions (it's up to you whether or not you respond): How has diabetes influenced you? Has it influenced you for better or for worse? If you hadn't been diagnosed, how might your life story have turned out?
NOTE: If you want to read from me, you can read my main blog here: http://t1dme.wordpress.com/