..but I’ve fought a few battles.
I’ve debated over and over whether or not I should talk about this or even post about it and my conclusion is that a person will go through many things in their lives but it’s in that moment of acceptance and the willingness to move on that really shapes who you are and everything you represent. I am not looking for any sort of sympathy I am only here to let you know that I have been where you are and I have come out on the other side…Again, this will be a very difficult post for me to write but I feel as though sharing would not only benefit myself but also someone else going through a similar situation.
The end of 2005 is when I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, it was at the end of my 18th year. With little to no diabetic education I was left on my own to figure things out. After three years of being diagnosed with this incredibly tedious disease I had become fed up with it all. I was trying so hard to familiarize myself with the ins and outs of this illness that I had become frustrated with everything I had to do. By 2009 I was juggling family life; my husband, our daughter, as well as college, and of course my disease. Circling my thoughts constantly was this need to be normal again. I found it terribly exhausting having to sneak off during school hours so I could inject myself with insulin. I was nervous to share my disease with others. I hated the constant looks when I would come into class with loads of snacks to treat a low, or gallons of water to treat a high. I was just over the whole thing. So I did something stupid and I refused to take my shots properly, I refused to check my sugars, and I pretended like I wasn’t sick. I went on like this for a while. After some time I noticed that I was starting to drop weight, this made me happy so I began exercising more, and continuing my diabetes strike. On the outside I was looking slim, probably the best I had ever looked, while on the inside I was dying. Literally. It was very easy to hide that I wasn’t taking care of myself. At the time no one I knew would have guessed that I was suffering from such a destructive mindset. Diabetes aside I was suffering from what I now know to be called Diabulimia.
All my life I struggled with weight so when I made an educated guess and linked not taking my insulin with the weight loss this gave me even more of an incentive to continue the destructive cycle. It started off harmlessly, a type one diabetic fed up with having to inject insulin, check sugars and be different, that before I knew it I was spiraling out of control. Quickly.
What caused me to snap myself out of this was one frightening afternoon where I was rushed to the emergency room by my frantic mother in law. The memories are a bit hazy but I can recall phoning my husband at work and not even being able to form a proper sentence. My blood was acidic and I was fading in and out. I can remember feeling weak, and like my heart was about to burst out of my chest. I was alone in the house with my daughter who was so little at the time and thought nothing of the situation. I was hunched over the table, mouth like the Sahara, thoughts cloudy, feeling like I was about to die, when my mother in law came rushing in like some sort of super hero. I stumbled into her car with my daughter next to me looking at me somewhat concerned by this point.
My sugar levels had reached a dangerously high number and needless to say I was hospitalized. I spent three days getting tested and analyzed. They thought I was having a heart attack at only twenty-two years old. While I was there I had a lot of time to think about everything, I felt alone, and more importantly, frustrated with myself for consciously destroying my own body. I remember thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me!” I had no idea at the time that I was suffering from an eating disorder. Only now am I really able to come to terms with it. It was a tough pill to swallow. While in the moment I didn’t realize what I was doing. It’s very easy, I believe, to get caught up in this. My whole world revolves around counting carbs, and watching how my body reacts to food and insulin. Couple that with an already OCD type personality and you are bound to get some trouble. I am not condoning what I did, or making excuses, I am simply stating that the consequences of my behavior was not something I had anticipated. In my head I was only refusing to acknowledge my diabetes the rest was not planned.
I share this memory because it is apart of my journey as a diabetic. I am a different person now. It’s taken me a few years but I realize that this does not make me weak. People want to criticize individuals for not being able to handle this or that but at the end of the day the battles they have overcome make them strong and brave. I don’t see myself as a victim either, I see myself as a warrior. I suffered through something and came out on top. Today I am happy, I am healthy (as far as diabetes goes) and I refuse to go down that road again. Not only did I scare my husband, I scared myself and I never want to feel that way again. I hope that other people who might be dealing with this see that though you might feel lost right now, the path is there, wide open and ready for you. You are not weak, you are strong, beautiful and courageous.
You can do this! You can get though this!
(I just want to say thank you to all the people who have encouraged me to put this out there. I have read some very inspiring stories and they gave me the strength to say, “I have been through that..” The only point I am trying to make is that I want to be there for someone else who might feel alone and ashamed. There is support out there. You are not alone!)