Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fitting In

I have heard it come from the mouths of diabetic youth - the fear and true feelings of not fitting in with their peers.  As much as I would like to think this is a youth problem not anyone elses' that is not true.  In fact I think we never stop wanting to fit in, somewhere in all of us whether we want to admit it or not, we want to be the norm and when we aren't the norm we want those little exceptions to be outstanding, ones that make people like us more, want to be our friends or give us praise.

Another one of my biggest supporters (Michelle).
 Finding a friend that appreciates your diabetes is the best feeling
 in the world.
It's already hard enough to be a teenager. I remember being a teenager - of course it wasn't even that long ago, and to this day, I'd never wish to go back. Being a teenager is awkward, but it is a time in your life that does have good moments, but most of all it gives you a whole slew of teachable moments as well that at first you label as bad, but then come to realize it was all leading to something else.   So, if it is already hard to keep up with teenage life, imagine slapping on an insulin pump to your teenage hip, throwing a meter in your cute clutch or backpack and having to carry juice boxes or snacks like your younger kindergarten sister.  Not exactly an easy breezy time.

Many teens have asked me about this issue and I can't give them advice about navigating high school, as much as I can with navigating college and beyond.  But, I do know that what I have learned since high school diabetes related or not, is that kids that bully go no where, and if they do, it is when they have reached out and found forgiveness.  I have people on my face book that bullied me at a time in elementary school, horrible bulling, and yet I still 'friended' this person.  If someone does not take the time to appreciate you, appreciate what you do, and appreciate your diabetes in particular than you do not need to make time to appreciate them.    Be yourself, be honest, be happy, and never slump down to their level. It is always good to have one good friend then 300 sometimes-friends who do not appreciate you for you.

I do feel that sometimes I am unlike my peers. I often feel bad for Vince for having to have a diabetic girlfriend - this is just a moment in time sympathy I feel, but honestly, sometimes I think, ' I can't believe he doesn't care that I have a pump...'  but when he says thinks like, 'I love your eyes, I love your smile, I love your site..' I know that I have found the one that appreciates me for me, for what I do and he appreciates my diabetes.

Fitting in isn't an easy job for anyone whether you have a pump or not. The truth is is that everyone has that little thing that makes them feel like they aren't 'normal' or won't be accepted, sometimes it is as simple as a birth mark, or as complicated as a disease.  But truth is, there are millions upon millions of people out there, and you have the right to pick to who you want to bring into your life.   Don't let anyone lead you to believe you aren't worth that.

Plus, if you're diabetic, I can ensure you there is a tight, amazing, wonderful online diabetes community out there that is always willing to be there for you.


1 comment:

  1. Lovely Kayla straight from the heart. Xxx