You Are Enough For Me

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What does insecurity cause?

Fear

Anger

Depression

Resentment

I have been insecure with myself for nearly my entire life.

I’ve rarely thought of myself as attractive or smart or funny or worth anyones effort.

Insecurity leads to destructive behaviors and poor decisions fueled by fear, anger, depression and resentment.

So my wish for the remainder of 2015 and all the years to come is that my family and my friends always feel they are enough for me.

That may sound odd, maybe even a bit arrogant. That isn’t my intention. I can’t change how others in this world make my children, husband or friends feel, but I can change how I make them feel. I want them to always know that they are enough, that they are my joy, that I am their biggest fan and that they are my world.

I don’t ever want to be the source of their insecurities.

That is a hard wish to fulfill as a mom of 3 children with diabetes.

There are endless questions regarding diabetes.

“Did you bolus?”

“Did you check?”

“What’s your blood sugar?”

“Do you have fast carbohydrates on you?”

“Why are you so high?”

“How much insulin is in your pump?”

“When did you do your last infusion site?”

Those questions can often feel like attacks. They aren’t. They are just questions.

The hardest part is those questions are asked daily often to different children at different times, but that doesn’t matter since the other children hear the questions all the time. It is an almost endless narrative.

I don’t want it to be their internal narrative.

Diabetes is hard. It is constant. I want it to be nothing more than white noise.

Feeling like you are enough is a powerful thing. Feeling like you make a difference in the lives of others gives you strength and motivates you to do more while knowing you don’t need to. Feeling unconditional love encourages us to love ourselves.

I don’t ever want my kids to think they aren’t enough and I’ll be damned if I let diabetes get in the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key to Happiness

Seriously now I am four days behind.

I’m writing for Day 2 of the Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge (even though in the comments for day 1 Stephen said I could have a pass since he counted my first post as two. Thanks Stephen.)

Day 2 prompt

“What do you think is the key to happiness? Is it being able to overcome a hard time? Laughter? Maintaining a positive attitude? Tell us what you think and why”

First I want to share a FB status I wrote a bit ago:

“I’m really tired of hearing “happiness is a choice”.
Kindness is a choice. Smiling at others despite sadness is a choice. True happiness is not a choice. A person with depression wants nothing more than to be happy. The worst thing a person could say to someone who isn’t ‘happy’ is ‘happiness is a choice’ which implies the person who is ‘unhappy’ is choosing to be unhappy.
Much love to my friends who could use a hug right now. Hang in there. You’re important.”

So what do I believe is the key to happiness? Wish I knew. Wish there was one answer that would fit everyday.

When I was in the court-house waiting to be selected or dismissed for jury duty I met a man.

He was 96 years old. He was tall and fit looking. He had a bit of a scruff, like he hadn’t shaved in a day or two. A number of grey hairs mixed in with the black. Imagine to still have some colored hairs mixed with grey at after 96 years of living. He didn’t move fast but he stood tall. In the elevator I asked him his secret. He said eat veggies. He had served in the US Army during WWII both in Europe and the Pacific. His eyes were so bright and so full of life and love. I would bet he knew sadness in his life though. I can’t imagine many can get to 96 without knowing great loss. Not to mention being a black man born in 1920 and living through wars, the great depression, segregation, and the civil rights movement. Still he looked happy and content. I wish I had asked him how. If I could meet him again I’d buy him a coffee and just listen to his life and I would be so grateful for the opportunity.

So the key? I have no idea. My key to happiness changes. Some days I find happiness in just watching my kids laugh. Some days I find it in a clean home. Some days it’s a new haircut. Some days it is a long phone call with a far away friend. Mostly I am happy when I am laughing. So maybe it is laughter mixed with veggies.

Something else I’ve shared recently on my FB was this thought. It came to me after an argument with one of my kids. It wasn’t really an argument. It was more me telling one of my kids they couldn’t do something they wanted to do and them getting angry.

“Be in charge of the energy you bring to every moment.” 

