There are certain limits that we all have to navigate. Fundamental limits. Like time. There is only so much time in a day. Period. Or the fact that the brain can only manage so much information. Too much, it gets overloaded. Limits that just are. Nothing much we can do about it.
When I think about these limits and then I think about diabetes, I'm often struck with the question about how much diabetes has changed me? Based on all the time and mindspace it takes to do it well. If time and mindspace are a limited commodity, I've had to devote a portion of that precious commodity, to just getting to square one. To be healthy and vibrant and alive (as do lot's of people who have diabetes or other chronic illness or challenges or issues). I'm just saying that it's a fact. There is only so much time and mindspace to go around and for me, quite a bit of it has been focused on diabetes.
I've gotten better at balancing the amount of time I spend doing it all. Hell, after 20 years I'd hope to shout I'd be better at it. I've done a lot of work at finding the right balance of responsible focus on diabetes and living life to the fullest. It's a tight wire act sometimes, but I'm OK at it overall. Some of this dance also has to do with my personality, layered over with diabetes. I'm a worrier, a planner, a strategist by nature. I think back from the result I want and then I put into place what is necessary to achieve that goal. Type A yes, but it often works well. And sometimes not so much. But I'm even getting better at letting go at those times, not beating myself up, not getting frightened that I'm doing some irreparable harm to myself. I'm getting better at the dance between my personality and diabetes.
And then I wonder about how much all this effort, to do it right, to find the right balance, to learn the new dances, has changed me. How much of all this work made me angrier or sadder or more controlling or worried or distracted or anxious or unadventurous than I would have been without it? Am I the person I am and diabetes is an adjunct, or am I unextricably intertwined with the disease, the me I am, profoundly shaped by it, and it an integral part of me? I've never wanted to believe that diabetes "causes" mood swings but then again, I am more irritable when I'm at 55. And for the people on the outside, who know me well and are used to my diabetes, do they understand the cause and effect of having this disease? Year in and year out they just see me. Me and then maybe sometimes the diabetes. Do they see me as the worrier and not see why? Or am I a worrier and diabetes is just something I worry about? I don't know. I guess there is no way to know. I guess the answer really doesn't matter in the end. I just do the best I can, given all the circumstances and limits and personal characteristics.
But still, I wonder about it sometimes.