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Thank you, Diabetes.

This year, I’m thankful for my Diabetes. This disease helped me find myself. It helped me heal my mind, body, and spirit.

Photos left to right: Summer 2017, before my diagnosis. November 2018, 13 months since diagnosis.

Thank you, Diabetes.

Thank you for being the thing that finally reconnected me with my body after my assault. Thank you for being the microphone for what my body had been screaming since that morning 12+ years ago. Thank you for helping me put my trauma into perspective. Thank you for teaching me how to care for myself, to nourish myself mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. Thank you for giving me the courage to go into nature and face myself, my thoughts, my trauma. Thank you for the changes you helped make in my physical and mental health that empowered me to walk across Catalina Island for a second time. Thank you for being the catalyst for so much positive change in my life. Thank you for teaching me compassion for myself. Thank you for giving me a framework to manage my health in a way that feels empowering vs discouraging; healthy vs obsessive; natural and intuitive versus violent and damaging.

ALSO: One in three Americans are pre-diabetic. ONE IN THREE. Please ask for a blood glucose test at your next doctor’s appointment.

This disease is political AF. Make no mistake, I did the work, and (not but) I recognize my privilege here. Thankfully, I was gainfully employed with primo benefits when I was diagnosed. If I had to work 2-3 jobs and didn’t have time to exercise, if I couldn’t afford healthy fresh food, if I couldn’t afford health insurance, if I had any additional stressor like kids or marriage issues, it would be near impossible to manage this disease as effectively as I was able to immediately following my diagnosis.

Diabetes is my #EverydayReality. I want this to be a conversation about how our bodies store and manifest trauma when we ignore our mental health. This disease is the best thing that ever happened to me because it liberated me. I want to talk about THAT.

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