Ah, here we are, two days into a new year. The sweet smell of fresh opportunity and a clean slate. The promise of hope and happiness. Usually I’ll have a clear goal or affirmation for the year to come, but somehow, this one feels slightly different. Yes, I do have personal career goals and things I’d like to improve in my life – but something new seems to have crept in through the rotating door with 2020. Peace.
If you don’t know me personally, chances are you might not know that I’ve not had the best of luck when it comes to my health. And it’s something I’m very open about. I’d much rather share my feelings and experiences honestly in the hope that it might help someone else. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2012, my world started to be pulled apart.
Suddenly, there were new challenges and my body became my greatest enemy. The shell that I’ve been assigned to live in was fighting a constant battle to maintain a balance, and with that came unpredictability. I was working hard as a journalist, most times harder than I should have. Then came the days where I could barely drag myself out of bed while I was getting to know my new “self”. I won’t bore you with countless hospital visits and near-coma experiences – let’s just say it’s been one hell of a ride to finally get to where I’m at.
Being diagnosed with a disease that will control your body for the rest of your life brings along a new set of thinking. Not a wrapped parcel that’s been delivered in front of you, but an understanding that has had to be cultivated through challenges, tears, frustration and pain. I’ve had to learn to be okay with perhaps not having a long life. I’ve had to feel totally incapable of the simplest things, such as taking a walk, which would render me shaking and adrenaline-rushed if my blood glucose were to drop.
I’ve had to decide that although I might have loved to be a mother, I would never be willing to potentially pass along this cruel disease – especially not to someone I loved. I’ve had to snooze my alarm almost every single morning because I literally feel as if a bulldozer has been driving back and forth on me during the night, with a tiredness that cannot accurately be described. But then I eventually force myself to get up, because it’s a new day and there’s still things that I need to do while I have the time.
During one of my lengthy hospital stays I came across this quote below, which I can honestly say feels as if it was wrapped in giftpaper – because it has been instrumental in my new approach to life.
I realised that my time on earth will in all likelihood be a bit shorter, but that I can make it count. I’ll often just stare off in space, admiring the sky or a beautiful moment shared between people. Sometimes I’ll smile, because it truly brings me happiness to witness happiness. And that is enough for me.
On a personal level I’ve accomplished several dreams, and I’m always open about being ready for when my time comes to an end. While it usually leads to a bit of shock when I tell people this, I’m absolutely serious. Every day I get is a bonus. It’s a gift. And as a writer, I’m just sticking around to see how this story ends.
It’s been a long few years, so thank you 2020 for bringing me the peace I’ve needed to find. I’m ready for you – and I’m ready to keep hitting my snooze button!