I’m not sure if that can be considered the same as “Maintaining a positive attitude”. Not everything in your life will be positive. A death, a diagnosis, divorce, financial difficulties, the loss of a job, etc. – those are not things one can be positive about. BUT a person can always choose the type of energy they bring to the moment.

Happiness is a slippery little sucker. I think the only key is to how you respond to difficulties and the credit you allow yourself once through it. Some days you will be more badass than others.

***I am participating in the Wego Health – Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. It is never to late to sign up and get the prompts. Great for anyone struggling with writer’s block. Click >>>>> link to sign up.

Stream of Consciousness

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I’m a mom with three kids with diabetes. It is a thankless job. A job that comes with many arguments, tears and fears. A job that requires a lot of attention much of the time and a still a job that requires me to back the hell off much of the time. There are fights each week, who didn’t check often enough, who ran out of insulin, who forgot to charge their meter or insulin pump, who ate three bags of Cheetos and left the bags under the couch cushion, who forgot to bolus, who skipped PE by telling the teacher he/she was low when in fact no check was done, etc etc etc (is the three ‘etc’ redundant?). It is also a job that includes; way to go, great job, I know it’s hard, I’m sorry, you’re doing great, just take a juice with you and have fun, I’m proud of you, it’s not your fault, thank you for checking, go have fun, let’s go get ice-cream, who wants a brownie, etc etc etc. It is an exhausting job with late nights, small hour alarms, neglected house work, twitching eyes, and an anxious pounding heart – thundering in my chest as I try to navigate the crashing waves of success and not-quite success. It is a proud job with a star soccer player, a dedicated lacrosse player, excellent grades, amazing friendships, funny moments, big hugs, bumped knuckles and high-fives. It is a job of advocacy with tweets, Facebook shares, diabetes mom lunches, camp committees, letters to congress, educating the public, writing this silly blog, and conferences. It is a job of worry because often diabetes brings a sidekick called depression – for the kids with diabetes and the caregivers who struggle to be the rock. Will my kids battle mental illness along with a chronic illness? Will they feel important and whole despite the crazy that diabetes is? Am I doing all I can? Could I be better? Will my kids grow to be the badass humans I know them to be? Too many tears. Too many days feeling lost and confused and questioning every parenting moment I’ve had. I look at my kids, I watch them sleep, laugh, and play and I know that at those moments they are safe and happy. I can’t fix it all. I can’t take the pain away. I can’t take their diabetes away. All I can do is make sure they know I love them. Make sure they hear often how important they are. Make sure they know it isn’t their fault. Encourage them to always try their hardest and ask for help when they can’t. All I can do is take it a day at a time loving them despite poor choices and things bigger than they are. It is hard and some days I just don’t know I have the strength anymore but there are no alternatives. We keep swimming and spend more time rejoicing in the moments we are given. Don’t look back – we aren’t going that way. Things will not get easier but we will get better at navigating the course and reboot when needed because this shit changes all the time. My head hurts, my eye twitches, and my chest is tight. Yet I got up, I showered, I got dressed, I hugged my kids and today is a new opportunity to love those around me.

Taken Daily As Needed

So far this summer my daughter had two friends visit from CA, I took the kids and the dogs to CA to visit friends, my youngest had his first sleep-over in CA and diabetes was an asshat – not once but twice at two different sleep-overs, I was bitten by my cat while at the vet discussing quality of life and the bite got seriously infected requiring IV antibiotics and oral antibiotics as well as heavy pain meds, both my dogs got sick with diarrhea, I had to say goodbye to my elderly cat, my youngest attended diabetes camp last week, my oldest is currently at diabetes camp, and my middles will attend diabetes camp next week.

This summer has brought good times and bad times.

Recently a friend was channeling Dickens’ on Facebook and since his post beginning with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” I have been thinking of what the summer has brought thus far and trying to acknowledge that with the good there is the bad.

I am embarrassed to say that I have never read ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ thus I have no intentions of trying to dissect the book and apply it to this post or our lives – its more the fist paragraph of the text which I have read multiple times. I believe I was supposed to have read the book sometime back in high school but I likely winged it by reading cliff notes. Sometimes I wonder how I graduated at all with all the winging I did my first 2 years of HS.

