My life feels a little strange right now– not having class and all. Not being super busy all the time and everything. That will change again very soon. Soon I will be having the summer of a lifetime. But until then trying to get some odds and ends done. Getting used to being on the pen again. Cleaning, Packing, Working, tackling the to do list. oh yeah and running of course. My plan wasssss to tan before I left, but GA weather just isn’t cooperating with me right now.
There’s also this whole little thing called the LSAT that I will be taking next February. Getting started on studying for that right now. My life is about to consumed with this, coffee, and a lot of water of course. (and other things of course)
I have also picked up my course book for the first block of classes for study abroad. It’s Sociology! Along with the other one, but this one focuses on Immigration and Ethnic Conflict. Can you say excited? The readings look interesting, and WE ARE TAKING REGULAR FIELD TRIPS! YESSSS! I am also taking Global Dimensions of Crime for Sociology– just as excited!
Confidence- I haven’t given it all the thought in the world like I have other concepts involving Diabetes and life. But here’s the thing- Diabetes has indeed given me confidence. I can see it when I look back on my years growing up. Partially because of Diabetes I have the confidence to do many things, but I especially have the confidence to stick up for myself.
This thought came up when I went to a training session- I’m helping out with a research study. I’m actually really excited about it- (Diabetes, Mental Health, Health, Children). One of the questions was “Has Diabetes given you confidence?” When we got to that questions, someone said – “Confidence? How does Diabetes give you that?” I quickly responded that “Diabetes has given me confidence. I actually stick up for myself.” This was one of the first times, I personally, have thought about this.
I’m the quiet kid in certain situations. I have wallflower moments. I react depending on the situation, and that usually determines how fast I will come out of my shell or if at all. I am wayyyy more outgoing than I was as a kid.
For years- I’d allow everyone to walk all over me- people who were “friends.” What people say is true- People treat you how you allow them to- by what you stop or allow or do– that includes like crap. I really wanted to please people so I really didn’t pay any mind to it.
I can clearly remember the day when I decided I wouldn’t stand for it anymore. I was 14, and it was the summer before 9th grade. Previously, I had never stuck up for myself in anything much yet. Also, the Diabetes Teasing and comments and bullying hadn’t exactly erupted yet (at least to my knowledge), so I hadn’t come face to face with anything of that nature yet.
Well- this was the moment that this all changed- at least for me.
(names have been omitted and some of the setting is different)
Before I exploded- I had heard that someone I considered a friend had been telling every single person we met that summer to not be friends or be nice to me because- I used my Diabetes to get what I wanted, and I used it as an excuse for everything….. What? I had been talking with a group of friends, and somehow an embarrassing moment of mine came up. I am usually fine that, and I have so many GREAT embarrassing moments. They even make me laugh. Well one girl, who I considered to be a friend- didn’t let it go. She started to not just talk about, but she started being mean about it. Even after everyone stopped, she kept going. I asked her to stop because I couldn’t help it completely, and I felt she was going to far. It had been a long time ago, and I was kind of sheltered on a lot of things as a child. I usually just nod, and learn about whatever it is later- BUT. When I am low, I tend to “word vomit” more than I usually do (The story involved one of those moments) I told her it was bothering me.
She quickly responds with- you really ought to stop using your Diabetes to your advantage. It’s really annoying. You as a Diabetic- that’s annoying. Then she continued to bully me with what she usually said.
Granted this girl had been MEAN to me a lot. Kids can be mean. But she kind of took it to a whole new level. I put up with her calling me dumb, fat, ugly. Telling me nobody really liked me and I wasn’t good enough. But I let it slide. Why? I really cannot answer that in a simple way.
Not anymore. I had enough at that exact moment. I was not going to allow her to treat me like that, and I was not going to give her the power to make me feel like that.
I told her that until she had Diabetes she needed to keep her mouth shut, and not judge me. I told her she couldn’t possibly know what is going on. I told her to stop calling me names and belittling me. I told her I was done.
She told me to shut up, and stop being ridiculous. She told me that Diabetes isn’t actually that bad, and I should get over it- and myself. She told me I was overreacting.
I turned to her- Told her I was done.
That was the last thing I said to her for a long time. When 9th grade arrived, we had a class together, and she acted like nothing had happened. She probably didn’t believe that I would continue to stick up for myself, but I did. I continued to tell her that I wouldn’t put myself in a situation like ever again- that is exactly what I have done since then.
Since then, I have stuck up for myself in all facets of my life- it sometimes does vary, but I don’t sit idly by. I don’t get pushed around. I have the confidence to stick up for myself. BUT. I especially stick up for myself in regards to Diabetes. There’s a place in my mind- the button. There are certain things that will really get me going. Diabetes is one of them. Along with my Dad and bullying (more later). I have gotten better at my Diabetes related antics for sticking up for myself. In High School, I would occasionally get mean if it did go too far, and I had a hard time explaining a lot of information in few and simple terms. Now- I am usually very nice. I am correcting you and telling you are wrong- but I am doing so in a respectful way that makes you think. I can explain things very well. (Until someone gets plain disrespectful. Don’t Touch Me- Entry)
Diabetes is not my fault. Diabetes will not simply go away. Diabetes does not stop me. Diabetes is not the end of the world. Diabetes will not stop me from living a long, fun, thriving, important, meaningful, full, amazing, (and so much more) life. Diabetes does not mean my life is over.
Please- Do not tell me how to cure my Diabetes or where I went wrong in life. Don’t tell me that it is not big deal. Don’t tell me “to get over it.” Don’t blame me. Don’t blame my parents. Don’t blame society. Don’t make fun of me or call me names. Don’t tell me I’m killing myself. Don’t disrespect me. Don’t make fun of me. Don’t discriminate against me. Don’t judge me until you get to know me. Don’t do this to someone with Type 1 or Type 2. Don’t tell me how to take care of it. Actually, please don’t do this to anyone. Everyone has a story- Everyone has battles- Everyone has triumphs. Everyone is different.
Don’t do this to children. Really? I have seen and experienced so many ADULTS do this to children… Really? What? I know there is that aspect of people not knowing- but there is a line between not knowing and being mean and rude.
To those who do this to anyone- not just me, not just children, not just people living with Diabetes, but ANYONE- I will not sit there and allow it. I will step in. I will stick up for people,, almost anyone.. especially those who need it. Especially those who are kind and respectful. Especially children. Especially kids who may things in their lives preventing them from being kids. This is why I am doing what I plan on doing with my life.
Truthfully? Diabetes can be hard already on its own. To the person living with it. To the family and friends. Not just the Diabetes- the costs, the emotions, the toll psychologically and physically. You really want to add to that? Is bullying and teasing and cruel words really the answer and the question? Why not ask a question and wait for an answer? Learn a little more. Take a few minutes to learn a little more about life- from anyone, before you decide and judge and feel that you are the only person who is right. There are so many views and opinions in this world. (along with facts) Which ones are right besides pure facts? How are we really supposed to tell which ones are right? Just because you think it or someone told you doesn’t mean you have the right to be disrespectful to others who do not share the same view or opinion. Think. Take the time to speak with people who make think in a different box than you.
So to the kid in the training with me- I stick with my response- Diabetes has given me confidence. especially to stick up for myself. Diabetes has also given me other things. Truthfully, I wish I didn’t have it, or I wish a cure would come soon, but – I have it, and a cure isn’t here yet. If I were to keep looking at the negatives, I would probably go mad- so It’s nice to find the silver lining sometimes right? And I try to do that as much as possible- It lightens my load a little bit.
Love, Words, Inspiration, and Insulin! -Until next time! and until there’s a cure!