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I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a few years ago in my mid-20s. When I told my boss at work why I had been taking time off to go to the doctor so frequently lately (which she was none too pleased about), she said "Oh, good, from the serious look on your face I thought you were going to tell me you had cancer!" as if we should all be relieved it was "just" diabetes. What's the deal with comparing it to cancer all the time? In any case, I almost believed her, but now I know it is anything but "just diabetes".

Very interesting article and post. I think there are some very valid points that I haven't considered before.

I do very much like the journey metaphor - it captures a lot of what living with diabetes is all about.

I have long disagreed with the war concept when faced with critical serious disease. But fighting and war means control and we Americans hate anything we can't be in charge of, in control of, blah blah blah. I like the idea of NOT having to be chipper and cheerful when faced with adversity (within reason) because that behavior doesn't fully acknoweldge the whole being. But complex reaction has the great potential to frighten people away. Even though one might say, who needs easily frightened friends? well, these are often otherwise good people who are frightened of their own vulnerability which are reflected to them by our fall from perfect health. I was NEVER allowed to feel sorry for myself or feel less than "blessed" after I was diagnosed, 44 years ago when I was ten. Now I understand I had to be cheerful for mother and father, not for myself. Anytime I felt sorry for myself I would be told, not kindly and in no uncertain terms, how much worse it could be (in my case, worse would be crippled from polio like the girl next door). And I am disgusted that parents (or anyone else for that matter) would, instead of acknowledging difficulty, would try and put a guilt trip on a child when they weren't GRATEFUL not to have it worse or to recognize the "blessing" of one's situation - oh pollyannA SING for us please! But that's their failing and I would like to be open to compassion! My pattern of being stoic is so tightly driven into my system that very few have any idea what a struggle it is to live with the unrelenting nature of this disease, its arbitary nature and cruel blows. But some notice and I'm pleasantly surprised by those gentle and connected souls. I've perfected the model for being a "good diabetic", which, maybe I am, but what it really means is I don't complain. I do not admit my vulnerability or fears because I'm fairly certain I will be abandoned as a burden, and, after witnessing others who are sick, I know people do run out of their own discomfort. I like to think I'm reasonably well adjusted, but I harbor discontent and fear. Is it over reaction or appropriate reaction to reality? I am, for sure, eternally grateful for blogs such as this one that shed light on different ways to be. I take great refuge in these blogs where real things of consideration are discussed and grand perspectives are presented. It is the only place I'm not alone and it is liberating. THANK YOU!

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