To My Dear Friends,
It's not you.... it's me.
I know that sounds like a line. And so often - it DOES mean "It's toally you". But in the world of diabetes - where nothing is as it seems, where what's up is down, what's right is wrong, and what's left is right - it's often the things that make the least sense that are, in fact, the truth.
You see, when diabetes entered our lives, I didn't really get it. I really thought that when we got home from the hospital that sooner or later we could pick up our life where we had dropped it a week earlier. I thought, like everyone else, that we'd get her under control and things would go back to normal.
I mean, I knew it was going to take a little extra. I just had no idea.
I kept waiting for when I could stop checking at night. Waiting for the fear to go away. Waiting for it to start making sense. Waiting for diabetes to stop consuming my every thought.
It's been almost 2 years. I'm still waiting.
At first, it seemed like it WAS back to normal. Sort of. It just hadn't hit me yet.
In some ways, the more time we spend fighting this disease, the harder it becomes.
My grief didn't start right away. Oh, I thought it did. But I was wrong. I'm still working through it. Some days are better than others.
I know you wonder what's going on with me. Why sometimes I'm so distant. Why I don't return calls or emails like I used to. Why I seem like the same person... just a little off. Or maybe you wonder what happened to me? Where I went?
I wonder, too.
It's just that sometimes it's SO HARD.
Sometimes it's so hard to be around people who DON'T live with diabetes. Sometimes it hurts to watch how easy the simplest things are for you. Like feeding your kids. Or having a date night. Or getting together with friends. Or.... well, you name it.
Sometimes I feel like I speak a different language now. One that no one else understands.
Sometimes it's just so difficult for us to do the easiest of things. Excursions take planning and packing. We can't be so spontaneous. We have to consider so many things....
And sometimes I'm just so tired.
I don't mean to pull away from you.
It's just.... I feel so very "high matience". And that makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty that it's hard for us all to get together because we have trouble finding a babysitter. I feel guilty that you have to work around our schedule. I don't like that.... Sometimes I think it's just easier for you to get together without me.
And did I mention that I'm just so tired?
Sometimes I have nothing left to give. At the end of the day, I'm done. There is nothing left in the tank. I have no energy left to talk or email or hang out or anything.
But I know - It's been so long. We used to get together all the time. And now I can't remember the last time... And that makes me feel guilty, too.
Sometimes I feel so empty.
Sometimes I hear you talk about your life... and it just feels so different from mine. It didn't used to be. It makes me wonder what happened to MY life. But now it is so different. And that's hard. It hurts. It stings. I don't like feeling that way.
Sometimes I feel so alone.
And I don't want to be "that" person. You know - the one that makes you feel like you have to walk on eggshells because you might say something wrong. The one who makes you feel sad or uncomfortable.
So I try to hide it. I laugh in the right places. I smile. I say I'm fine.
But you KNOW me. You know that sometimes I'm not fine. And you know why...
But neither of us knows what to do about it.
Please don't give up on me.
What you do does not go unnoticed. And I need you now more than ever before. But sometimes I just can't express it to you.
Thank you for keeping after me. Thank you for not letting me pull away. Thank you for being there for me when I have trouble being there for you. Thank you for not letting me fall off the radar. Thank you for offering to help. Thank you for caring. Thank you for checking on us. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend - even when I can't always return the favor. Thank you for putting up with the glazed eyes and the unfocused attention and constant forgetting and the fact that I've been MIA so very often.
All I can offer is this...
I'll keep fighting. I'll keep swimming and I'll keep trying to find myself. Maybe we won't get back to where we were... but maybe our new friendship will be that much better.
You - Just bear with me. And PLEASE- don't take it personally.
Because really -
It's not you. It's me.
But I'm working on it.