perspective noun a way of regarding situations or topics etc.; 2. the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer

Perspective is a funny thing. You see things one way, I see them in another. There is no right or wrong perspective necessarily, just different ones. A couple of things a newer friend (who I see daily since I also work with her) said to me got me thinking about my own perspective on things.

“Melissa you are too hard on yourself”

I smirk and say “Yeah, I’ve heard that one before…”

It makes me feel good to hear this yet I still don’t believe it. In my mind, if I really were that hard on myself I would be better in the many areas that I am lacking in. I would be a good diabetic, I wouldn’t be fat, I would exercise, I would eat better, I would have finished school etc. I would be me, just without all the big flaws, mostly the ones that seem to relate to diabetes and that at times seem to cripple me.

“Melissa, I never knew you felt this way, you don’t really talk about it,” this after she saw that I had a whole blog about diabetes and had read some of my posts. Her surprise was an eye opener to me because I see myself as a person with a flashing neon sign on my forehead blinking: I have diabetes; I’m a mess. I mean, shit, this disease kicks my ass on a daily basis, so it is hard for me to imagine that someone who is around me all day does not see it.

When I broke down a few weeks ago and sobbed to my boss about how overwhelmed I was by the disease and how I was not in good control she said that she never knew; that I seemed so in control of it. Ha!

My perspective on my disease is very different from what those around me see. It is not nagging at their thoughts 24 hours a day. There is not the ever-present reminder of the disease in the pump attached to them all the time or the beeping of said pump at the most inopportune times. Yes, there view is quite different from my own but I’m hoping that with some more sharing on my part that they will gain more insight into the day-to-day protocol of this disease and that I will be able to see myself as so much more than my disease.


George said...

Oh Melissa, your post REALLY struck a chord with me and my life.

I feel this way a lot of the time. That everyones perspective of me and my d-life is almost opposite and I see it.

Thank you for sharing this because it makes me not feel so alone!

Kelsey said...


I just read your last two posts and I wasn't sure what to say at first. When you concluded this post, saying "It's not nagging at their thoughts 24 hours a day," I thought of something.

Perhaps you could think about achieving diabetes control as a way for you to free yourself from nagging thoughts? With diabetes, it's always going to be there, but when you're in control, the thoughts aren't so oppressive. Right now, you're feeling overwhelmed by diabetes, with all the work it requires. Ironically, with this disease, if you put in a little effort on the front end, you can free yourself from some of the blame and negativity surrounding diabetes.

I know it's not that easy, and I'm not downplaying the struggle at all. We've all experienced the ups and downs of diabetes care. Perhaps just thinking about the mental stress that will be relieved from good care, might be motivating?

Good luck and keep letting us know how you're doing!

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Melissa, I have forgotten whether you have a pump or not. Do you? Maybe that would help. I needed the pump to get better diabetic control and to easily loose weight! Maybe you should read a bit at my site - maybe my experiences could help you

Scott K. Johnson said...

People think that because it does not jump out and cause disruptions in our daily life that it is not a big deal.

It's almost allways all under the surface. That alone can be tiring and very frustrating.

The OC has been the best thing for me in that regard - we all know what you are dealing with, and we can appreciate the mental struggles.

I think it is kind of neat that this friend is talking to you about it - that can be a good outlet too.

Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Mel -
I feel your pain, sister, literally. I've heard much the same comments from co-workers and friends regarding my headaches. In a way, I feel good about that because it somehow makes me feel strong realizing I'm keeping it together well enough that people "can't tell". On the other hand, the constant effort to keep it together is exhausting, and most of the time, I'm convinced I could be doing at least a hundred times better. I recently had an evaluation with my boss at work and I got myself into such a panic because I was certain that my health had been affecting my job performance and that would be a large focus of my evaluation. It didn't even come up, except in the sense of how do you do it? Juggle all the stresses of work and maintain such a positive attitude? Color me relieved, but also still nervous......
We have to work harder to support each other, I think.

cassandra said...

i totally feel this way a lot. we all see things from our points of view, and therefore don't see the same things necessarily AT ALL. it's nice to read your blog. ^o^


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LindsayS said...

I don't look at you and see flaws! I look at you and see one of the most gentle, loving, caring support friends I know!