I was really moved last week by a blog post by Lee Ann over at the Butter compartment. As I read about unsupportive family members - I couldn't help it as my chest filled up with pride at the amazing support team I have. I also took a nod because this diabetes thing is hard and I try my damnedest to not complain. But then what made my jaw drop and my eyes well (at work no less) was reading the list of interruptions that diabetes has on her life and realizing "oh Me too". I wasn't particularly feeling bad for myself, but I was realizing I am a really bad at communicating to the folks who love me that I'm not aloof - I am just consumed.
Some back story. I used to be detached. I used to dodge commitment like it was a big ass red "enter brand name of dodge ball here". I moved to the opposite side of the country. I changed jobs every year. I never lived anywhere longer than a year. I fell in love with boys who were conveniently unavailable... etc, etc you get the picture...I got the picture, finally heard what my oldest and dearest friends had been saying and grew up, got therapy & found a pair and moved back to be near them. I bought a house in haste, so I HAD to commit.
I floundered for my first couple of years while I figured out what I had to do to make deeper commitments, I glommed onto previously mentioned friends and their families. I spied, I envied, I envisioned. But always staying at some distance because it was safe. And then crappy things started to happen, things that really challenged me and had me reluctantly relying on friends more than I was comfortable with. 2006 was loaded with death (the core of why I was aloof to begin with) I lost an uncle. a really good friend. I had to stop working for a startup that I really believed in, and get a "real" job to bail myself out of financial ruin.
And then, I lost my Mom. That was it. fuck it was my motto. I wanted to run and never look back. But my frickin house. ugh! It was like a ball and chain that forced me to look deeper than I ever wanted to. I HAD to get a job to support the house. I had applied to ONE job, and had the most amazing phone interviews (3 hrs with my to be hubby, Adam but thats a story for a different day) and I got the job. I commuted 2 hrs each way in silence thinking about this commitment that was being forced on me by my own doing, by my own choice... where was the lesson...where is the gift...this is what I meditated on as I drove to the train, boarded the train, moved through the masses to the T, walked the .5 mile across the Salt and Pepper bridge along the charles to work every day.
Just as I was giving up (or giving in) my conversations with Adam took on a new note. We started dating and he patiently waited as I revolted against having my hand held, my hair stroked, my heart enveloped. He let me take baby steps. Discovering at my own pace that going deeper down the rabbit hole of commitment was not so scary. To see that no, nothing bad happens when you stay, no one dies, no explosions, no failure it just gets better. We had a good solid year of la la bliss - that year where I disappeared from the radar - where we just stared in eachother's eyes - drunk with love. mmmm tipsy tulip for sure. no, you're schmoopy...My friends understood, they were happy for me, proud that I had learned to commit; they waited patiently or impatiently for the day when I would emerge from my love cocoon.
But I have yet to emerge. Instead I had to cake on another layer. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in May of 08. Adam & I were married in October of the same year. So '08 was pretty busy and frighteningly NEW NEW NEW. It stumbled into most, if not all of 09, where I struggled with not being as efficient or smart as a human pancreas. I struggled with changing my name. I struggled with taking my new name and making it my own. That first year of marriage, when you're deep in the trenches of making it work, I was deep in the trenches of understanding how to make this Diabetes thing work. From the outside I imagine it looked like I was distancing my self all over again, had gone back to being aloof or that I was just deep in it with Adam and I was/am, but truthfully at times he played second to Diabetes.
It's taken me nearly two years to feel like I can look in the rear view mirror. I can recognize where things need adjustment, how to bring things to what I guess is center. For the first time in my life I am drinking from the well of commitment and loving it. But I recognize my scope is so very limited by time. As it goes, the order right now is Adam, Diabetes, work and Friends and Family. I know, having F&F 4th is lame, but I am being honest with myself so I can adjust this, I am fortunate enough to enjoy my work but what I don't love is commuting so much...I hold that responsible for work trumping F&F. This too will change.
Adam says all the time I make having diabetes look effortless. A slight of hand, but I don't have to say anything to him because he's with me 20 out of most of my 24 hrs - he sees a low wash over my face, the shake in my voice, the tears of frustration at a high, the time I spend in our kitchen, the time I don't spend making art. He bears witness to how much time this disease takes. I miss time more than bread.
As always I didn't get here alone. Thank you Monica & Adam for such a powerful conversation Sunday morning in the bright light of our kitchen and for all of my patient friends. I will continue to look for the gift.