Here’s the thing, when something happens once a year, it nonchalantly makes you to look back on the year that was. And all the things that happened during the 365(ish) days between then and now.
And that can be tricky business.
Especially if you are someone like me. Someone with (A LOT) of anxiety. And self doubt. And low self-esteem. And various other mental health struggles.
Camp was a truly wonderful experience for me. I learned so much. About myself. About this illness/disease I have been living with for over two decades (now). And about where I want to be in the years to come.
A year can feel fleeting and like forever all at the same time. It’s hard to describe but you know what I mean. Especially if you are a parent.
Getting ready for a weekend away is no small feat if you have Type 1 (or any illness/disease requiring a lot o’stuff) and anxiety. I make list after list. Sometimes crumbling them up just because the printing isn’t neat enough (who else is even going to fucking see it?). There’s the self talk, then more self talk. Maybe sprinkled with a bit of panic and a dash of fear.
Then there’s the packing. Oh, the packing.
The fucking packing.
This year, camp is slightly different. I know what to expect and I know quite a few people attending. Plus, I get to have a car-panion!
I’m also taking up #deadpancreascake times two, some vegan #deadpancreascupcakes and a whole whack of Dead Pancreas Club hoodies and shirts. It will be a full car load of stuff!
But familiarity in no way means the absence of anxiety. And I’m not sure why I thought it would. I tried to overwhelm myself with things to do. Busy means distracted. And distraction from my thoughts is always welcomed. I also thought social media posts and countdowns would help ease my worries. And fears. And stress. Truth be told it has a little but it has exacerbated them too. *face palm*
Pounds of Perception
Is it silly that I am also worried people won’t still like me? Gah! You’d think at nearly 40 the who gives a fuck would kick in, but it hasn’t yet. I’m slightly different than I was last year (and I’m not talking about the new ink work I had done), like 25 plus pounds more of me different.
And I’m petrified people will think less of me.
I fear people will judge me, criticize my size. Like all the other times I have carried a little bit more of me around. Body dysmorphia can do a real mind fuck on a person. And when you are a logical, practical person it’s like a double-fuck.
I am worried people will look at me and think I am a bad diabetic. Like I don’t care. Or don’t try. I worry they will quietly scrutinize my every move, decision, morsel of food.
And deep down I am mortified. I am embarrassed. I am utterly ashamed.
And I know that all of that is more than likely completely untrue. No one else is thinking about me the way I think they are thinking about me because they have other things (themselves, life, their own Diabetes) to think about. But knowing that really doesn’t do a damn thing.
Camp was a real eye-opener last year. And a catalyst for a great number of things.
Switching from MDI to an insulin pump was a BIG deal. Not just for my mental game (no more daily needles meant no more anxiety attacks 4-6 times each day) but for my physical game too.
I committed myself to eating even healthier (I’ve never been a “bad eater”), mindful of my carbs and committing to regulated exercise (more walking, more yoga). But the pounds kept coming, to my hips, my ass, my thighs. I even noticed a few extra ounces on my face.
And the doctor can’t give me a reason why. We’ve done tests, audits of my diet and insulin intake, and then did more tests.
I should mention that I have a wonderful GP. He was not nearly as concerned as I was, but explored all the potential causes with me. He concluded our last visit by saying that maybe this is just where I’m supposed to be, because I’m perfectly healthy and that should be my focus.
I’m super grateful for his perspective. But I’m also a little bit, “fuck you and your logic!”
And while I am nowhere near okay with the current state of me, I have taken teeny tiny steps to adapt. But packing was hard. I put clothes in, took clothes out, put different clothes in, took those out, cried a little, then put some clothes back in, only to take them out and cry a lot.
If there’s one thing I know, it is that the bags will all be packed and ready to go on time. Regardless of how much I panic and fret.
In this case, experience lends itself to logic and together they have started to over-power panic. Just a little.
I have tried to scale back the number of items accompanying me to camp this year (I barely scratched the surface on what I brought last time) but worrying about comfort means I bring a lot of shit I likely won’t need or use. Not having options terrifies me. And means I bring several different clothing options. Some of which I am sure are completely unnecessary but the presence of which will bring me some peace of mind.
In a year, a lot of things can happen. A lot of things can change.
And a lot of things can stay the same.