Living with Type 1 Diabetes: Letting It All Out
I had a personal pity party the other day. I feel like it was necessary for my health to kind of let it all out. My husband and I were driving our 25 year-old son home from jail. Yes, jail. We were having a talk on the way to his house. He has been walking a hard long path paved in drug use. I am not his biological mother. I raised him from the time he was 7, along with his younger brother, after their biological mother left. She stayed out of his life, following her own drug paved path. There was no financial help or support from her. It was up to me and my husband to figure out how to keep a roof over his head, clothes on his body, and food in his tummy. It hasn’t always been easy.
He referred to his biological mother by saying “my mom” (after years of him calling her by her first name). I had been hearing rumors that they were talking often by phone and that they were now close. I tried not to show my pain. I was the one that was there for all the Tae Kwon Do practices, the choir concerts, the school functions and countless teacher meetings, the stomach flu nights where I’d wake up every couple of hours to check his temperature and see if he needed “a sippie” of water or juice, or some Tylenol. I had worked hard at jobs that required crazy hours for years to keep our health insurance and pay the bills. I did all the work of a mom and cared for him as my own, and yet, it was a title so easily given away.
We dropped him off and my husband commented on how well I did with the hurtful comment. I stayed quiet as we passed several fast food restaurants on the drive home. I found myself gazing out the car window at the giant tantalizing photos of the burgers and fried foods that I’d never eat again, thanks to celiac. I missed those comfort foods. I was suddenly upset about everything. I was sick of having diabetes. I was sick of having celiac. I was sick of life never being easy. I feel overwhelmed with the constant pressure to be the better person and the better diabetic. It felt like too much.
My husband pulled over at a gas station and I started crying big rolling tears. I whimpered that I “never seem to catch a break”. Nothing is easy, not parenting, not celiac, and certainly not diabetes. Life seems to be getting substantially harder as I get older. My husband pointed out that I helped raise the boys for him too and that regardless of their appreciation, he appreciates it more than I’ll ever know. He told me how grateful he is for my help in mothering the boys. I hadn’t ever looked at it like that. He was right. It hadn’t gone unnoticed by him. In fact, even knowing the outcome, I’d do it all over again.
My life might be more complicated with the inability to eat a lot of carbs or any gluten, and my kids may have left the nest, but I am still important to someone. I needed to hear that. I really try not to have crying meltdowns in front of people. I guess I’m kind of glad it happened though. You just never know when someone else can help you see things in a meaningful new light.