I Want To Be Normal--Whatever That Is......

Hey Ya'll,
I've been staying away from TuDiabetes for the last 3 or 4 weeks. You see, I've sort of been on a binge, and I feel like a hypocrite. I was the one trying to encourage everyone and suddenly I found myself standing on the edge of the precipice wondering if maybe I should just step off. Not like suicide, you know, but like doing all the things I fight so hard not to do on a daily basis--which for a diabetic is really a slower form of suicide. I've just been tired of fighting. I want to do what I want to do. And then I find myself on my pity pot with a bad case of the "Why Can't I Just Be Normal's?"
I know not all diabetics are like I am. Many of you don't struggle with sweets like I do. Many of you do. I am sometimes reluctant to talk about it, because there are a few here who stand in judgment of those who seem unable to control their baser passions. Some folks condemn me because I am a Type 2 diabetic, and what that says to many people who are not educated is that I brought this disease on myself. Never mind that my Grandmother had it, and my Mother had it, and her sister had it, and my little sister has it.
Having said that, I do take responsibility for the things I have done. I haven't always taken as good a care of myself as I should have. I have given in to that voice in my head too many times that says "It's ok, this time won't hurt." And then I hate myself afterwards, because I didn't have the intestinal fortitude to just say "No!" I used to hate Nancy Ragan for coining that phrase. "Just say no." I'm the one who grew up drinking and smoking dope. At the age of 18 I was sticking needles in my arms--not because I was diabetic--I was strung out on Crystal Meth. I went through treatment 7 times over 11 years for alcohol and drug abuse. And then I finally lost everything I had. Wife, children, job, house, all gone and the next step for me was a federal pen. Jails, institutions, and death, oh my! It was in a Chaplain's office in that penitentiary that I finally came to grips with the God of my understanding. When I left that place, I left the alcohol and drugs behind. And at some point I realized that all the "bad" things I gave up? I just replaced them with Blue Bell Ice Cream, Candy, Pies, and all manner of sugary sweets. What I discovered is that it was easier to give up the alcohol and drugs than it was to give up the sweets. You can abstain from drugs, but you can't abstain from food. Some of you would say that's a cop out, but you haven't been where I've been. I wonder what it's like to go through life and never crave sweets like I do.
I am a pastor, which makes it worse, because the world has conditioned most people to think that preachers have it all together. But I am only a man whom God called. I still have my thorn in the flesh. I still have my own struggles, and it's not always just a matter of simply saying yes or no. I weighed a 125 pounds when I got clean, and several years later I quit smoking and within a year I gained 50 lbs. At some point the sweet tooth began to creep in, and I really didn't think a whole lot about it for a long time. And I put on more weight, and the rest is history. At times I despise myself, because I can't seem to get where I want to be, and I envy those of you who don't seem to have the struggles I do. And I think about quitting mnistry, because I can't seem to gain the victory over the very thing that brings me down. I'm the one who encourages the folks in my church, as I have tried to do here. I started two different groups here to try and help people who just need someone to understand, someone to listen, someone who cares. And then I come crashing down, and I wonder who I think I am to pretend to even know how to help someone else when I obviously can't even help myself. My Pancreas no longer produces insulin, and a part of me thinks I helped bring that on, because I couldn't control my diet. One Dr. told me I burned my Pancreas out. He's probably right. But at this point it is what it is.
I don't mean to sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself, but I suppose I do, and I absolutely hate that. I'd rather get punched in the eye than to feel sorry for myself. The truth is, mentally, psychologically, and emotionally, I am where I am right now, and I know this too shall pass. But until then, I have to ride this out. I just needed to sound off. TuDiabetes is my home page, and every time I booted my pc up, I would click on another link because I didn't want to see all your successes when I feel like such a failure.
Please don't bash me--if you don't know where I'm coming from just try to understand. I came from a very dark place a long time ago, and God reached down and rescued me from the human garbage heap, and from time to time that old stuff comes creeping back in. How God could ever use a one such as I is beyond me. I'm thinking maybe I need to be in the nut house, instead of preaching the gospel.
But I'm certain God is not finished with me yet. I do love you guys, and if you are a praying person I covet your prayers.
Peace to All,
Bobby

Views: 8

Tags: 2, Diabetes, Diet, God, Prayer, Sweets, Type, normal

Comment by Laura on February 26, 2009 at 11:18pm
Hi Bobby, When I feel like you I remember Paul and the thorn in his side. Even with the thorn God loved him and so does He love you so Be loved I pray that God be with you
Comment by Terrie on February 27, 2009 at 1:42am
Hello Bobby: :)

I'm Sad that you are going through this personal turmoil. It sounds like you are battling the dark one. He will not win if you believe in yourself, the Good of man and the Father upstairs that you work for.
These are worthy of your efforts.

