This may sound like a rant, maybe a bit ignorant or self serving, but definitely how I see myself as of September 7, 2012.
So 4 years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. Yeah, not the best way to start off a really long description, but that’s how it starts. That’s how it’ll always start and it’ll probably be how it’ll end too.
ANYWAYS. So in that time I was diagnosed, I was just entering high school. You see, high school is a time (in my mind) for relationships, freedom, partying, and all the fun stuff that you couldn’t really do in junior high, but can totally do in high school. Like a prerequisite to university.
I really had no idea what the hell was happening with my life. I had no career ideas, I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school. On top of that, the diagnosis put me into health and safety mode. I had no freedom in what I ate or how much I ate at the time because my family and I were being cautious. I had to stick to a strict meal plan and eating at certain times of the day because that is what I was told to do and I didn’t want to play tightrope with my health.
With all of that, I think I grew up much to soon. I mean, I’m still completely immature, a little naive, and totally a nerd, but I don’t see myself in the shoes of people my age. People my age drink, don’t really care about school, party (often), and have (care-free) relationships. They go to McDonald’s in the middle of the night. They do what the hell they want when they want to. Not to say that there are those those don’t, but I feel as if this is what I constantly see.
I don’t do this.
I grew up too soon. I had to care for my health when I really didn’t want to. I had to take up the responsibility of caring for myself when high school started so that I could literally survive school. I closed myself off to so much opportunities, connections and friendships in my first/second year of high school because I had to grow up in order to care for my ailment. I wanted to hang out with friends and have lunch at 2, but I couldn’t. If I did go out to “lunch,” I would have been sitting there sipping on water as I awkwardly watched the people in front of me eat whatever they wanted. I wouldn’t cry about it, or anything, but this is how it was. And all of that sort of loneliness sort of hardened me inside.
It sucks, but it transcended to now. I’m caring too much of what my future holds for me that I’m putting myself into things that I think will help my career. I don’t drink/party because I know that’s not good in the long run (I don’t think people my age really think about that?). I find parties with loud music, obnoxious people, and all of that to not be my thing. Then again, I might just be a misanthropist.
There’s a party happening right now that a lot of people actually asked if I was going. Obviously, I said no. It’s just not my thing. I really rather be at home. Having tea. And sleeping at 11. What would happen if I was put in a party full of drunk people? A drink or two is fine (also, my organs are much more fragile now that I have no real working pancreas and overworked liver and kidneys) but I’d be sure I’m not getting drunk to the point of passing out. That’s just scary. Why? Because as people wake up with hangovers the next day, I might not wake up. Yeah. That’s how it could go.
I still crave that connection that people can easily develop. It’s sometimes hard making friends that like to party and go out and all that jazz when they probably don’t know that you have a life long disease that will probably be the death of you. You see someone differently if they have something like that. I want to enjoy myself at a night out, but the disease that plagues me always says “hey, take your insulin and eat something, or else you’re not going to have a fun night.”
Am I old? Do I see myself as old? No and yes. My body betrayed me at 15, so I guess that meant something different. It affected how I saw things. It affected the way I saw people my age and the choices they made. It affected how I thought. Maybe I grew up because I had to, and I guess it was a good thing. But I always wonder how it would have turned out if I didn’t end up in the hospital on July 7.