Somebody New

It’s hard to not feel constantly defeated by diabetes. It’s hard to not feel defeated when the numbers continue to peak, but you’ve already bolused more insulin than you should have. It’s hard to not feel defeated when you need to ask loved ones to call at midnight and 3 AM to ensure you haven’t slipped into a diabetic coma while sleeping. It’s hard to not feel defeated when you must carry this weight around constantly.

A little voice in my head cries “I just want the needles to stop, is that too much to ask?” I don’t want to have to think so much before eating. I don’t want to weigh my food. I don’t want to force blood out of my fingers. I don’t want to monitor my life supplies. I don’t want to survive. I want to live.

Adhesive residue covers my body; my back and sides look more like the aftermath of a duel than skin. I gain weight and lose weight, gain weight and lose weight, gain and lose, gain and lose and gain and lose and gain and lose as my blood sugars fluctuate and stabilize.

The smell of maple syrup is one I’m all too familiar with for all the wrong reasons. The taste of cinnamon coerces relaxation while enticing conspiracy theories. Chalky artificial fruit flavoring triggers memories of summer camps and middle-of-the-night emergencies. There are test strips everywhere.

*Alarm blares* I check my sensor. I brush my teeth. I check my sensor. I pack my lunch. I prick my finger. I sit in class. I bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Deflect stares confusion curiosity questions. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Don’t wait just Eat because my mother does not think about my diabetes. Eat because my mother forgets my pain. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Prick my finger. Bolus. Pray to a god I don’t believe in. Pray I make it through the night so I can do this all over again and again and again.

Don’t think about how hard you work to live. Don’t think about how no one notices, takes the time to care, takes the time to love. Don’t think about how your mother does not need to wait to eat, so she forgets that you do. Don’t think about how your mother doesn’t see your suffering. Don’t think about your father and his selfish lifestyle. Don’t think about how he cares more about his own pain than yours. Don’t think about the needles. Don’t think about the vials. Don’t think about the alcohol and lancets and adhesives and sensors and test strips and measuring cups and timetimetime. Don’t think about the pain.

Push the pain away like a blanket when it becomes too warm. Fold the pain into a drawer. Now close the drawer and lock it. Throw away the key. Push the desk to the back, innermost corner of your mind. Get a new desk. A desk with no drawers because now you don’t have pain to hide. You have no pain.

Until three hours pass and it’s needles again. Until three days pass and it’s needles again. Until seven days pass and it’s needles again.

Push the pain away.

You have to think about living. You have to think about your choices, because you know more than anyone about their consequences. You have to think about what makes you happy and what makes you sad and what makes you mad and what makes you anxious and what makes you feel because that all impacts how your body behaves. Sometimes I want to turn off my feelings. I don’t want to think.

Sometimes, I ignore the needles. I don’t inflict pain. But then the pain comes and oh god it’s too much, is this what death feels like? it must be, oh god, I don’t think I can make it call the ambulance go to the hospital, is this what death feels like? A part of me dies every time. I promise I won’t do it again, and then I break that promise.

I didn’t ask for this life. I didn’t want it. Can I cancel this transaction and start over?

Sometimes, I ignore the needles. Sometimes, I want to die. Sometimes, I doubt that my life is worth this much work.

Is worth the needles is worth the pain.

Sometimes, Always,  I want a taste of Normalcy. Sometimes, I want to be Somebody New.

Stubborn Love

I haven’t published a post in a while because I haven’t been able to finish writing. I keep starting to write, starting to develop a story, some mediocre plot, but it falls apart just as I begin to pick up some steam and I never follow through. School began two weeks ago for me, and I feel like I haven’t had time to even breathe.

My goals for this school year are to become completely independent and to eat healthier. I’ve been eating salad whenever possible and trying (sometimes miserably, sometimes bravely) to stay away from heavily processed and all around unhealthy food. I’ve seen a dramatic change in my blood sugars since I changed my diet, and I have much more energy than before, but I know that the road ahead is long and foreboding. I’m determined to stick it out.

