This is not specifically about Diabetes, but then, not everything in life has to be.
In light of the Covid-19 Quarantine...
We are all individually riding the waves of processing, learning, growing, grieving, being forced to adapt and draw on any creative problem-solving skills we never realized we had.
And it is exhausting.
I'd assumed that with less driving, less activities, less stimulation, I should be celebrating with my fellow introverts for a time of Quiet. A moment of Still.
...so where is it?
People have talked about how quarantining and social distancing have been a true challenge for extroverts. My heart goes out to them; I have many extroverted friends and I can only imagine the stress you feel not being able to decompress with in-person events. I hope you find others that are safely able to provide company and enrichment so you can feel that energy in your soul again.
But as an introvert, I can promise you, this is not our time to shine either. I believe it's important for everyone to understand a little more about one another in this circumstance. Compassion will drive us all forward to whatever the future holds because we are in this together now and will be for the long-run.
Isolation does not mean recharging, there is a huge difference.
Maybe you're more tired than you've been, or you don't understand how people can be baking bread and learning languages while you call it a win to drink your coffee while it's still warm... Or if you're confused why your friend has more time and still less energy to share on Zoom chats...
I invite you to reflect with me.
First of all, thank you for being so considerate and caring for others' needs. Everyone is on different paths or sharing a path at difference paces, and I've seen extraordinary support coming out of this shared experience.
Next, please don't compare your experience to anyone else's. This is not the time to set expectations, instead embrace the expectancy that things will change and you will be able to manage the situation.
You are doing an amazing amount of work to just be you right now, nothing changes that fact. Some people are thriving as leaders or making a huge impact on the pandemic, and that is their right. It is enough to just take care of yourself and do no harm to others, that's everyone's right.
I've felt that most remote socializing is one of the most taxing exercises I've encountered. And now the line between work and personal socializing is getting thinner. In either case, there is NO social buffer, there is no comfortable break in conversation, there are no other sources of energy fueling the conversation, no outlet for release. And for empathetic people like me, there's no energy to reflect! I can still grasp how someone is feeling, but through a screen I don't get to experience that joy or spark. I get to "plug in" to my friends when I visit them and while communication leads to nap-time, the connection I share with them is literally electrifying at the time. It takes so much more effort to convey and derive an organic chemistry with less return in virtual communication. I am so grateful for the time I still get to spend with others, I'm just sharing perspective. It may seem like there's little investment in a Zoom chat, but sometimes it's more than I can handle at the moment. Please keep reaching out and inviting people.
There are so many external factors that introverts are trying to understand, to observe and process, to compromise around. We are watching social dynamics develop that no one was prepared for and still trying to navigate the fine line between what we can control and what we can't. We are sitting with uncertainty, with friends and family experiencing fear, with economic implications no one can predict, and all despite a constant barrage of media input from whoever happens to be the loudest.
There's just so much input. Whether it is a benefit or a hardship, it still requires energy to acknowledge.
When I say the amount of support and flood of well-intended guidance is "overwhelming".... I mean that. Should I buy this for protection? Should I take this course to be productive? Should I try this new program to keep in touch with people better?? How can I best care for my community? How can I replace my personal communication and intimate connections with virtual supplementation??
Especially for introverted empaths, the world we are in is draining almost every moment we exist in it. My dreams are full of worries, my thoughts and emotions are scattering to different places with every update, and my heart literally aches with all the fear and sadness I see others battling. My job has turned from dog-trainer to social worker, BEING with people in their pain and just holding it with them.
Even if you don't think we can sense your emotional and mental hurt.... we can. I promise.
And you need to know it is NOT a burden.
I want to walk YOUR path with you. And if we have to stop to just let this suffering happen because you can't fight it off, that's ok. Rest and find the strength to keep moving.
I won't let you stay in the dark, but I will never shame you for just letting it BE for a moment. Toxic positivity comes with mostly good intentions, but it's alright to identify what you feel and not push it away just because it's not ideal.
It will get better, I firmly stand by that. But we have to recognize it may get worse first, there may not be a silver lining sometimes, but I hope you're able to release your self-sabotaging expectations. There are people offering help, ways to adapt, accessible self-care resources, and valid information to keep you as safe as possible... all for when YOU are ready.
Be understanding of others, be kind to yourself, and get to know You. The more you identify with who you are, the less you'll be negatively influenced. The character that resonates in your soul are exceptional. What you are capable of is your glory to celebrate. Please don't lose sight of that.
There is a shared strength and quiet power flowing through our community; whether you take from it or contribute to it is Right for You.
As you deserve to be reminded: you are loved, and I am here with you.
