How would you feel about being attached to a machine every day of your life? I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately in regards to getting an insulin pump. After being a diabetic for over a year, I finally made the decision to go on one. I’ve been talking to a rep from OmniPod for over 2 months and tomorrow my pump should be arriving in the mail. I don’t personally know anyone who has used the OmniPod but I know other diabetics who have different pumps and I unanimously hear that pumps are 100 times better than doing shots. I’m ready to be done with shots too so all those positive reviews were encouraging to me.
As my mind raced in regards to my pump, a past conversation that stirred in me some negative emotion popped into my head. I was hanging out with a good friend and her fiancé telling them about the pump and the reaction I got from them was less than supportive. I’m sure they did not intent to come across this way, but when I told them about the whole pump concept; basically being attached to a machine at all times, they gave me strange looks as though I was crazy. Her fiancé even said something along of lines of a pump being awkward in a marriage. I was so discouraged and upset by their looks and comments that I had to leave the room. Although they have seen me through my entire journey with diabetes, they have no idea first-hand what it’s like to give myself injections multiple times a day and watch what I eat very carefully. They were, for once, not supporting me but, instead, making me feel like I was strange. Because of that one conversation, I put off getting a pump for a couple more months because I was scared that they wouldn’t be the only ones to think my pump was weird. (For the record, we patched things up and are closer now than ever.)
It’s true what they say though: one negative comment needs three positive comments to offset the negative effect (I think it takes much, much more than three sometimes). I had way more positive comments and feedback about going on a pump; not just from those using one, but also from other friends’ opinions and from spouses of pump users. For some reason, I filtered out all those positive comments with the one negative response. That challenged me to think about all the other times in my life when I’ve filtered out positive aspects because of one or two negative things. Like, how many times have I thought that I’m a horrible roommate because I’ve had a couple of unfortunate living situations? My mind totally blows past the fact that I’ve had more great roommates than bad ones and that I’m not the actually one that is hard to live with. How often do I think that I’m not an attractive, young woman because no guys are asking me out? The truth is that I am attractive and guys are asking me out, just not the guys that I’m attracted to in return. The fact that I’m not attracted to them pulls me back to thinking the negative belief about myself or the situation when it’s far from the truth.
The moral of the story is: don’t let the one negative piece be that voice that speaks louder than the truth. It is way to easy to filter out the true with what is not true and unfortunately, the true is harder to find. Think about it in comparison to the little screen filter inside the sink faucet: it’s supposed to keep the pure water (the stuff we put in us to sustain us and give us life) from getting polluted by the little rocks (the nasty things that we should keep out of the water). But if you don’t clean it out on occasion, the rocks build up and all the pure water can no longer get through. Our mental and emotional filters should be separating the negatives out and keeping them from coming through, not blocking the truth from giving us life. I had to clean out my filter and in doing so, took a step and ordered an insulin pump. I’m going to let the mobility and freedom it brings to my life to encourage and motivate me instead of letting them be filtered out.