I keep feeling like none of my classes stimulate me or my mind. I’m taking mostly Advanced Placement, AICE, or Dual Enrollment courses, and yet I feel like I’m hardly in a Gifted class. My appreciation of intelligence and learning is quickly being depreciated as my teachers seem to have given up on educating seniors before we can even begin to lose our willpower. I’m not ready to take a break or stop learning; I want to be challenged and tested and pushed to my limits so that I can keep breaking my limits. It’s upsetting that my teachers seem to not share in my passion.

I’ve made friends in unlikely places and people, but I’m happy. I’m happier than I’ve been in months. Ex-Boyfriend still rings a steady pang in my heart, but I’m learning to live in memory of him instead of for him. I’m learning to be my own person, and most importantly, to be a better person. A few days this week have been particularly difficult, and I’ve had moments where I’ve wanted nothing more than to pick up my phone and call him, but I power through. We watched a short movie once from Disney; the moral of the film was perseverance in the face of adversity with the catchphrase “Chin up now, pip pip” repeated throughout the film. When I would be having a bad day, he would kiss my forehead and tell me the phrase, and just the silliness of the “pip pip” would make me feel better. I tell it to myself almost every day.

I’ll be okay. The more I say that to myself, the more likely it is to be true. At least, that’s how it works in theory, right?

I’ll be okay.

Heart of a Lion

I’ve succumbed to the dark world of Reddit-and I love it. I was always repelled from using the site due to its completely user-unfriendly desktop site, but a friend recently recommended the app BaconReader and I can’t put it down now.

Today, I decided to visit /r/diabetes_t1, so make this another chronicle in the series of trying to come to terms with my disease. I think that’s my mission for my last year of high school: Accept (or at least come close) my diabetes and learn to be okay with being alone. So far, I’ve provided advice to someone with questions about Sensors and also helped someone who was having trouble explaining what being low/high feels like.

It feels good, I feel like I’m doing something right. The past few days, as I’ve struggled to come out of the pool of Missing Ex-Boyfriend that I’ve been drowning in, I keep telling myself (because of trusty advice from Pelican) that my best chance at winning him over again is to prove that I am a better person. I try to be a good person, and I fail often, but I don’t stop trying. I’m studying for the ACT, I’m playing video games into the early morning, I’m getting exercise, I’m reading, I’m keeping up with the 2016 Election, I’m editing videos, I’m doing college applications. I want to prove to Ex-Boyfriend that I am worthy of his trust, and I went through a really rough patch, but I am trying my hardest to do better and be a better person.

I’m often lonely, but I also keep telling myself that I shouldn’t rely on other people in order to be content with myself. I think the hardest part of all of this is trying to convince myself that despite everything I did, I’m still a somewhat decent person.

Wish me luck.

Breezeblocks

Since yesterday I have been in a very intense and terrible slump and I don’t know how to get out of it. I am in a state of constant panic now where I’m always shaking and the desperation is really starting to win over. I don’t want to harm myself, I know better than that and I made great progress at not needing to, but I am starting to feel like I’ve run out of options.I have no distractions. I feel wholly alone. It would make no difference on anyone’s life if I were here or not. People can get by just fine without me. I am nothing but a nuisance, here to wreck pain on those I love. I feel so small.

It feels like there’s no point anymore. I check my sugar (mostly) when I should, I eat 2-3 meals a day, try to get some exercise in every week, but for what? I’m not actively working towards anything or trying to change for anyone, and I feel like I’ve lost my life’s purpose. I have no purpose.

I just want the pain to end.

How to Teach a Disease

The next chronicle in my ongoing struggle to tackle my diabetes head first and finally come to terms with it.

I’ve done some research and have been reading some new websites, places where I can somewhat quench my eternal thirst for knowledge. I was getting a bit bored of Vox and The Verge and have thus far read around on FiveThirtyEight and Nautilus. I am very disappointed.

On both sites, my first search was “diabetes”. Nautilus claims to be a modern science magazine, yet all of its diabetes related articles had “obesity” in the same sentence, as if diabetes is intrinsically linked to obesity in all cases. It’s frustrating when the level of stigma surrounding the disease is so intense that even science magazines contribute to the misconceptions. The only articles that differentiated between the two types of the disease only commented on Type 2, only serving to add to the stigma surrounding the disease. The one article that showed a hint of promise by not including obesity in the headline or subtitle was actually dedicated to newly discovered advancements in cancer treatment.

