Today is 23 years with diabetes. 23 years on the 23rd of December. My golden diaversary.
Despite the fact diabetes has brought me many opportunities I would never have had otherwise, I'm still not necessarily a fan of living with it. Let's be honest, there are very few people who will tell you, "I LOVE having diabetes!"
Recently, I was perusing through the book The Joy of Diabetes by Bob Hawkinson and came across the Serenity Prayer. Having been through treatment and AA classes, I am not unfamiliar with this. I know the prayer very well. In his book, Bob delves a little deeper into how the prayer applies to living with diabetes.
Accept the things I cannot change. I have diabetes. I cannot change this. I have to accept this. Though I've lived with diabetes for 23 years now, it was like the book slapped me right across the face. I've lived with diabetes for 23 years, but I've never accepted diabetes for 23 years. I've fought back against it in a power struggle. Until there's a cure, I can't conquer diabetes. I have to accept it as part of me - and live with it.
How has it taken me this long to realize this? Good Lord, I'm a diabetes educator. How have I been walking through life as a type 1 diabetic with my eyes closed pretending everything is fine and eventually it will all go away? Now that my eyes are opened, it's a whole new world out there. A bit more frightening but one with a little more control on my side.
Life with diabetes is a journey, not a destination. I was running towards that point where I could raise my fists and say "I did it. I'm here. I finished." But there is no point like that. I am on a long walk - there's no race to win. Rather than running through the forest, darting behind trees and hiding beside rocks, I'm going down that road with diabetes hand in hand. Not necessarily as friends, but as two people who have a long way to go together.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference." ~Reinhold Niebuhr.
**As an aside, every December I find myself singing this song to myself. This December I truly believe - maybe this year will be better than the last.