Have you ever been so drawn into an image, a song, a thought... just something that touches a piece of your heart and you recognize it? This picture speaks to me, so now I want you to intentionally look at this quote and picture.
Take your time.
I actually came across this from a post my mom shared with me, which makes it even more significant to me. The woman that made me everything I am today can still encourage me like no one else, and I am grateful. So here I share a ray of mental light with you. There are many quotes about bravery, but above all, it is absolutely getting up to face the battle that you are still recovering from.
First, the quote is just such a profound description of exactly what we do with a chronic condition. Often Type 1 diabetes is a demon we live with, wearing us down and making us compromise what we want to do for what we need to do. Energy we have intended to enjoy an adventure sometimes is spent instead to get essential tasks done while our glucose levels are shifting out of our target ranges. We may look like everyone else in that can fully function in society but the struggles we face are mostly only known to us, how we think and feel. We work so much harder than is apparent to complete as much as possible in our day.
I understand, it's frustrating to feel limited by diabetes. I've found that journaling about what I achieved and am grateful for at the end of every single day is such a fulfilling activity. It's simple, fast, and effective... can't beat that! It helps as a form of positive reinforcement when I conclude a successful day, and my night begins with a mind at ease. I highly recommend everyone conveniently keep a notebook and pen next their bed or even your toothbrush so it happens every night. In the morning, you may be off to a rough start if you've woken up overnight to check or worries kept you awake, but you shine on and start another day of deliberate self-care. You are a warrior every single waking moment, and bravery is what anchors us in a whirlwind life with our diagnosis. Bravery is just as invisible as Type 1 but equally and even more as powerful because we CHOOSE to be brave. Making conscious decisions is an exercise that shifts our mentality from feeling defeated to feeling accomplished. The more we make, the stronger the skill.
Second is the image itself. I love that the girl is smiling at something that we normally perceive as a fear. Just because something seems horrific doesn't mean that's how we have to react to it. Diabetes can absolutely be a tribulation, but the what the diagnosis entails is not necessarily what we inevitably surrender to. A vital organ no longer creates a life-sustaining hormone, and if not for modern technology, medicine, healthcare authorities, and a tribe of support, we wouldn't be here... there's no sugar-coating that. However, bravery is what drives us to give that extra effort and manage our conditions. We can look at the demon and say, "I see you and you don't scare me."
What really got to me is the little red string on the girl's finger that connects her to the demon. She is holding one end while the other is wrapped around the demon's finger, essentially tethering the two but showing her as the "master" that is the leading them. It's so subtle and I think it's perfect that she's holding the leash behind her back as she grins at the demon. She knows she is the one with power, but it isn't about proving that she's in charge. Her secret is what gives her strength, and that's her control. Bravery is knowing you are stronger than the demons you fight, but proving you can win isn't as important as proving you can fight.
Be brave, smile at your demons, and fight to exercise your strengths, not lose them.