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That Fateful Saturday

For most my life before finding the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), I had been very isolated in my condition.  I had “learned” at an early age that I wasn’t going to live much past college, that’s just how Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes was back then.

There’s a predisposition to depression in my family and I was a perfect storm for it.  I grew up on a farm, basically an only child as my siblings were are much older than I, so when I got to school I simply did not have the social skills needed to “fit in”.  And when diabetes came along a year later, I was even more “different”.

I just kind of went through the motions, doing enough to stay alive and, miraculously, without complications.  I kept waiting to die, for something “bad” to happen to me. Doing that for nearly 40 years before I went on the pump and found the DOC.  Suddenly, I was awash in the data required to truly manage my condition for the first time.

I went from testing once or twice a year to several times a day.  From seeing an endo once a decade to once every three months, actually managing this damn condition every day.

Then, then I really got into the DOC…

Learning I wasn’t alone, was fantastic… for the most part.  As with data, I was suddenly awash in the stories of other diabetics and those of their caregivers.  This started a long spiral of depression for me as I was reading stories of complication and blue candles.  These things were happening to people who had worked a lot harder at managing their conditions than I had ever done before.

Children lost to something that just wasn’t fair, something that no one could truly be blamed for.

I found the stories compelling, something else that I had failed at.  Stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, my failure to die had become a new reality for me.  It became irreconcilable in my mind that I should survive with little-to-no effort. I tried to reconcile it by feeling guilty and ashamed that I had survived.  I took the blame myself, punishing myself for something totally out of my control.

It was quite literally overwhelming, even thinking back on that period makes my chest tight.

And then on to that Saturday.  A nice summer day, much like any other.  Life in general was pretty stressful that summer and I was in the middle of a depressive episode and too much alcohol.  That day I had received some bad news, don’t even really remember what it was.  But suddenly I just felt numb, tired.  Sighing, I decided on an afternoon nap, but couldn’t sleep.

I couldn’t sleep because, on that fateful Saturday, suicide had become the answer…

Read Part 2 at It Would Be So Easy

© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Kelly / Diabetes

    OK, I just had to remind myself to breathe!

  • Cheri Pate

    I’m with Kelly. I had this sudden urge to hug you just to be sure you were really still there.

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  • Bernard Farrell

    Scott, I lived with diabetes for 20+ years also waiting for something bad to happen. And always assuming that it would. Thankfully a long conversation with my current endo at the time really turned me around.

    I’m really grateful that you changed your mind. If you ever hit a challenge like this again, please call. I’ll post my number on the DA Blog.

  • Jaimie Roberts Hernandez

    I love you~!… I know how hard that was for you to post and I’m so blessed to be able to call you ‘friend’…

  • Scott E

    Scott, if there’s one thing that I can say about diabetes is that so much of it is up to chance. Even whether we get it or not is largely up to chance (as best as we know, anyway). It sounds like you had a long streak of good luck, just long enough to connect with others and to realize how to take better care of yourself for the times when you can’t rely on luck. Some may view diabetes as a curse, but wrapped in that – you’ve got a gift: an “extended” training/learning period. Please don’t let that gift go to waste.

  • Mike Hoskins

    I’m also grateful you changed your mind, and to have the honor of knowing you and calling you a friend. Thank you for sharing this, Scott… I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy to share. I’ve been there myself and still struggle at times, but it’s having people in my life like you that pull me through. So, thank you for being a part of this world and changing my life, and helping to focus on the not-so-negative.

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  • Scott K. Johnson

    Scott, I love you, brother. It was so brave to post these thoughts, and by doing so you are helping so many. Don’t ever discount how much you matter to people, and how much you are helping.

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