If you’ve ever popped by here to read a post or two, you will know that my relationship with myself is a complicated back and forth that usually ends in tears.
Today was no different.
In fact, today proved to be a perfect play out of just how fucked up that relationship really is…
We all have struggles. We have all had a moment (or two, or in my case several) where we doubt ourselves, and love ourselves less than we deserve.
My body image and relationship with self struggles are a daily occurrence. And have left me to question whether I love myself at all.
Attending adult Diabetes camp last year ignited a desire to dive deeper into the Type 1 Community. After spending nearly two decades living with Type 1 and never engaging with other T1Ds, I was both overwhelmed by camp and inspired by it.
I met so many amazing people at camp, many of whom I have stayed in contact with and consider not just Diabuddies, but friends. And that’s something I have definitely been short of in my nearly four decades on Earth.
Some of those folks really embraced their Diabetes diagnosis and were out there in the world inspiring, advocating and educating on the daily. And it was eye-opening for me. Mostly because a lot of them had been recently diagnosed and were fully immersed in all things Type 1.
And here I was, entering my 20th year of life as Type 1 and just starting to dip my toe in the water…
Some of those folks where out there doing the most amazing things. And it was incredible to see. And I was enviable of their lack of inhibition. The support they had from their family, friends and the community. I wanted to learn and I wanted to know who to find my niche like they had…
Let’s face it. I was straight up jealous. I also felt ashamed and unworthy.
My Diabetes doesn’t hold me back, but it is part of who I am and can’t be ignored. My mental health struggles have deep seeded roots and that cannot be ignored either. Especially when those roots are tied so tightly around every part of me. Including my Diabetes.
Today all of those struggles came together, gave me an unexpected mind fuck, and then set off a fucking bomb mid-morning. Day over.
I was due up for a pump site change, my pod was edging on empty (which meant I would soon have so insulin) and my blood sugars had started to linger slightly higher than I would typically like. So I thought, why not post a video about it?
I set up my phone for filming and proceeded to remove the existing pod…on film. I kinda sorta watched it back, then hopped in the shower to enjoy a rinse while attached to only one device, my CGM (a semi-naked shower – my T1D peeps will understand that).
Disclaimer: I hate being filmed. And I am not very skilled at it either. I have no idea how to set up a “good” angle or how to edit, so it was going to be a one shot deal. Plus, it’s not like I can reinsert the fucking pod and remove it again…
When I returned to my room, I watched the video again while I set up to prep a new pod and pick a new site. With everything ready to go, I watched it again. Just to be sure I had seen what I thought I had. To say it was cringe-worthy would be kind.
Apparently, in addition to having gained a bunch of unwanted weight over the last year, that I can’t seem to shake, I am super bloated today. And you can totally tell in the video. In an effort to throw myself a bit of fairness, the angle sucked. And my pod was on my lower abdomen, which is great for insulin absorption but not so great for my self-esteem. Years of fluctuating weight and housing a baby have done a number on that particular part of me. The skin has been stretched and there’s the marks to show for it. In fact, it has been through so much trauma, the skin is now lose and hanging…no amount of sit-ups or core work outs can fix it. Then there’s my face. Also showing signs of bloat and unflattering angles. And my hair, which I am not currently thrilled about at the moment. And way too much “big” arms visible…
In short, the video was fucking awful. But I resolved myself to film the pod application, an attempt to stick to my guns, so to speak. I could always film another removal video.
I did all the steps. Trying my best to borrow from the videos that were the inspiring force behind my launch outside my comfort zone.
While I was filming I felt confident it was going well. I had prepped my site, filled my pod, applied and inserted. All on film. And all while remembering to highlight the process, by holding my PDM up to the screen to accompany the multiple steps. I felt pretty good about things…then I watched it.
All three minutes and 2 seconds of film.
And my morning was over. There on film was a grotesque human being attempting to enter a world she has no right to be a part of. My clothes are threatening to be too tight and because of that hide nothing. There on film was every physical flaw, every roll, every bulge, every bit of everything that makes me so uncomfortable in my skin.
I couldn’t hit delete fast enough. Then I threw the phone on the bed, startling my sleeping cat, and proceeded to drop to the floor.
The tears had started after the first minute of film, then intensified with every passing second and I was now a blubbering mess. Snot and everything. On the floor, at the foot of my bed. Chest heaving, tears streaming. Struggling to catch my breath.
A fucking thirty-seven year old woman.
I can’t say what it was that made me stop. I think I caught a chill or maybe the dog got a little too nosy. Honestly, I was so distraught that I cannot remember getting up off the floor.
But I do remember walking in to the washroom and cleaning myself up. Best as I could. The tears had stopped but I had yet to properly catch my breath.
Now, it may seem silly to some of you. Getting that upset over something like that, but please, don’t judge. You have no idea just how complex that chain reaction of emotions really is…
Firstly, my perception of my physical body is fucked. While it is far from perfect, I gather it isn’t quite as bad as I see it or someone (husband, family, healthcare professional) would have said something. But there is nothing anyone can say or do that can make me see things in a proper light. I have struggled with this my whole fucking life.
And I gather I will likely continue that battle until the death.
Secondly, I struggle because I know that my perception is skewed. So that ends up in a serious mind fuck. And a guilt trip unlike any other. Which starts a new chain of negative feelings that end up spiraling out of control.
Thirdly, the guilt morphs. I no longer feel guilty for how I am treating myself but for the time I am wasting by reacting this way. I start to think of all the things I could or should be doing in place of blubbering on the floor because of my excessive love handles. And while that guilt could easily morph in to anger, it does not.
And I plunge, almost unwillingly, deeper into the ever-present depression lurking on the outskirts of my daily life.
There are fourthly, fifthly and so many more -lys but I dare not keep you here too long. I’m grateful if you’ve made this far.
The point is, there are A LOT of emotions and feelings attached to my drop to the floor episodes.
And all of these things plague me. Here and now in this moment, and every other time I happen to catch view of myself. Regardless of the angle. Flattering or not. The physical discomfort is real and all I have ever known.
Oddly enough, my feeling of not quite enough has become tolerable. Acceptable even.
Which is also fucked up because who would elect to see themselves this way?
For now, I will focus on what I can:
I am still here.
The tears have almost stopped.
And tomorrow is another chance to try to love myself.