It’s funny. I used to think of myself as an elloquent debater and an artisan of ligual acrobatics. Now, I struggle when people, in passing, ask me how I am.
I was recently diagnosed as with diabetes mellitus or commonly known as type one (for all you diabetics out there). The months that have followed have been nothing less than emotionally exhausting. Not only on me but everyone that surrounds me. Keeping that stiff upper lip and poised exterior has been difficult to say the least. I’ve broken down so many times. Depression gets the best of me at the worst of times. I’d like to say that I’ve come to terms ultimately with my diagnosis. But I know that it’s far too early in the game to claim any sort victory, big or small.
I wish I could legitmately point blame. If nothing else it would just alleviate some of the pressures I feel to “just be okay”. I think most of my family had gotten to the point where they are no longer pitying my situation and just want the old Jess back (whom ever that was). The soldier in me keeps saying “drive on” and “stop feeling sorry for yourself”. The college student in me is crying out for reasoning and facts- why is this happening to me? So much of my life veered a hard turn when they told me I’d be on insulin for the rest of my life that instead of counteracting the blow it feels like I’m just tumbling down a hill instead of being on my path.
I graduate this May with what I feel is a useless degree. More like a pivitol waste of money and time- but who’s keeping score? I was supposed to spend a year in Camp Anaconda, Iraq before venturing out into, what is claimed as the “real world”. I saw it more as my first adventure on my own. I’mm 22 and I still coddled by parents and relatives. I’m pathetic. Now with diabetes I’m seen as “unfit” for duty and will be medically discharged out of the US Army. So with that I graduate and now have to find a job. Hooray - real world (please note that last sentence was oozing with sarcasm). Immediately after diagnosis, and in hindsight probably my smartest move while amoungst totally chaos, I decided to create a bike team and raise money for the Tour de Cure in the Twin Cities, MN the end of May. I think I saw it as one of my famous fronts that I always put on- “Look at me- I’m okay! I’m doing good things”. I didn’t realize that the ADA would be a big supporter and the source of even more support. To surprise me even more is the most random of people from my life have joined the team and wanted to be a part of it all.
With my lovely of driving people that care about me off since I’m upset I’ve had lots of time on my own to think and reflect. Who I used to see myself as. Who I see myself as now. Who I want to be. I think that’s why I’m trying so hard to “just be okay”. Ultimately to be stronger than my diagnosis. So when people passby and ask “Hey, Jess! How are you?” I passively look up, grin, and say “I’m good, How about yourself?” instead of telling them the truth about how I’m feeling so empty inside and that I need someone else to validate my thoughts and tell me not I’m completely insane and looney. Although I can honestly claim my life isn’t all that bad, I can tell you that it’s not a bed of roses either.
I obviously have a lot to say. Everything has been bottled with the pressure mounting slightly everyday. I guess I’m not as speechless as I boast.