April: A new month, a new direction

March has been a month marked by indecision.

Although I’ve had a plethora of ideas, they proved to be too many.

Despite having published posts for this type 1 diabetes blog, my work has felt pointless.

Having overcome diabetes burnout, I had lost a unifying theme.

April is a new month. With the onset of a new month, my indecision will melt away. The seeds of a new theme are about to take root and, over the upcoming days, weeks, and (possibly) months they will bloom.

The pointless pomp, the alliteration, the flowery language. All of that ends here; henceforth, I shall be clear.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • I’ll be starting a new series of posts relating to diabetes and loneliness;
  • The first post in the series will be published sometime next week;
  • I’ve been in the process of writing a guest post for a well known diabetes blogger;
  • The vagueness of this post is intentional;
  • For more information, follow me on Twitter @T1DME
  • I hope that you’re having a good day 🙂

John Dewey quote on society

“Society is one word, but many things. Men associate together in all kinds of ways and for all kinds of purposes. One man is concerned in a multitude of diverse groups, in which his associates may be quite different. It often seems as if they had nothing in common except that they are modes of associated life.”

John Dewey, American philosopher, psychologist, educational reformer, humanist.

The Purpose of Writing

Expression. To express is the ultimate end of all writing. That’s it. The purpose of writing is that simple.

Distinguish yourself from the crowd! Don’t insist on complicating the uncomplicated!

Expression is the aim. Everything else is secondary. Conventions. Grammar. Choice of words. These are means to an end. Never lose sight of that.

When you write, you are free. Why do you choose to abbrogate your responsibility? Why do you allow Master Form to entice you with his promises of ease?

just write and remember…

Writing is a selfish endeavor. Art is a selfish pursuit. Despite this, they have the power to inspire…uplift…motivate…change.

Writing is a sea of gray, into which selfishness and selflessness melt away.

These are beliefs I hold dear.

Sometimes diabetes is TOO easy

Stasis is the antithesis of life. Like a river in springtime, life flows constantly.

This philosophy – this process metaphysics – has been my personal philosophy for the past 5 years. It’s a worldview that I was first exposed to through two great traditions of the East: Taoism and Buddhism.  Although I’m neither a Taoist nor a Buddhist, they’ve certainly influenced my own philosophy.

Initially, this change-centric conception of the world merely intrigued me. The novelty of it seduced me. In time, I began to reflect  upon my life and knowledge of history. I discovered that, in the main, change is the law of life – both of people and of nations.

Life is the Great Teacher. Over the past 5 years, I’ve learned countless lessons. My awareness has expanded. The implications of change is now clearer to me.

What was once a philosophy learned mostly from books ( such as the Tao Te Ching) has become deeply personal. Life is the ground out of which our philosophies grow and receive their nourishment.

My recent experiences with type 1 diabetes has nourished my understanding.

What I have come to the realization of can be sumarized thusly: With new circumstances come new challenges.

Let me show you what I mean.

Back in December – prior to starting this diabetes blog – I was burnt out. On a brisk December night – in the first week of the month – I experienced a stubborn high. Everything I did was for naught.

I drank water like a fish. I did a correction with a syringe. I did everything that I’ve been taught to do over at the Joslin Center. My actions helped, but only a little. My blood glucose levels remained above 350 for 12 hours.

Did I mention that I was panicked?

This event made me realize that I was experiencing diabetes burnout, and I realized that I’d have to climb out of the deep, dark hole that I’d stumbled into. I procrastinated.

Just to be clear, at this point I did desire to liberate myself from my situation. The psychological barriers to me doing so were still too high. It would take another unpleasant event to spur me into taking serious action to rectify my situation.

It took another stubborn high to motivate me to take decisive action. I knew that I had to rise above the frustration and fear that I was experiencing. I coped with it (mainly) through writing. This d-blog played an essential part in that process of recovery.

Back then, managing my type 1 diabetes adequately was too difficult. Therein lied my problem. It’s the reverse today. Now that managing diabetes is no longer a psychological burden, T1D has become too easy to manage.

The ease with which I’m managing my diabetes isn’t bad, per se. The problem lies in how it impacts my attitude and actions.

There’s a very real possibility that, given my psychological makeup, I’ll become lax, and allow unskillful diabetes to creep back in.

I have reached the publishing deadline that I have set for myself. This post will come to an abrupt con…….

Personal Enemy Number 1

Self-complacency. Things are going well. My blood sugars have remained – with the exception of a few aberrations – at a satisfactory level. The one possible threat: me. If I allow arrogance through the door, it will cause mayhem. If I invite laxity inside, my hospitality will be the axe that fells me. Self-complacency = more hyperglycemia. Period.

To prevent myself from acting complacent, I need to remind myself that it’s my actions that are keeping my type 1 diabetes under control. Testing frequently, being comparatively physically active, etc. If I don’t do these things, my level of control will be diminished.

Personal(ity) Problems

Openness is a particularly strong aspect of my personality. My appetite for knowledge knows no bounds. My imagination has been a close companion of mine from an early age. I need intellectual stimulation.

I have my parents to thank for this. Thanks to my dad – who’s a professor – I’ve become a well-spoken, independent-minded, and highly intelligent young man. Thanks to my mom – who exposed me to fine art and classical music from a tender age – I’ve come to have a deep appreciation for and/or interest in art, music, literature, architecture, etc. Despite being somewhat simplistic, this characterization of parental influences upon the development of my personality is, for the purposes of this post, adequately true.

In addition to being a prominent factor of my personality, openness to experience is a pertinent part of my self-identity. I, admittedly, take pride in it. Despite this pride, however, I’ve come to recognize that there’s a downside to it.

Upon defeating my unskilful diabetes management habits I was struck by discontent. Having been seized by such an uncomfortable feeling, I was compelled to introspect. New insight was the result.

This is what I’ve come to realize:

  • My struggles with managing my diabetes adequately engaged my intellect. Setting objectives and developing a general strategy on how I was going to accomplish them was intellectually stimulating;
  • In December, I felt as if this diabetes blog provided me with an adequate outfit for my creativity. Since mid-January, however, I’ve felt less creative. My writing has left me feeling less satisfied.

Looking back at other periods where I’ve felt discontent (there have been quite a few), I’ve observed this universal pattern:

  • I wasn’t engaged in studying anything that I found intellectually stimulating;
  • I lacked a creative outlet.

From my observations, I’ve concluded that being engaged intellectually and having a creative outlet at all times is essential for my happiness.

Even if my memory serves me wrong (a distinct possibility), this conclusion still makes sense due to my extremely high levels of openness.

Going forward, I’m going to make a conscious effort to make sure that I always have a source of intellectual stimulation and an outlet for my creativity.