In the past few months, quite a few people have written me and asked how it is I stay so positive. After all, a number of my regular readers are aware of my medical history, such as having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 4, had open-heart surgery at 5, and an ice skating accident that caused me to almost sever two fingers at the age of 6. The doctors said I would never use my hand again, but after months of therapy and a whole lot of determination, I have full use of my fingers and my hand. The bottom line is, I‚Äôve had some serious medical issues that incapacitated me for a few years, which has caused people to wonder how anyone can still be positive after these experiences. So I figured it was time to write my viewpoint regarding the individual choices we make every day of our lives.
So, for those of you who have left an email address, I’ve written back to many of you personally and tried to explain how it is I stay positive. But a lot of people haven’t left an email address, but they too wished they could be more positive. So, today, I don’t want to see anyone feeling bad, so if there’s any way I could help, I’d like to. With that thought in mind, my post today will be about how I stay positive. To begin with, I choose to be positive and not dwell on the “what-its” or challenges in my life. I discovered a long time ago that dwelling on things that I fear when I have no control over them, or to think about how unfair life is, is a big waste of time. No one said life was always going to be fair, and the fact that some people are faced with more challenges than others, it just means that that’s life; there will be everyday ups and downs. Like the saying goes, I believe that God wouldn’t give someone more than they can handle. So, for those of us who have a fair share of challenges in our lives, rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, maybe we should be proud that, whether we know it or not, we apparently are capable of dealing with what life has to offer.
I, by no means, am implying that I live in a fairytale world or that I don’t realize that I deal with serious issues, or that I am in denial. I am a very realistic person, who is not perfect, but who makes plenty of mistakes in dealing with my diabetes. For example, when I make what I think is a great plan for the day, and it includes what and when I am going to eat to maintain good blood sugar control, only to discover that I miscalculated, which resulted in- messed up plans and messed up health. Another example of the kinds of frustration that can cause diabetics like me to feel upset or depressed, is doing everything you think is right to maintain good diabetes management, but for some reason, your blood sugar is still way out of sync. These are two of the more common scenarios that frequently frustrate diabetics. So yes, I am aware of the reality of my disease, and I am aware that the management of diabetes is virtually impossible to perfect, as well as, I am aware that my mistakes potentially could cause me serious harm in the form of complications. However, I am also aware that I am human, and all I can do is make sure I am very knowledgeable, and try to be as thoughtful about my diabetes management as humanly possible. If I do this, and I give 300% effort to staying healthy, than I need to go about the rest of my life. This is what I mean when I say; I make a choice to be positive. I know what the problems are, I deal with the problems, and then I move on, I don‚Äôt dwell on the what-ifs.
I would say the second part of my philosophy is to realistically acknowledge the blessings in my life. For example, I am so grateful to my family for always helping me, through my good and bad days, and always keeping a positive attitude themselves. I think it‚Äôs important that we keep our illnesses and problems in perspective. For example, no matter how bad my worse days are, I know there are other young people all around the world who suffer from horrors I can‚Äôt even begin to imagine. So staying positive means not only being aware of the bad, but acknowledging the good. Something as simple as having people who care about you, having friends who ask you, “Do you feel okay?" means that we are blessed.
And the third part of my philosophy that helps me stay positive is the realization that out of the bad, can come good. For example, I have met people and made friends all over the world that I would never have known or had the chance to meet, had I not been forced to deal with my diabetes in a public way. So yes, while other people might be out shopping or out with their friends, I’m writing a diabetes blog, and this is something I love doing, because I know that I am touching other people, and this in itself is a blessing, because how often do we get a chance to make a difference in someone else’s life? :)