In honor of World Diabetes Day, I would like to take a moment to celebrate the unsung heroes, the members of the diabetes community.
We are the everyday people who contend with the gargantuan yet intricate task of juggling the myriad of issues and responsibilities that come along with managing this chronic condition. Yet we rise day in and day out, and find our way onward through this life.
We encounter and must endure so much on this journey of life with diabetes, from injections and finger pokes to the exhausting symptoms of low and high blood sugars to the additional stresses of the emotional and financial costs of our care. I have come to find, however, there is considerably more than suffering along the path. There are valuable life lessons that may be gathered from our shared hardships.
The process of routinely facing and overcoming the obstacles that come along, in addition to the highs and lows, presents us opportunities to learn about the irrepressible fortitude of our human nature. Therein, we may come to realize how incredibly strong, tenacious, and resilient we truly are.
Many of us contend with the recurring fear that if we do not “do it perfectly,” then we risk diabetes-related complications. Managing the distressing thoughts that creep into our mind provides opportunities for us to practice self-awareness, self-acceptance, and patience. We may ultimately discover that perfection means doing our best, making mistakes, learning from them, and letting go of the attachment to expected results.
We cope with the worry and judgments that come with wondering if we are ever doing enough. The practice of honoring our own anxiety and sorrows presents us with opportunities to understand the universality of human suffering. This knowledge has the potential to expand our natural capacities of empathy and compassion for the sufferings of others.
None of this is to ignore nor diminish the extraordinary adversity we experience in our daily lives. There is no denying diabetes can be downright ruthless, exhausting, and relentless. Yet we, the everyday heroes of the diabetes community, continue going about having our own individual human experiences, and doing our best to make the most of our one and only precious life, in spite of the challenges.
(I know I am posting this a day late!)