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What’s On the Other Side of All This?

I’ve blogged the last few times about patient empowerment and how societal stigmas can place such roadblocks in our path.  That path to finding the best health outcome for an individual. The reason why I’ve blogged on those things is that I’ve been avoiding a question.

What is on the other side of therapy?  Greener grass?  I doubt it, I don’t think they’ve had much rain over there either.  Some of the questions that have crossed my mind were “Will I still advocate? Will I still blog or even want to?”

That’s a troubling question to me because I just can’t answer it.  Yet.

I asked Morpheus what she thought and she said “Maybe.”  I know, big help right?  She also said that it may not be so much a matter of blog or not blog but more a matter of theme (I’m struggling for a word here, that was the closest I could think of at the moment).

Let’s be honest, my outlook on life in general and the things I have shared over the past few months haven’t necessarily been the most positive posts about living a long time with a chronic condition.  Honest?  Yes.  Uplifting?  If you thought so, maybe you need a chat with Morpheus ;D  Hmm… wonder if I can get a referral fee?

But my theme may change from someone who is living with a lifetime of diabetes and depression to someone who is living with a lifetime of diabetes and has made it through the depression.  At least for now because I seriously doubt that there won’t be some dark times ahead.  I just hope they won’t be as dark as some of  my previous episodes were.

One of the reasons I have been asking myself this is that I’ve found myself drifting away from the DOC, focusing my time on other advocacy areas, such as patient empowerment.  I’ve also posted alot about mental health issues, but I don’t feel that I have truly entered that community.  I’ve rarely read the blogs of other people outside the DOC who have depression, just participated in a few twitter #mhsm chats really.

But I also wonder if I’m not drifting because the DOC has always been my space, the place where I felt comfortable and accepted.  Drifting and keeping it in my back pocket… a safe place to come back to someday.  If I need to.

That “If I need to” is the rub of it.  I’ve always felt I was passionate about diabetes advocacy and, being that I never really let myself have a passion before (remember Why Bother?), it was exciting for me to participate.  Honestly, I’m not sure what a “passion” feels like.  Or this whole thing could just be a result of the depression I’ve been feeling.  I’m starting to think that the excitement wasn’t a passion as much as being excited about not being alone any more.

Now that novelty may be wearing off for me, allowing me to take a deeper look at not only our patient community but also allowing me to see that there are so many similarities between different types of patients.  So many of us fight the same insurance fights, we don’t “look” sick, if you are this then you must have that, getting the treatment we need which may not be what the doctor ordered… We all struggle with the financial, physical and mental burdens.  We all have loved ones who worry about us.

I’ve been kind of keeping my distance, so to speak, from social media recently.  Allowing looks inside my world as I work through all this crap with Morpheus, reading lots and lots of blogs but really not participating as I once did.

I think my focus, my theme if you will, is changing.  What I don’t know if this is the just the result of some of the emotional changes I’ve experienced recently.  I mean I went from admitting to myself that I’ll probably have a future to seeing what might be the only long-term goal I ever had accomplished.  Seeing my children graduate high school was a subconscious goal I think, something I kept buried until my youngest had his name called out as he walked across the stage.

All of a sudden, I’m faced with a “Holy crap!  WTF do I do now?” situation because I never believed I had a future.  Until now.  That’s a lot of change, a direct assault on one my cornerstone beliefs, that belief I was supposed to be dead.

Ironically, that whole “having a future” thing makes my future feel quite uncertain.

© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com

  • shannon

    i am so glad you’ve been sharing your journey on your blog, as i know it has helped others (and you, i hope). something you said at the top of this post struck me, and it reminded me of something i read elsewhere.  “what is on the other side of therapy?” reminded me of this response i recently read in an advice column, and though the situations are different, i hope you might find some value in it as well.

    “We want to believe that on the other side of whatever crap we had to
    swim away from there’s a crap-free beach where we can lounge in the sun
    at last. Free and at peace…But we can’t erase our lives…We can only change who we are in
    relation to them. We can revise how we narrate those stories of our
    lives.”

    original article here: http://therumpus.net/2012/05/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-98-monsters-and-ghosts/

    i know the rest of your post wasn’t even really about that, but i wanted to share it anyway.

    • That was a good article Shannon, thanks! I’m hoping that these are helping other, it’s kind of hard to tell at times

  • Mike Hoskins

     Wow, Scott. What an insightful, deep and amazing post. Thanks for writing this, my friend. I think that evolution is something we face, at least those of us who’ve had that “why bother” attitude where we didn’t believe we’d have a future. And then suddenly found that future alive and kicking one day. So many of the patient stories are the same or very closely echoing the same issues, and I appreciate you mentioning that and even focusing on it. Sharing your story has been something personally very beneficial to me, because I see so much of my life and feelings in what you express. So I couldn’t say enough about it. But yes, the evolution is a weird thing… and who knows where it takes us in the grand scheme. All I know, is that I’m very proud to know you and consider you a friend. Even as this journey continues into this newfound future we’ve each discovered and at least started to embrace. Best wishes your way, bro.

    •  Thanks Mike, it’s good to hear that these are helping you.  So many of us have been writing about these topics over the past few months, I’m hoping some of the stigma can get stripped away, even if its just in the DOC. Hopefully that will make it easier for people to not only admit they need some help and then get some.

      Thanks, my friend

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