We have ALL done wrong and more than once, whether it be to ourselves, to our Neighbour or to our God. He is not surprised by our mistakes but he is hopeful that we all learn by our own mistakes and others, in order for us to take the Right path. We can never compare ourselves to Him or do as perfectly as He does since is the only Perfect Being. He would prefer that we not kill ourselves with sweets though. Even so, he knows it is hard to master that one. All we can do is try our Best with all of our struggles. He is Well aware of when we try. You did yourself and People around you a Big service by quitting drugs and alcohol. Those are Hugh victories, You're Amazing!!

It took me 26 tries before I finally quit smoking for Good. My Hubby, 21 times. We were coaxed into starting smoking by our Best Friends when we were 12 and 13 years old. (Actually, we most likely wouldn't have got to know each other when we were 17, if we hadn't smoked). So they did us a favour, in a way.

Give yourself some slack. Chances are you probably would have been diagnosed a bit later anyways since Diabetes is in your Family. If you still feel that being a Pastor is your calling then confess to your congregation if you need to, if you haven't already. Then forgive yourself. You can start with a clean slate and and have a bit less weight on your shoulders.

Life is tough and so is Diabetes as you know. You're still a Newbie with this disease. I don't wonder that you are going through this. It's Normal!! It's a long, off and on struggle for most Diabetics but they don't have to deal with a Parish thinking that they are perfect like you do......just their Kids. :D

Guess what? You are Normal. You have 10 fingers and 10 toes. You can see, smell, hear, taste, touch. You can understand and learn. You were born with a sweet tooth and like sweets. You can praise God. You can Smile and brighten someone's heart. ;o) I like your rainbow. It made me feel Good. Thank you! You are in my prayers.
Comment by Bobby on February 27, 2009 at 3:16am
Hello Terrie,
I don't have a doubt that God called me to pastoral ministry, it's just not a bowl of cherries like maybe some people would envision it to be. If you do it with your heart, it is very rewarding, but it is also very stressful. It is not that I have done the kind of things that need to be confessed to my congregation, it is just the feeling of failure that I cannot get a grip on my sweet tooth. That is my personal struggle. As Laura said above, the Apostle Paul prayed three times that God remove his thorn in the flesh, and God replied only by saying "My grace is sufficient for you." And maybe that's what the answer is for me and my sweet tooth. I have been a Christian for a long time and I have learned to overcome many things, but this one thing, I have not mastered, and sometimes I despise myself for it. I have brief periods of success, and invariably I fall again, flat on my face, and it just seems to be a vicious cycle. You see, I want to win the battle. I want to get back to my normal weight. I want to be healthy. I'm not even asking to be cured of Diabetes. I just want to be normal--with Diabetes--whatever that is.....
Comment by Laura on February 27, 2009 at 7:45am
Another thing I thought of is your despise of yourself for it may be more of an issue then the issue itself. Every single one of us has an issue or 2 or 3 or 4 or 100 they are trying to work through, get past, get over or whatever. But when one and I know this from personal experience despises, hates, whichever word you want to use to loath oneself then the focus is on them, me or you and it becomes very myopic. It makes it hard to see anything else and makes the issue big. You end up swimming in it and the vicious cycles repeats.

If you can turn your focus out away from you believe that God already knew you would be right where you are right now and therefor He must have a solution although it may not be the solution you want. What if this struggle you have keeps you from pride? What if this struggle you have allows compassion for others going through the same thing? There may be reasons and there may not be but I know if your looking at your issue that is all you can see.

