I hate the term ‘perfectionist’ but I’m guessing there are probably a few people who have used that term to describe me. Even in my artistic pursuits I have been drawn (pardon the pun) to the more intricate styles and mediums, like pen & ink and pencil. These are the mediums I could control and direct more. Precision was my artistic passion. I shied away from paint which is less easily controlled. Although I adore colour and always envied the artist who could just unleash and let the paint fly.
And then along came diabetes.
If there was ever a thing that refuses to be tamed or controlled, it’s diabetes. There are good days and bad, but things never just level off and stay that way. It is a constant, exhausting, sometimes scary roller-coaster, with plenty of uncertainty and unknowns. So much so that those of us who live it every day are compelled to seek out others who do the same. We can offer valuable support and understanding. None of us are perfect, but we are struggling to do the best we can with a disease that refuses to be tamed, while juggling all other aspects of our lives.
I can’t really put my finger on any one thing that I have learned. There isn’t something I can file under “learned” as in “Cool. I know that now. On to the next thing.”
But most of the significant and meaningful learning I do is an ongoing process. I am learning to accept that people who don’t live this day in and day out simply don’t get it. How can they? It’s like being a parent; you don’t have a sniff until you are one. I am learning to accept that diabetes is not a precision oriented disease. It is far too riddled with variables to ever be anywhere near precise. I am learning to be okay with the fact that there is no way I can do this perfectly. I just do the best I can. I am learning a lot about balance in life - both mine and my child’s life with diabetes.
There are so many people in the Diabetes Online Community living with diabetes and living well. They don’t let diabetes dictate the course of their lives or stop them from doing what they love. That is what I want for my family - for my children - for my little girl who will take this disease with her when she ventures out into the world on her own.
I think one of the most valuable lessons I am learning with the help of the Diabetes Online Community is to put down the pen and pick up a big, messy, unpredictable paint brush once in a while. To take some risks now and then. To let the paint - in all its colourful glory - fly and fall where it may. To embrace the chaos that is inevitable in life.
The resulting work of art may very well end up being a beautiful masterpiece.