I’ve recently been having a hard time accepting defeat and really struggling with what it means to admit it.
Let me explain.
Ever since I was diagnosed, I’ve made it my mission to prove people wrong, or rather, to prove to myself that I still am very capable. It happens everyday, with my academic performance, with my physical strength, with emotional wellbeing. I can’t tolerate someone taking a look at me and coming to the conclusion (she couldn’t because of T1DM).
So you’ll see me push through a hypo at spin class just because I don’t want to be set aside. I’ve taken many finals with my numbers out of whack because I don’t like asking for help. I never take a seat when there’s people standing. This one time, a colleague of mine tried to give up her seat for me, and she was pregnant! You can imagine how that went.
And for the most part it works. It’s strange but it’s one hell of a drive. I like being invincible. I appreciate independence (lucked out with IDDM, huh?) I value my strength, physically and emotionally.
Recently though I’ve come to realize how unsustainable and crazy that is. I’m trying to come to terms with the many “weaknesses” this entails. A hypo is quite disabling. Hypers make me sluggish and ketones do get me down. All of this takes an emotional toll as well. I do not like that one bit. The fact that it’s killing me to have my A1C climb up 2% after all the hard work that I put into it and most of all I don’t like the fact that I’m upset over it to begin with! I want to take numbers in good humour -though that’s a discussion for another time-, shrug and go “Well I did my best.” I hate that I’m vulnerable this way. For the longest time I didn’t want to admit this because I’m trying to prove otherwise.
Part of this is that I see many T1DMs who’ve accomplished so much despite everything and they hardly acknowledge it being a hurdle at all. I want to be strong about this like them.
I’m basically trying to set a good example but I’m only projecting the good.
I wanted to be a success story with T1DM, not a cautionary tale. I just don’t know how to do it with it dragging me down sometimes. I guess what I’m asking is, how do you reconcile your best version of life and your actual D life? When do you draw the -I can do everything- line? How do you win over defeats?