How am I supposed to accept my own disease and its difficulties when most of the people I surround with have their understanding of it all wrong? I’m supposed to completely reeducate all of my peers, try to erase what they’ve been conditioned to know and teach them the reality of my daily struggle to live.

Death (Cab for Cutie)

Personally, I think my biggest fear is that I do not fear death enough. Most teenagers like me are terrified of the notion of death because we are taught to believe that we have time. I understand that my moments on this planet are fleeting and will soon be forgotten when I pass. I understand that while most people like to believe they have X amount of years left, and dread the moment when the Grim Reaper comes to collect their souls, I have merely accepted it. I know that life, for the most part, is suffering, but I also know to appreciate the happy moments when they come because they are few and far between. I’m at a state of acceptance which leaves me feeling empty and cold most of the time, but this too I have come to accept. I’ve been told that I’m an old soul reincarnated and having a hard time adjusting, but I think by having this acceptance that I truly may not wake up in the morning leaves me yearning to make more use of the time when I am alive and able to do something. For all I know, I could be the person who cures Diabetes. Although in centuries I will be forgotten because Diabetes no longer exists, my name etched in stone that has long weathered away, I will have made a difference in the lives of countless people right now, and that is enough for me. If I make an impact on merely one person in my lifetime, that is enough for me. In history, my life will hardly be a wrinkle in time, but I aim to make this wrinkle worthwhile.

When I Come Undone

My first week of school is officially over. I never thought so much stress, anxiety, and happiness could all be crammed into one week. 

My film class’s first show aired today! After multiple set backs and more moments than I would like to admit where we thought we weren’t going to have a show this week, we pulled through. A few of us, myself included, experienced multiple breakdowns along the way, but we got it done and the breakdowns were so worth the final product. I’m hoping that from this week, my group and I have learned a bit more and understand better what it takes to get the show done, and the coming weeks will be easier and not as unbearably stressful. I’m very proud of our work though, so incredibly proud. 

As I was talking to Ryan, my “third pillar”, he made me realize something very true. I met and have been speaking to Ryan since the summer before eighth grade, so for slightly more than two years now. I directed him towards our show, and upon watching it he was blown away partly from “how good it is” (his words not mine, even though it really it amazing) but also from the growth he’s seen in me that was entirely portrayed in the show. He told me that he knows I would never have been able to do something like this, anchor a show in front of my entire school, with a population of about 3,600, this time last year. I would have been wrecked by anxiety so much worse than I was feeling this week, to the point that it would have kept me from doing the show. 

I’m getting better. I am slowly but surely getting better, and I’m doing so on my own terms and by myself. I, of course, have helpers along the way, but for the most part, it’s all me. I was the one who finally decided I was sick of being sad all of the time and I was tired of not doing any of the things I love to do because I was too scared to do them, I was too scared of people’s opinions and criticisms. Not to say I’m not anymore, I was shaking all of third period waiting for the show to air at the last ten minutes, but it’s infinitely times more bearable now. I’m still scared, but no where near the same as before. As much as I would still like to see a psychologist, I don’t need one to get better. My willpower to get better is enough.

My diabetes is getting better as well, slowly but surely. Expect a long post about this topic on Monday, my 14th diaversary. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that soon, I will have had this disease for 14 of my 15 short years alive. It’s such a huge part of me, but I’m learning that it is not all of me. I am so much more than my disease, and I am capable of so much more than getting stuck thinking about it.

I’m getting tougher. A year ago, I thought it wasn’t possible for me to be any more strong than I already was, and I was wrong. I have more willpower and incentive than anyone I know. I’m strong, stronger than anyone will ever give me credit for. I am enough for myself. 

I’m happy. I can’t believe it, but I’m happy. I want to cry.

Success

Today is Day 2 of my vacation and it was such a self-esteem boosting kind of day, even though it didn’t start out too great.

Basically, in the morning, I miscalculated my carbs for breakfast and my sugar dropped as soon as we walked into Universal. I was worried because we were rushing to the new Harry Potter area, and with my dad being a tremendous fanatic of Harry Potter, I knew it would be entirely up to me to treat my low. After walking into 3 different stores and still not coming up with anything to raise my sugar, I was starting to panic and my parents were no help whatsoever. My breathing was starting to become labored and finally, as soon as we walked into Diagon Alley, I bought an orange juice at a shop in there (very good by the way, they put brown sugar around the rim of the cup and it was delicious).

