I don’t know about any of you…but when I was little and especially when I got to my teenage years, I would find myself wondering…”What I did to deserve Type 1 Diabetes? Why do I have to suffer? Why do all the other people I know have a functioning pancreas? How is it that everyone else around me can eat candy, fast food, truly anything they want and feel great and I feel HORRIBLE?! How is it that I have to constantly to be calculating what carbohydrates are going into my body and remembering whether or not I took my long acting insulin or how to do this math equation: high blood sugar – 150 divided by 40 = ????? (especially when math and science are not my strongest subjects).” Not to mention I tend to focus on the big picture rather than the small details, so counting the exact number of carbohydrates I eat and dosing exactly the right amount of insulin 20 minutes before I eat definitely does not come naturally to me.
The amount of thought and intentional effort it takes to manage Type 1 Diabetes is completely overwhelming, so I imagine you might possibly be feeling or have felt what I described above. I often want to scream “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!”…actually if you ask my family, I think I may have screamed it not once, but over and over again as I let it this disease get the best of me.
Truly, being diagnosed with T1D is not fair. However, what I’m writing to tell you today is that your life is not over. We have a choice every day to live with the “Why me? How can this be?” attitude (and let me tell you from first hand experience…it is a difficult and sad way to live), or we can change to an “On the run! My life is not done!” attitude that sparks growth, change, and joy despite the present circumstance.
I am an educator, and there is a lot of research these days about Mindset and what it takes for students to overcome challenges. One of the most important factors in student success is a growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, it is difficult to overcome obstacles. However, with a growth mindset people see challenges as a way to grow. My challenge for you today and every day is to adopt a growth mindset in regards to Type 1 Diabetes. My hope is that it will enhance your overall health and happiness. I created these little posters below as a visual reminder to steer clear of the fixed (red) thoughts and be reminded of how this disease is helping me to grow (green).
Growing up in the Greek Orthodox Church, I was taught to have faith in a God that has called us according to his purpose. I was reading a book called Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray yesterday, I came across a chapter entitled As Your Strength. I want to leave this quote with you to remind you that though you may be weak, He is strong.
Christ teaches His servant to say, “I take pleasure in infirmities. ‘Most gladly…will I…glory in my infirmities’ (2 Cor. 12:9).” The Christian thinks his weaknesses are his greatest hindrance in the life and service of God; God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success. It is our weakness, heartily accepted and continually realized, that gives us our claim and access to the strength of Him who has said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
I think I could easily give up and not live life on the run with Type 1. I could sulk and feel sorry for myself, wishing life were different, but then I think about how blessed I am to wake up every day. How I have the choice to put one foot in front of the other despite my circumstances. How I am able to channel my inner strength. How I am able to better understand my body and the beautiful, intricate system that God created out of the dust. It’s truly miraculous.
I can’t tell you honestly that I am always in the growth mindset and on the run, but I can tell you that my life is significantly better and I am much happier in the days that I choose to see my T1D as an opportunity to grow. I want to leave you with this little poster the ABC’s of growth mindset to encourage you in your journey.
Thanks for reading. Comment below and follow me if you want to partner with me in always putting one foot in front of the other and living life on the run with Type 1! 🙂