I realized the other day that almost all of my posts are complaints about diabetes. The titles are negative, the posts are negative and all I do is write about how terrible T1D is. Really, it’s not all bad. Yes having diabetes sucks and I wouldn’t wish this disease on my worst enemy. However, there are a lot of great things that have happened to me because of it.
For one thing, my dad and I are really close. Not just because we both have diabetes. We both love to read and we both love to run. We both make fun of all Tom Cruise movies because he is just awful. But we also understand exactly what highs and lows feel like. We know how scary diabetes can be and how frustrating proper diabetes management is. Now I’m not saying we wouldn’t be as close if one of us or both of us didn’t have diabetes, but we do share a bond because of it.
I have made so many friends who also share this disease. It’s almost like we are in our own (not so little) club. The moment I meet another T1D it’s an instant connection. I love talking to other people who’ve been where I’ve been before and are struggling with the same things I do. Starting my Diabetes meetup group was probably the best thing I could have done because I have met some amazing people and I have heard some amazing stories and I learn something new all the time.
Diabetes forces me to focus on healthy eating and consistent exercise. I definitely wouldn’t be as healthy as I am if I ate whatever I wanted- with or without exercise. It keeps me energetic and feeling good- plus lower a1c’s don’t hurt.
I’ve found that I truly appreciate the little things and I adore my family. I cherish every moment I spend with them because I know that had I been born 100 years ago- I probably would have been raised by a single, widowed mother, my brother wouldn’t have been born, and I probably wouldn’t have survived past my 7th birthday.
Don’t get me wrong, diabetes is still terrible and it’s a daily struggle. But at least it’s manageable and I know that I’m never alone. T1D has helped me learn just how strong I am.