The day continued and started brightening up, despite the weather becoming progressively cloudier. My day really brightened when a trio of workers from the Harry Potter area walked past where I was seated waiting for the parade, looked at me and told me I was beautiful. It was just a passing comment, and it floored me because I really wasn’t expecting it, and it was impossible for me to keep the grin off of my face during the duration of the parade as dancers and people dressed in the costumes continuously came up to me, kissing my hand and hugging me. That entire experience really did wonders on my self esteem and I just still feel so good.

Really, it was mostly feeling like I am beautiful even despite my sensor. The entire time I’ve been on the sensor now, the one feeling that has yet to go away is that the sensor will make me less attractive than I am. I see it as a flaw that an endless number of people will not have but I do. Now, after today, I am fully prepared for Saturday when we go to Islands and I take off my shirt to go on the water rides. I don’t care what people think of my sensor (for now); my sensor is a part of me and it makes me no more or less of a person than I am without it. If someone has an issue with it, that’s their problem.

I had to take my sensor off of my back last night after getting to the hotel from a day spent in Hollywood Studios and Epcot. In the shower, it completely peeled off due to issues with the adhesive patch. It’s back on my stomach, although it is placed much higher on my abdomen in hopes that I manage to avoid it getting caught under harnesses. It was trapped today under the lap bar on Rip Ride Rockit, and although it was by no means a pleasant experience, it was bearable.

I feel good. Really, really good. I haven’t felt this good in a really long time, such a long time I almost want to cry because of it.

Apprehension

This Wednesday I will be leaving for a final vacation before classes start. I’ll be heading up to Orlando and going to the Universal parks and Disney World parks with my parents. I love going on vacation alone with my parents because, as bad as it sounds, I love how they treat me like an only child when it’s just us three. They spoil me and give me the attention they’ve neglected me from past years, and I love it.

However, by the same token, I’m slightly apprehensive about going on vacation. When we go on water rides, I usually plan ahead and wear my bathing suit top under my shirt, and bring a back up bra, so that when I go on the rides, I take off my shirt to keep it dry, go on the rides, and then go to a bathroom and put on my dry clothes so that I can be comfortable the rest of the day.

Now that I’m on the sensor, I’m thinking twice about taking off my shirt in a crowded park. I’m wearing the sensor on my back now, I thought it would be safer there for when I go on roller coasters. I don’t want to put up with the stares. I know people will be looking at me weird, I know that only few, if any, people will understand and I don’t want to put up with me. I know I shouldn’t let it get to me, but like everything with my disease, it does.

Today I purposely didn’t wear my bathing suit to my baby cousin’s birthday party because I didn’t want the other people in the pool to stare at me. I hate how different people make me feel by not minding their business. It just sucks.

I hope (really, I know) that by the time Wednesday comes around, I will more or less be ready to take on people’s indiscretion and try to not let the stares get to me.

It’s my final week before going back to school. I really, really hope it’s a good one.

Blank #9

I am about as excited as I have ever been to go to university. I am incredibly eager to be done with high school and *hopefully* go off to Stanford and begin my next phase of life, but I am also incredibly eager for what I want to major in. I love to learn, which is one of the reasons I love school so much. I have a thirst for knowledge that is never quenched. I would like to major in literature, hopefully to wind up becoming an editor for a publishing company, or even better, create my own publishing company.

As much as I love special-effects make-up, I don’t believe in myself or trust myself enough in order to make it my career. I only ever see myself failing and coming up short here and I don’t want to disappoint myself.

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I have yet to fall into a slump. Every now and then I catch myself falling, slowly becoming immersed in my head, but I am able to stop and distract myself. I do think, though, that I need to interact with people more. I’m scared I’ll get too caught up in living through my books that I’ll forget how to live in the real world.

I desperately need to learn more songs to play on the piano.

In preparation for school, where I will begin my prison sentence in exactly 13 days, my nails are back to black, and it feels good. Bright colors really are not my thing.
I really hope I make more friends this year.

I made a new video for my YouTube channel after a week of thinking and contemplating if I regret making the channel, and I don’t. I need to vent to someone, and who better than faceless people who watch me talk to a camera. You can find the video below.