Ok, so I had this scathing post I was going to publish. I wrote it and I was reading through it, thinking that my words were perfect and it was going to touch a nerve…all those things a writer thinks when psyching themselves up to put their words out there in the world. It’s kind of like sending your youngest kid to school for the first time. You’re proud…but so scared, all at the same time.
And then I got to thinking that I was being a bit of a hypocrite.
My post was on negativity. I’ve been reading a lot about it on the web lately–not just on diabetes blogs, but elsewhere, too–about negative comments and negative posts and negative attitudes and negative….ect, ect. It just feels like everyone is so negative these days.
I’m sure those of you who read this blog regularly–all two or three of you, thanks so much, have no idea why you keep coming back 🙂 –know that we recently suffered a huge loss in my family. This comes on the heels of my son’s–the same son’s–battle with leukemia. It has been a hard few years for him, for us, for everyone touched by him and his amazing spirit. I look at him and I can’t believe he came from me. To be so resilient, this child who shouldn’t have been. You see, I was seventeen when I got pregnant with him. I seriously considered an abortion even though my family was Catholic at the time and it would have been a darker sin than getting pregnant out of wedlock. And then I considered adoption. For years, as I struggled first as a single mother and then as a newly married woman, I wondered if he might have been better off adopted. All that negative energy around him, and he still grew up to be an amazing man who inspires others to greatness. And yet…his unborn baby was surrounded by love, was highly anticipated…and she is lying in a grave.
Life has a way of making your head spin, trying to figure out what its all about.
So, this morning, I’m reading the word negativity one too many times and I wanted to write this scathing post about how some people invite negativity and then complain when they see it. How we start these discussions, but want to control what comes of them. I wanted to tell these people that they shouldn’t invite discussion if they don’t want open, honest replies. That calling out people for doing what comes naturally, what was invited, is wrong.
And then I realized I’m as responsible for doing this as anyone else.
It’s kind of what I’m doing right now.
Is there a good way to participate in these discussions? Is it better to be nice than honest? Is it hypocritical of me to go to a site that was designed for people to post their honest…if negative…opinions about diabetes and copy/paste sections to complain about on my blog, and then get upset when someone else does the same to start a discussion I (partially) disagree with?
Yeah. I know. It is hypocritical.
Where do you draw the line between honesty and negativity? How can you be honest and not sound negative to some people? How can you always be positive about things like life with diabetes, misconceptions about diabetes, the way others look at your life with diabetes, the way you look at life with diabetes?
To be totally honest, I still struggle with this. I don’t want to be diabetic. I don’t want to wear an insulin pump every day, don’t want to check my blood glucose every day, don’t want to put up with doctors who assume I’m non-compliant before talking to me simply because I am obese. And I really, really can’t handle the guilt of a whole society that thinks I did this to myself.
It’s like grief. I’m stuck in that anger stage–railing at God and the doctors and anyone else who could possibly be to blame for the death of my first grandchild. For the grief I hear and see in my son and daughter-in-law. For the text messages that make me cry for what will never be…it sucks.
So does diabetes.
When I turn to the DOC and see comments that suggest I did this to myself and deserve the punishment of living with the daily glucose checks, the insulin pump, the highs and lows…it pisses me off.
So, yeah, I’m a little negative. And so are others like me.
I think we have a right to our negativity.
It’s nice that some people have found solace and solidarity and happiness in the DOC. I’m all for it. People need to stick together, to share their stories and feel acceptance. It’s part of the human condition.
But that same group should understand more than anyone else how hard it is to be on the outside looking in. And that sometimes it is okay to be negative. That’s how some of us–those of us who are too blunt, too super-sensitive, too opinionated–deal with our grief. Because it is about grieving. No matter what type of diabetes you have, you have lost something with your diagnosis. For some it is dinner at their favorite pizza place. For others, its being stuck taking a pill that doesn’t always work nicely with the digestive system, while learning to incorporate exercise into a lifestyle that may or may not be conducive to it. And then there are others who have to deal with the whole shibang…the loss of good food, the right to skip that workout, the ability to sleep through the night without fears of dying from a sudden, unexpected low blood sugar.
My loss may seem trivial to you. But it is still loss.
Its like comparing the loss of a loved one.
A month after my granddaughter was stillborn, a coworker of my son’s lost her husband to a tragic, rare stroke.
Is her loss greater than my son’s?
Is it even a fair comparison?