Diabetes With A Purpose

by | May 9, 2018 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes, Ownership | 0 comments

Part of the Herd

I am from a very large family.  I’m one of seven children, there are 19 grandchildren, over 25 great-grandchildren and that number is still growing.  If you count my Mom‘s family, it gets even bigger with all my cousins because Mom is one of seven kids as well.  We are lovingly what I call “a herd” (of course I do, I am a farmer’s daughter!).  From the DNA perspective, the genetic pool is quite large.  Yet I’m the only one with diabetes.   You can look at that two ways: either a random mistake of DNA metabolism, or with purpose. If it’s a random mistake that makes me a victim. But if there’s purpose, then there’s something bigger meant for me.  I choose purpose. It has led me to this place. It has transformed my life. Given me value and meaning. And made me aware of what a precious gift of life is.

Family Values

I think the greatest gift I have received is the understanding that I matter. Being from a large family it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.  No bad people, it just happens with such a large group.  The larger group has identity that is bigger and stronger than the individual. After my Dad‘s death the identity of the family was very strong.  Our values stood for strength of family, fierce independence and tenacity, and to push forward with bravery and courage.  That is the cloth I am made from.  But as an unintended consequence, it meant the individual was second.  What I felt was that I, the individual, was less important and didn’t matter as much.  I felt a need to represent the family in a positive light, so that others would see  and my family in a particular way.

With that world view, I kept my pain away from others. And inside I suffered.   From the outside I was smart, friendly, cheerleader who loved a party.  I got good grades, showed up, smiled, laughed, blew through nursing school, and didn’t do anything bad enough to land me in too much trouble.   I think I did a good job of hiding my pain from everyone, but it was really a dark time of insecurity, fear and not being enough.  I could only hide for so long and as I look back,  I’m sure that was the impetus for my move to Texas.  I had to break away from the herd and find somewhere away from painful memories and expectations, where I mattered.

Finding Purpose

When I originally arrived in Texas I did the same thing, tried to please people, tried to be a good nurse, tried to be seen as capable, independent and not needy. My happiness and my worth we’re determined by the reactions of others. Inside I didn’t feel very good about myself. Floor nursing was not hard enough to prove my worth. ICU nursing was not hard enough to prove my worth. Even the ER was not enough to prove how good I was.  Nothing was enough.

Until diabetes. It was diabetes that taught me the lesson. That I mattered. When my body was wasting away in the early stages and my energy was gone,  I found that I wanted what life had to offer, and my life mattered.  When my  blood sugar is 30 or 40 and I feel impending death and doom, my will to live and my desire to feel better let me know how much I matter.  It took almost losing my life and that struggle and pain to learn my value.

Over the years I have found confidence to put myself first and do what matters for me and my purpose.   The more I am true to myself and the less I care what others think, the happier I become.  As I step into who I am and let go of the need to be something else, the more authentic I am and my purpose takes shape. I have struggled on my journey.  Everyone does.  Diabetes isn’t always a walk in the park, but it is part of my walk.

Management of chronic illness is not just about the steps of caring for disease, although that’s necessary and important, it’s finding your inner worth and knowing that you deserve the effort it takes. Once you see it differently you’ll behave differently, and the rest get so much easier. Courage isn’t hiding. Courage is being yourself and showing the world who God made you to be. That’s your true purpose.





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