When you're a diabass, a divabetic, a type 1 warrior, it can be isolating because not only is it impossible for most people to comprehend what you deal with... but you also hit a level of maturity it takes others a lifetime to achieve. We understand and cope with so much because we HAVE to, diabetes is a teacher for those affected to adapt to a life with endless challenges. But if you're reading this, you've overcome obstacles and are here to embrace another day. I often find it a bit of a hurdle, beyond my personal relationship with Type 1, to connect with others if they haven't experienced a hardship or a challenge which forced them to alter their existence. Not that I wish a trauma on anyone, but you definitely connect empathetically with others and reach a level of understanding that not everyone has faced. THEN you try entering the dating scene with a chronic illness and it turns into the most distressing, self-conscious experience imaginable. It seemed impossible to find any potential once a guy found out I had diabetes because it was extra baggage, it was a risk, it was NEW... unfamiliar. And people are scared of what they don't know. I scared men off for a long time and was pretty done with the rejection until... along came a Brazilian.
We started messaging briefly and one of the first conversations brought up that his primary language was not English. He apologized for his grammatical error and said that he understood if I didn't want to talk anymore. I was in complete shock, I couldn't justify how english as a second language would affect my attraction to him, but apparently he had encountered other girls that felt differently. Here is a man from another country, another culture, learning a new language... I was beyond impressed. Knowing that someone was putting in more effort than most to belong to our community was truly encouraging to me, and we started dating. When it came to ME, I was still terrified of his reaction to learning I have type 1 diabetes. Whether you make a friend, go on a date, apply for a job, it's a stigma that not everyone is looking to accept so I tend to be nervous about how people will respond. He was accepting and wanted to know more, so as we got to know each other, I shared more. Honestly, I just waited for that one day that he'd say "NOPE, too much, I'm out." But it never came, instead he offered help and support. I realized that as much Brazilian culture and Portguese as I had to learn to be more familiar with who he is, he was willing to take all the differences I had to offer (and "differences" is quite the euphamism)as a part of who I was.
It is TERRIFYING to introduce type 1 as a part of your life. There are always people who react negatively, and that discourages us from doing it again, or being anxious for when is happens. I am very open (obviously) about my life and what it entails but when you care about someone, you fear that this battle is something they're not ready to fight with you. You don't want to be a burden, you don't want to feel inferior or broken, but it happens. The most important thing is focusing on surrounding yourself with support. This is such a wonderful chance to bond with people leading a life that may not look like "the norm" but what we go through and rise above creates a chance for greater understanding. I never thought I'd meet someone that would hear my pump alarm and ask what I needed, that would sit with me while I recovered from a low, that would listen to a rant about insurance nightmares. But I finally realized what it's like to see someone who has their own stigmas and has been dismissed for their differences but really, it's what makes them a more valuable individual. Connect more, share freely, and love yourself. You're amazing and nothing will ever change that.
noun be·lief \ bə-ˈlēf \
1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2: something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion : something believed
I've recently become fascinated by how the universe is influenced by energy, and how we can harness our own energy to create our present and future. The universe, our existence in the bigger picture, is always listening and it is up to us to speak up. Thoughts become things, and the most powerful thoughts we have are our beliefs.
The universe gave me a life that involved a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in 2002, and whatever I knew of life at that moment changed suddenly. What's more, everything that people knew of me changed. I had always been "Sarah, the quiet smart kid that did musical theater and was nice but not really popular" but became "Sarah, the girl with diabetes". No one really knew what that entailed, but they knew they'd heard of diabetes with their grandma or their cat or their neighbor missing a foot... yada yada all that good stuff. For years, I felt suppressed by a label and while it is what's shaped me, it's not what I've become.
Every part of my life has been affected by my relationship with diabetes EXCEPT! except for... what I know to be true about a number of aspects. It's been incredible to examine my belief system, thanks to a prompt from the Diabetes Dominator herself Daniele Hargenrader, and see that with OR without diabetes, my core beliefs and values do not change.
How. amazing. is. that??
No matter what turmoil that my medical condition has caused, I reflected on my beliefs and realized they are a part of me far before my autoimmune defect over 16 years ago.
I'd like to share the pillars of belief on which I stand, no matter what I live with or through. These are what I feel are the strongest truths in my heart recognized in my mind.
Thank you for your time to be a part of my personal reflections and I hope that you will think about your beliefs. What do you know?
If you have questions or want to share, I'm here to listen and support.
Yours in health and happiness.
What on earth could one of the greatest musicians have in common with one of the worst chronic illnesses? Simply put, much more than you can imagine, so I'll do my best to explain my ceaseless admiration for this man.
...And story to another of my tattoos.
I'll focus on the background only, the 2 billowing gusts of wind. This is my personal tribute to Billy Joel and how his words influenced my life. His song You're Only Human (Second Wind) inspired the design, which was based on his personal experience with a dark time in his life and his following recovery. The words are powerful and motivating; we all make mistakes and the beautiful fact remains that it's ok, things will get better and we can make things right. Nothing is truly over, or so bad that we can't find good in our life again. I'm my own harshest critic and this is my reminder that everything I do and encounter is a learning opportunity. Living with Type 1 is full of chances to get overwhelmed by everything WRONG, what we do or what our health is like, despite our best efforts to make everything as good as possible. We will face challenges on our journey, but we hold on and catch our second wind to push forward. His talent and raw passion for life seems indescribable, yet he manages to convey it through music.
"Too bad, but it's the life you lead,