Sunday, July 26, 2009
I Am Not My Disease
We promise our friends we will always be there. We promise that when they're crying we will cry too and that when they smile we will be there grinning back at them. But when does this promise become a true test, when is this promise broken or when do we know this promise is true?
I've had friends that I've known for years, some I met in elementary school while others I met in high school and some I met from work. As your life goes by you meet so many different people and they all become a part of your life in some way. Some friends may become enemies while others fade away, but there are always the friends that have stuck by you and promise to continue.
After being diagnosed it was almost like a test, who was going to visit? who was going to call? who was worrying? It sounds selfish, self centered and strange but to me, it meant a lot. I know that all the friends that I had around me throughout my life were great people. We all shared laughs, memories and tears together but really were they in it for the long run?
I'll admit, there are friends that seemed to push away. Whatever the case, reason or excuse, I knew that I had to respect them no matter what. It's not easy to think of someone a certain way, know them and grow up with them and then have them change. I know it well, that change is hard and adjusting can be tricky but I never thought in a million years that diabetes would create a gap from those who once promised me through thick and thin.
I am not my disease. I am Kayla Brown, the same girl that possibly played barbies with you, went on walks to talk about gossip, said silly things, laughed and cried with you. There are so many things that have changed with me over the years but deep down I know that no disease, illness, fight, fall, lie can make me forget who I am.
I want everyone to know, diabetic or not, that this promise friends make unfortunately isn't a guarantee. It isn't until you are knocked down, do you realize who is going to open their arms and pick you back up again. There are beautiful people in this world, I know a bunch, and that is the great thing about friendship. Diabetes has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I've learned so much about who I am as well as the people that surround me.