Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fearing the Worst....

I was thinking about something the other day and it hit me that I have been living under false, or dated(?) information.  Once my sister's diagnosis set in and we began to live with it as a family, there was an unsaid reality that existed....That this illness was chronic and she would die.  I realized this morning that that fear of her mortality has been with me all my life.  As a kid I was so scared of it I couldn't even talk about it.  I remember relatives shaking their heads and saying "oh your poor sister" and then implying that her life expectancy wasn't that long.  Oh man, that used to scare me.  As a kid, I didn't know what "not that long" meant, but, I just knew it was "there" and it was another reason why it was hard for me to be heard because how do you compete with that??

As an adult, in the back of my mind there was always this mythical clock ticking on her life.  Over the years I have woke up in a cold sweat so many nights, panicked that I haven't done "enough" for her, because I still believed there was some "timeline" out there.  I have also spent most of my life believing in my mind that its only a matter of time before i would need to donate a kidney to her.  Its EVERY PART OF WHO I AM.  I have realized!!  As a kid i FEARED her death and because of the lack of education on the disease back then, my fears were often validated by uninformed relatives.  As an adult.....I have feared it and believed that's AGAIN why my life issues will never be able to compete with that.

BUT, now let's talk about reality!!!  My sister is REALLY HEALTHY!  Yes, this is me saying this.  My sister isn't walking around on her death bed like I have been conditioned to think since childhood.  She has a full life, and there is absolutely no reason she couldn't outlive me.  So, what's changed??  I think knowledge about the disease since it was presented to ME in 1976 has certainly changed.  I think my sister is amazing and takes such good care of herself that its no where NEAR the "worst case" scenario that I thought as a kid.  And, I have grown up and maybe am able to get some perspective on it.  

What I am trying to learn to do is separate my lingering childhood fears and conditioning about all of this from facts!  Its just that sometimes, it takes me a while to do that, and then its like being hit over the head!

Its time to let go of the worst case, gloom and doom scenarios drilled in to my head as a kid.......My sister is not going anywhere....


  1. Thank you for sharing such raw and honest feelings about such a dark topic. I think those of us Living With Diabetes feel that way, all the time. I'm so sorry that you, our loving Type 3s who we can't live without, feel that same way. But I think you're right, in looking to the positive and reminding ourselves of all the good as often as possible. That positive attitude helps, incredibly.

  2. Michael,

    Its hard stuff to write and put out there so i REALLY appreciate the sensitive and diplomatic way you respond, it really helps! What an amazing gift you have!