SIGNING UP FOR CHANGE
As we roll into Mental Health Awareness Month I thought it was fitting to share this story. 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 so many of my everyday personality traits.
After a little persuasion from my dear friend and therapist, I signed up for Green Shoe, a week long mental health and 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, that 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. (image attached)
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 day to day life, it enlightened fellow participants and staff as to what it's like to live with a chronic illness. They asked questions and allowed me to speak openly and honestly without judgment. It was SO freeing.
FORGIVENESS IS A KEY
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.