Today is my 28th birthday. Which each passing birthday, that same old question gets thrown around: "Do you feel any different?" The answer is usually no, unless it is a particularly special year that brings along much anticipated privileges such as driving, voting, drinking, etc. Turning 28 doesn't bring along any special perks, but I do feel different today.
Today, I am more in control and feel more like myself than I ever have. I woke up today and gave myself a minute to appreciate that. For years and years I harbored the burden of uncontrolled diabetes all by myself, unwilling to share or open up to anyone, ashamed of the person I was. It was easier to ignore and deny it than to face it or to force the heaviness of it onto people I loved. I maintained a happy and controlled facade, but was spiraling out of control on the inside. As I blew out my candles on each birthday, I secretly wished that the coming year would be different. That I would find the strength to get a grip on something, anything, diabetes-related. But each year, I let myself down.
Except this year. A new doctor reached out to me 6 months ago. She helped me find help and she helped me help myself. It has been a long, bumpy road and I'm still walking it. But I don't walk it alone anymore and I know I won't ever have to go back to being the girl that uses bright birthday candles for such dark wishes.
Today, I will blow out my candles and send off strength to others who are still fighting my old fight. I will do a blood sugar reading, I will carb count, and I will bolus. I will enjoy every bite of that piece of cake, as it is no longer sprinkled with guilt. I am a born-again diabetic :) And I'm planning an even bigger celebration on May 5th, the 19th anniversary of my diagnosis.