LIVING with Diabetes Contest Entry: Group 1

It’s there when my sleepy hands reach out from underneath the comforter and connect with my meter case. It’s there when my eyes close at night.

It’s there when I look at wedding dresses, imagining where I will nestle my insulin pump. It’s in my car, as I open the glove compartment to retrieve the ubiquitous bottle of glucose tabs. It’s there when I edit articles at work, or filter through press releases, or when I weed through the web. It’s there when I write, sneaking its way into blog posts and articles, attaching itself to secondary characters in my fiction.

It’s there when a friend talks about their incessant thirst or their tired eyes, or waking up in the middle of the night to pee. I raise an eyebrow and they stick out their fingertip, allowing me to “just check.”

It was there when he asked, and when I said yes.

Sometimes it makes my stomach hurt from laughing. Sometimes my face is hot with tears.

But it’s there when I look deep inside myself, at what takes my already-steely core and tempers it into something fierce. It doesn’t make me strong, but stronger. It doesn’t make me brave, but braver.

It doesn’t own me. It doesn’t make me. It doesn’t define me.

It just helps explain me.