I’ve been holding onto this post for awhile, but while geeking out on Netflix documentaries, I stumbled upon Brené Brown’s – A Call to Courage. Damn her! I’ve been a huge fan of Brené and find she pops into my life exactly when I need her. It is time for me to be vulnerable…
Mental health is a bit of a buzzword right now in the diabetes community, as it should be. For many of us living with diabetes, we don’t share our daily thoughts, concerns, struggles, etc. with friends and family. Are we ashamed? Don’t want to be weak? Don’t want to face our fears? Don’t want to sound like we’re complaining? I don’t know, but for me, I didn’t realize that much of my inner anger was because of this damn disease. It is my biggest strength and weakness. It has shaped many of my everyday personality traits and after a little persuasion from my dear friend and therapist, I signed up for Green Shoe, a week long wellness retreat. I had NO idea what lied ahead and soon realized this was a good thing because I might not have shown up. I won’t share the play by play, but only a glimpse.
I think it was around the second day the level of vulnerability in our small group became intense. I did everything that was asked of me and was REAL and RAW! In one of the sessions we were asked to write a letter to our inner child with our non-dominant hand. Below is a small portion of my letter.
This letter was written accompanied by a flood of well-deserved tears. It seems like such a simple thing, but this letter made a huge impact on the remainder of the retreat. As I shared the struggles and burden this disease has on my life, it enlightened fellow participants and staff as to what life is like with a chronic illness. They asked questions and allowed me to speak openly and honestly without judgement. It was SO freeing.
I will share more in a future post as to the final steps of forgiving God, my body and the Universe for giving me the gift of Type 1 diabetes. For many of you that might sound ridiculous, but for me, forgiveness is key to living the best life – no matter what the circumstances.