I spent my life equating value with effort. I always thought I had to put in 110%. Thats why, when I kept reading 18 mmol/L on my glucometer, I felt like a royal failure.
I tried everything, I mean EVERYTHING. I’d rationed my food, walked up and down hills. Ingested chromium and cinnamon. Swallowed mountains of bitter gourd, had acupuncture and kineseology. I even tapped my chakras for a whole year. I cried a river, searched my childhood for wounds, visualised my pancreas as a big pink love heart regrowing cells “ compassionately”.
I prayed, man did I pray!
I even tried giving up for a while, my version being; pigging out on a bag of almonds. No matter what I did, the effort I put in did not equal a healthy pancreas.
Being an innovative person I tried a multitude of approaches. But nothing worked because I was missing the key ingredient.
I’d been misdiagnosed.
Imagine… You’re in Prague. You don’t speak the language and can’t read the signs. How do you get to your destination? The most essential information in this equation is to know where you are. Are you at the train station? The tram stop? The airport? Once you know where you can ask someone, google map search, whatever. But if you don’t know the WHERE it’s going to be hopeless.
That’s what it’s like when you have the wrong diagnosis. I knew there was a problem. I knew I had diabetes. But all the information about what I thought I had was wrong. I kept treating type 1 as if it were type 2. I kept telling everyone, “My cells are resisting the abundant insulin I produce. I just need to open up my cells again. That’s why you see me eating blah blah blah and doing these Yoga practices and having those treatments.” I can remember my ex trying to counsel me, explaining that my big issue was fear. If I could just stop being afraid maybe I’d heal. In hindsight I can only giggle at the ridiculousness of it all.
Knowledge is power.
Ok, so to get anywhere you need to know where you are. But knowing about something is very different than actually experiencing something. I knew all about Type 1- but to be honest only what I’d remembered from my friend’s son injecting in front of me once. Why should I learn about something I couldn’t possibly have. And when my doctor told me I had an autoimmune condition which was attacking my beta cells, the penny still didn’t drop! “Can I regrow the little buggers?” I asked hopefully. The Doc only shook his head and apologised encouraging me to get my A1c down or we’d have to start ‘medication’.
I’d never taken a pill in my life, I was terrified!
So I put in even more effort. And that’s when the shit hit the fan. I tanked. We were on retreat at a beautiful resort on a hill in the middle of the tropics. I was teaching at dawn, inhaling avocados and trudging my way up and down hills in a last ditch effort to get my levels back down. Deep down I knew it wouldn’t work. My self-assuredness was gone. My motivation exhausted. I couldn’t see the point.
I’ve often heard or read that its at the point where you truly give up that grace steps in. I don’t think I’ve ever truly understood what grace means. People talk about in lofty terms. Like… and then such and such happened and I was showered by grace.
Understanding grace was about getting real with myself. It happened when the Doctor told me I was a type 1 diabetic and that my only option was Insulin. I felt it when my diabetes educator said that being diabetic couldn’t possibly be my fault. And I still feel the presence of grace every single night when the needle hits my skin and the insulin seeps into the soft folds of my belly.
I have a friend who is deliciously positive. Simple things that I take for granted are miracles to her. What I love about my friend is that she’s happy with what is. It shows she doesn’t equate her value with any of her achievements. She doesn’t have to do anything to accept who she is. She lives her life through the potency of GRACE.
So what does it mean to live a life filled with grace?
I’d love to know what you think!
with great respect….Rachel