Sorry digressed.

Things can’t always be sunny. I try to stay positive and put only positive energy out into the world and more often than not I succeed. Still I sometimes fall, stumble really and my world overwhelms me. When that happens all kind of negativity escapes and boomerangs back to slap the crap outta me. That’s where I am right now. Being bitch slapped by the crap I sent out into the world.

Let me first say that I feel stupid when I get all whiny about cat bites, lost pets, loved ones who don’t know how to love me when I’m not at my best, kids who don’t always listen, sick dogs, and a messy home. I feel stupid because there is so much to be thankful for and there are so many bigger things happening around the world like civilian planes being shot out of the sky, thousands dying in various wars in the middle east, and droughts that threaten our food supply and the livelihoods of so many farmers – not to mention hardships being experienced by friends with sick parents or spouses, financial woes, and/or other medical issues for themselves or their children.

Knowing all the other stuff is happening and I’m feeling overwhelmed by the goings on in my own life adds guilt to my list of woes. How stupid is that. I should just be able to shake it off. Choose to be happy. Suck it up. Etc. Etc.

I’m not sure those who have never been in a real funk understand that the harder one tries to just ‘shake it off’ the deeper the hole seems to get. The inability to simply ‘be happy’ leads to feelings of failure and more guilt. Who am I to be sad? I have a fully functional pancreas, a beautiful (albeit cluttered) home, a fridge and cabinets full of food, a van to take me places and the money needed to fill the tank, three amazing kids, dozens of friends both IRL and who live in my computer, and I live in a war free country. Recognizing all I have does help but it doesn’t fix the chemical/electrical issues happening in my brain that cause my funk.

I go through this every so often. Sometimes a year will pass, other times it will be only a few months. Sometimes long naps, long walks and various forms of chocolate will end the funk. More often than not its the laughter of my friends and/or kids that will bring me to a peaceful place. I try to put really wonderful moments in a special place in my head and heart so I can call on them when I need them most. Like a time I was on a spinning ride with some friends and one was about to vomit thus causing another to search through a dozen different pockets in her jacket for a dog poop bag or the time I was playing pictionary with friends and I was supposed to be drawing ‘gas mask’ but my friends were calling out ‘ass face’ (there may have been adult beverages at that gathering), or recently when my daughter was asking to get the cartilage of her ear pierced but instead said ‘cleavage’ to her dad and I (her dad looked at me seriously and said “did she just say cleavage?” – oh we laughed so hard) or the time years ago I took my nieces and sister to the Texas coast and told them we would go to ‘Joes Crab Shack’ but my 9-year-old niece thought I said ‘Joes Crap Shack’ which then resulted in all the kids in the car (5 of them aged 5-9 years old) to ask ‘crap’ questions; ‘can I have some more butter for my crap? Do you have crap cakes? Id like a pound of steamed crap. This is the best crap I’ve ever had. etc’, or a moment like I had in CA with friends recently in which I was sharing a recent story I read about a guy who farts on misbehaving children in stores – my friends and I were laughing so hard a few of us may have almost peed. HERE is the fart story so you can laugh too.

My point – sometimes laughter really is the best medicine and I hope you also have some stock laughter you can call upon when needed.

***(Sometimes laughter is not enough and pharmaceuticals are helpful/necessary – please if you are under a doctor’s care and using medications to help with depression do not change your medical treatments without consulting your doctor.)

***If you ever get a cat bite – one that is a puncture wound so that when the cats tooth releases your flesh the wound closes – go to the doctor immediately. Cats carry very dangerous bacteria in their mouths. The bacteria get caught under the skin with a puncture wound and it is not possible to clean the wound, thus the bacteria multiples quickly. Those little beasties are serious asshats and will cause a terrible infections without medical attention – an infection that can require hospitalization to fix and could require surgery. This is true for all cats – even your own.

*** That song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams actually causes me to become homicidal. While ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy‘ by Bobby McFerrin actually does make me smile.

(I refuse to share a link to ‘Happy’ cus Grrrrr.)

***This post is really just a way to clear my head.

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