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Diabetes, Daily & Hopelessness, Daily

Posted Nov 01 2009 10:00pm
November is here. Even gave me an extra hour. In gratitude for the end of October, which I always think is one of my favorite months but tends to break my little heart, I'm embracing NaBloPoMo , a a goofy name for a good idea. No, I'm not crafting a novel in a month, but I will be posting every day this month. Truth is, I've missed you guys. And I thank you--whomever is reading this right now--for sticking with me and taking the time to read my words. For not giving up on me. In all honesty, I've given up on myself lately. Stopped working out . Stopped applying daily for jobs (still unemployed). Stopped trying so hard. Not everywhere, but in so many areas. Played the blame game . And y'know, diabetes doesn't quit, but I've tried to quit it. Doesn't work, by the way. Don't recommend trying that. The epitome of my giving up and trying to "quit" diabetes came last week when I realized I was out of all my insulin pump supplies and owe Medtronic too much money; they won't send me more supplies (my insurance has a $3500 out of pocket deductible that has to be paid before they kick in for anything). So what did I do? 

Nothing. I did nothing. I no longer have a Lantus prescription. I didn't have any insulin pens on file, either. All I had were vials of Humalog and few syringes. Did I call my endo for new scripts? No. Did I talk to the pharmacist about calling in new prescriptions? Nope. Did I speak with Minimed Financial Services and explain my plight? No, I didn't. Instead, I wallowed in the cold . Spent the better part of the week eating like a squirrel, taking ten shots a day--even re-using the same syringes a dozen times before tossing them. Turning slowly . Finally, I asked my sister to come to my rescue and she UPS'd me a box of her infusion sets for me (we both are on Paradigm pumps). 

Why? Why would someone like me who has had type 1 diabetes for twenty years act like that? Why would someone who knows better not act better, not advocate on her own behalf? Why suffer unnecessarily? 

Your guess is as good as mine. The only insight I have that you don't is that I'm depressed. Clinically so. I've said before how overall my depression has been far more debilitating than my diabetes. It's not an excuse, but it is an explanation. I've been under/unemployed for a year and a half now. Me, a talented woman. A hard worker. A good writer. An excellent teacher (high school English teacher and ESL instructor for college/community students). Jobless. And, for the past few months, hopeless, too. 

The hopelessness concerns me. No matter where I've been in my life, how far afield I might go, I always held tight to the belief that I was on the cusp of something better, that I had it within me to turn it around. And I know on a logical level that is still true. But I don't feel it. Not deep in my bones. Not in my gut. Not in my heart. I know the economy is down and I am one of many who have paid a personal price for that, but I'm beginning to wonder when or how to get a break here. I am completing my M.F.A. in Creative Writing and thank God for that. I have my writing . I have my poetry . And l ove after love . have classes, albeit online as well as workshop. My writing sustains me, not financially, but in other ways of equal import.

Honestly, I'm not usually a whiner. And I'm not looking for pity or advice here so much as simply grateful for a forum which allows me to put it out there. A place where I'm able to admit how down I've been, and how hard it has been (and continues to be) for me to turn it around for myself. I know it is an inside job. But we need each other, too. No man is an island . Before this downturn (in economy and mood--chicken and the egg), I never had trouble getting a job. I interview well and am personable. I'm intelligent, well spoken, smart. I come from a family of self-made men (and women), so I've been rather laissez faire about jobs since I felt confident I could secure another one without much trouble. The past year and a half I've been invited to interview once. Once. And that was because of a connection. I've applied for hundreds of jobs and received maybe four responses. I have an impressive resume. I've got skills. Experience. I think I'm a good catch. But still--nada. 

Frankly, it's humbling and yes, depressing, for me to admit I'm not making it right now. That I'm living "back home," not in my little Taipei flat in the heart of the city or in an East Village walk-up , but in a humble duplex above my 87 year old grandmother. A home which I don't currently pay rent for, in a house my grandfather built fifty-three years ago. Mortgage paid down long ago through saving, hard work and toil. A house I now live in without contributing. It makes me feel pretty bad. To be a 32 year old woman--full of potential and talent and gifts, full of dreams and ideas and energy--but one without a job. Without a partner. Without a real relationship. Without a family of one's own . Without a savings. With a checking account with all of fifty bucks in it and a body with an extra fifty I'd like to lose. What a list, I know (cue violins). I am more than my circumstances--I know it, I do--but lately, it sure doesn't feel like it. I don't feel like it, don't feel like myself. 

On the way to my friend's house today I passed a man on the street. He was standing (hunching, really) on the corner of a busy intersection holding a sign. It was homemade. Cardboard. Sharpie Marker made. It said simply this:  I'm broke. Losing everything. Will work. Driving past him in my car, I averted his gaze. I drove on and wondered if anyone would stop. Wondered what circumstances put him there. Wondered how he felt holding that sign. What he hoped for, and all the things he's simply stopped hoping for. 
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