Two people hold up portraits of the people they are beyond diabetes (a guitarist, a marathon runner, etc)

I Am Diabetic. Who Else Am I?

I have diabetes, like most of you reading this. I live with it every day of my life. Some days it sucks. Many days it does not. Diabetes can be overwhelming, taking over many aspects of my life. Sometimes, I get lost in my diabetes. Somedays I think of myself as ‘diabetic’ instead of being a person with diabetes (PWD). Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two. I wave my little flag saying diabetes doesn’t define me. Other times, I know it does, at least in part. It is part of who I am. It became a part of me almost 14 yrs ago. Does that mean that diabetes takes over all of me? Despite my best efforts, sometimes, yes. It’s infused into every piece of me and that’s not a bad thing most days. It’s what keeps me healthy. But does it ‘define’ me? No, not in total. It doesn’t but I do have to remind myself ‘who else’ I am. So here goes.

My identity as a person living with diabetes

I am a person.

I am a woman.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a sister-in-law.
I am a wife (I am a great wife).
I am a mother (I am a great mother, ask my kids).

I am a friend.
I am a confidante.

I am a worker. I work for a living.
I am an international board-certified lactation consultant.
I am a certified occupational health and safety rep.
I am a helper. I help others to stay safe.

I am a lover of music.
I am a seeker of new music. I can find something I like in all music styles (except chamber music, I intensely dislike chamber music).

I am a photographer. I take pictures of my family and our lives.
I am a bird lover. I love taking pictures of birds, any birds.

I am a crafter. I love making things.
I make my own greeting cards.
I decorate things like t-shirts, bags, bottles, mugs, coasters, etc

I am a gardener. I love gardening.
I am a chooser of what goes into my garden every spring.

I am a writer.
I am a talker (omg, am I a talker, LOL). I love to converse with people.

And finally, yes,
I am a person, with diabetes.
I am a diabetic. A healthy diabetic.

It’s good to remind ourselves of ‘who else’ we are when we get caught up in the whirlwind of diabetes. There are many days diabetes does define who I am despite my best efforts. I have to make an effort to remind myself of who else I am.

I’d love to know, diabetes aside, who/what else are you?

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