Diabetes is a series of discomforts. At it's best, it's forgotten for chunks of time. The longer the better. I've spent my many years with diabetes trying to minimize the discomforts and maximize the times when they recede. For the longest time, most of my time with diabetes as a matter of fact, I didn't realize this was how I was living, but now I see it. And though it's sad at it's core, the reality of it has become normal for me.
Well a funny thing has happened to me lately. For some reason I've been having these moments of clarity that strip the emotion from the situation and leave in it's place, an insight that I can use in making the reality of my life with diabetes better. Like the realization about the discomforts of diabetes and the time in between. Before it was just how I went about my life, sad or angry or tired in the uncomfortable times and blissfully unaware during the times in between. But now that I see this pattern I realize that there's some very intersting and profound truths about it. One's that I can use in making things better for my life overall. Minimize the discomfort, maximize the pleasure. I'm beginning to see that I can embrace that already existing pattern and actually mindfully pursue it, rather than just exist within it. What I see is that in seeing the pattern, I have more ability to amplify the process. I can actally actively minimize the discomfort, maximize the pleasure.
This insight is changing how I'm looking at my life these days. Before I might have thought this was a selfish way to live but from where I sit with the reality of the inevitable discomforts and struggles diabetes will present, I'm getting more aggressive about seeking the pleasure in my life. I find that I am asking myself more about what will give me pleasure in this day, this project, this weekend. Of course, I can't avoid all frustrations and struggles that are a part of everyday life but I can have some more say over many of my choices. And where I can have say, I'm finding that I'm at least stopping for a moment and considering the options in a way I've never done before. Minimize the discomfort, maximize the pleasure or comfort or fun.
Which translates into lot's of little decisions and many new yesses and no's where before the opposite would happen. Yes on the 100% cotton sheets, no on that 2nd episode of law and order. No on reading that horrifying story about something I can do nothing about and yes on that 2nd walk with the dogs. Little stuff that amplifies the happy times, the soul feeding adventures, the moments of pure joy. I'm starting to see the day full of choices and though I can never totally get away from the inevitable struggles and physical challenges diabetes presents, I'm finding that this way of looking at my life helps minimize the toll those difficult times take on me. Overall, I can feel a new gentleness towards myself that lightens the sting of diabetes.
A friend recently said to me after I'd shared I'd had a bad night with low bloodsugar, why didn't I just sleep an extra an hour. And she was right. Why not? Maximize the pleasure, minimize the discomfort.
PS. sorry about no photo on this post but typepad has "upgraded" the compose function on their system and for some unknown reason it's not letting me upload images on my G4 ibook, which I use when I'm traveling as I am right now. Argh! I'll post the image when I get home in a few days. Sorry.
Postscript: I'm home. Bigger computer, uploaded the photograph. Enjoy!