I have dealt with self loathing for years so I am almost an expert in it's narcissism. I have a saying I say to myself when I get on the cycle of thought "I am so brave with my exclamation of change the night before I fall on my own sword" :P We are such silly humans sometimes
Be loved because you are just like you are
Comment by debb on February 27, 2009 at 8:08am
bobby
your battle is our battle. we don't stand in judgment because we know just how hard it is. as a pastor, it helps you to help your congregation because you know through your own struggles that life is not perfect.
i'm not very religious but the one thing i was taught was that Jesus wasn't perfect. he had to go through his own struggles and doubts to help him understand and to show us that it's ok to have set backs as long as we learn to have compassion and understanding for those who struggle along side of us. we learn that no one can be perfect. your human and if i went to church i would rather prefer a pastor who shows that he is also someone who is imperfect. it would make them easier to approach. your struggles make you the compassionate caring person that you are. if you were to start thinking that you have to be perfect you will lose that thing that makes you what your parish needs.
i have been struggling to lose weight for years upon years. the one i blamed for my weight (to a minor extent) is gone now and yet i still can't lose the weight. all the stress that contributed to the gained weight is gone so why am i still overweight? why can't i leave the things i know are bad for me alone. (which is just about everything) you hit the nail on the head when you say it's harder to get rid of a food addiction because we still need to eat. the food is right there on our plates. my bailiwick is cakes, doughnuts, and bread. now i can control most of the cakes and doughnuts but when bread is 90% of all households how do you have the will power to stay away from it. i have a jar of candy corn on my microwave. because i don't like it i don't touch it. it's there for when the grandchildren deserve a treat. but if it were a peanut butter cup it would have been gone a long time ago. i haven't been in as dark a place as you have, but i have been fighting food for years, i can't say i feel a fraud for not being able to lose weight and giving advise, because maybe if i can't help myself at least maybe i can help someone else. we all know the drill, we know what we should be eating, who better to give advise then us. every pound i lose is a struggle, i may slip and gain two back but i will never give up. it might look like it to others but i see what i would like to look like in my dreams and if it takes me a lifetime to get there then it will take me that long.
your not a failure bobby, your just recharging your batteries. do you mind if i recharge mine alone with you? as jesus stood tall against his tormentors so shall we stand tall and fight our food demons. he showed us that even if we lose on some days as long as we continue to fight we are the winners.
as i said i'm not very religious and i probably have that totally back-asswards but i believe in a loving caring god and i know that he wants the best for us. we just have to figure it out for ourselves on how to do it. i also believe that he won't strike us down if we falter. we are of course only human. i'm not ahead or behind you in this particular fight. i am right beside you, when you falter i'm here to help pick you up and vice versa. we can win the fight. it won't happen in a day or a week, but we will win it. how can we not when we have such supportive friends to cheer us on?
Comment by Marie B on February 27, 2009 at 9:07am
It's funny, Bobby, I've been thinking about you lately and have been meaning to stop over and say hi. I guess I've been humming "Daniel Prayed" and that always makes me think of you. I find that there is so much love and understanding here at TuDiabetes, it kinda drowns out the ones who say," it's so easy, just say no, do what I do, blah blah". I tell lots of people here that we're here for you, no matter what, and that there is no blame or shame here. I'm sure you're an excellent pastor. No one (except Jesus) who has walked on this earth is perfect. Here's a big HUG for you!
Comment by Jonathan on February 27, 2009 at 10:49am
Hey, Bobby: Just think about all that you HAVE ACHIEVED and CONQUERED. You kicked the drugs, alcohol and other stuff that was sending your life down hill, and found a way out of the hole. Is there anyone on this board that can do everything perfectly all the time, or even most of the time? We all have our temptations and our weaknesses, and, in my view, at least, recognizing them is part of getting better. Right now, there is a big plate of cookies and brownies sitting about 30 feet away from me -- leftovers from someone's lunch. They are calling out, begging me to come to them. I know I'm going to give in. It's only a matter of time, because I know that I always do. Consciously or subconsciously, it is a choice we make. As long as you can see what you are doing, you can find the way out of the hole. You've done it before. You will do it again. Reading about the things you have accomplished is inspiring.
Comment by MomsL8 on February 27, 2009 at 12:11pm
Bobby: I so understand how you feel. You know this already, but God doesn't give you anymore than you can handle (even if we wonder about that). You know God has a purpose and a mission for you. Look how far you've come - you may never imagine that maybe someday you will be an inspiration to someone who needs help to the path you've taken. And you will know that you've done good.

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