Do You Experience Illness or Wellness?

July 19th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

A therapist asked me a few years ago how it felt to me that I had been ill for the majority of my life.



I wasn’t sure how to answer her.

(You should know that I do a very bad job of hiding my emotions off of my face.  If I don’t understand something, I won’t fake it.  You’ll know just by looking at my face.  Same thing if I think something is great, or gross, or whatever.  It is not an aspect of myself I find very useful, despite the fact I’m sure it’s pretty entertaining for others sometimes.)

Anyway, I can’t tell you what my expression was, but I can tell you my eyes squinted and I got a crease in my forehead.

I couldn’t believe anyone would consider me “ill” because I have type one diabetes.  It isn’t a way I think of myself!

I’m more of a wellness and fitness kind of gal.

Which is why this article caught my attention in such a special way.  Of
course, I applied it immediately to my own life and saw how true the message

Illness versus Wellness.  I versus We.

When I tried to live with my diabetes all alone, I sucked at it.  I was in denial, I was terrified, I was simultaneously blatantly rebelling and hiding from my disease and my physical reality.  It was awful.  Truly awful.

When I got myself to a supportive environment at the Diabetic Youth Foundation, my diabetes immediately shrank.  I could be ME when I was singing goofy songs about having a blood glucose of 64 or when I was sitting quietly with a blood glucose of 378 and people knew how that felt.  I could be ME when I taught teens how to make figurines of clay and filled big vats of RIT dye for tie dying day with families.

I found myself in a group.  ALL of me, because my diabetes was what got
me into that group.

Insulin may be the key that unlocks the doors to our cells so that our bodies can use the glucose we eat, but my disease is what unlocked the door to a new world for me.

A world where I wasn’t alone.  I could be WELL and not ill.  Because that’s what I wanted, and what I think we all deserve.

A world where wellness can be my priority, and sharing that through Diabetes Outside is what I want to do all day, every day.

It is what I think it’s all about.  Life, Diabetes, and everything in
between.  Together.

Won’t you join me?

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1 comment

  1. shannon says:

    what a beautiful post. thank you for sharing.

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