A Year of Growth: Reflecting on 1 Year of Living with Type 1 Diabetes

This past year has been one of challenges, changes, and personal growth. I am definitely not the same person I was 365 days ago.

I’ve become a blogger and advocate. I have found my voice and passion. I have shared in the daily struggles and victories of living with diabetes and hope to help others overcome those challenges and learn from them also. I have learned the degree of ignorance that exists around diabetes and other chronic illnesses and want to help dispel the myths and misinformation that exists out there.

I’ve become a healthier, stronger, more resilient version of myself. I have committed to staying physically active and challenged myself to push through fear and fatigue in order to meet my goals. I have changed aspects of my diet to help fuel and nourish my body, as well as achieve some sort of stability to my blood sugars. I have re-learned how my body works and reacts to certain foods and stresses. I’ve ran faster, climbed higher, lifted heavier, skied harder, and hiked farther than I ever thought possible!

I’ve always been a traveler, but this year I’ve also become an adventurer. I’ve skied in a blizzard at Lake Tahoe; hot-air ballooned over the Sonoran Desert; strolled through the ancient redwoods in Muir Woods; viewed the Grand Canyon from a helicopter; and soon will hike the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. I’ve explored Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Each city I visited has given me wonderful memories to share with my husband for years to come.

I’ve become a wife and started a growing family of fur-babies. I have experienced the joy and sense of purpose that pets bring into your life. I have felt the stress, hilarity, and nervous anticipation of planning a wedding. I have found my soul mate and rock through troubled times. I have learned that it’s okay to rely on someone else, and also felt the fear of opening up completely and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with another person. It’s exhilarating.

Yes, I’ve also become a diabetic, but this is just one small part of my identity and definitely doesn’t define me!

Help me raise funds for Connected in Motion! This amazing organization has helped me connect with other adults living with Type 1 Diabetes and have sent me on the trip of a life time hiking the North Coast Trail! Help them continue to build and support communities of healthy, active, and educated adults engaged in diabetes self-management. give.classy.org/cimshaleen!

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