Monday, 19 April 2010

The Bell Jar

Ho hum.

It's a strange world this one of blogging and being determinedly positive.
My last blog was positive and informative about our family day out. All went great.
Except ...

That evening I fell asleep at ten and woke at eleven feeling very sad.
I cried, big heaving sobs for two hours (note to self: this can alarm the husband somewhat!).
I cried like someone had died.

I know how lucky I am. I know I am loved. But the overwhelming feeling was that this is not who I was meant to be at 43 years of age.
Maybe I had died. The "me" that I imagined I was going to be.

I wasn't meant to be the Mum with the diabetic child. That was someone else. Someone who maybe fed their child cola and chicken nuggets from birth. Not me. Just not me.

All I had been led to believe of cause and effect means nothing. Work hard and you'll get a good job, a home, money and a comfortable life. Eat well and you'll be healthy. Breastfeed your baby and give them the best, organic most amazingly right-on food you can and you will give them the best chance of a healthy life.


Life is such a lottery and it all seems to boil down to HOW you react to the cards you are dealt. (I am aware I am crazily mixing metaphors here but hey it's a dodgy, self-indulgent post anyway).

I generally react in a positive and balanced way.

But then I have days of blips where I am inside The Bell Jar, looking out, not really participating but just going through the motions.

I feel ridiculous writing about this. It feels over indulgent in the face of what Frank deals with every day.
Then my wonderful friend Anne texted me yesterday. She had been over with her family on Sunday for brunch and hanging out in the garden. Her text told me I was beautiful and that I was clearly doing a great job with Frank.

In that moment I felt so loved. My hard work and worry validated by this wonderful friend of mine that I met on my very first day at University at the tender age of 18 and who has, luckily, moved to live near me.

My friend that can see what my life now is and is able to buoy me up when she sees the truth in my eyes.

Some people just take away that edge of loneliness you get as a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes.
Because it is isolating at times. Not many people understand the issues we are dealing with all day, every day, all night, every night.
Parents with the same issues do and so, sometimes, do others.
Maybe I need to be more open to letting others give me respite and solace and be less insular. They may not know exactly what we are going through but they can empathise and show love.
And boy, oh boy, does that help.


  1. Oh how I can relate to this post Jules - big cyber hug from Finland!

  2. And another hug from New Hampshire!
    And yes, please let your friends help you. And pick one or two to listen to you whine because they'll share that burden with you and you will feel better. And don't forget to share your achievements with those friends because they'll want to celebrate with you too!
    They may not always understand your fears or your good times (yay! BG is normal this morning. Huh?), but they are (and I am) your friend and so, let them be a friend.
    You'd do it for them, right?

  3. Hi,

    My name is Connie, I just came across your blog and wanted to introduce myself and tell you that I loved this post, I can totally relate. I have two young daughters ages 2 and 4 years old who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just 11 months apart. We have been living with this disease for two years now, I recently started blogging about our families journey and it has been so amazing to connect with other parents out there who truly understand the struggles that we face.

    Like you said, it can be very isolating, but there are so many out there who really do understand.

    So good to "meet" you :)

  4. Isolated is exactly the way I have felt over the past year. It is tough for a person who is not a parent of a child with diabetes to understand how your every thought, every moment of every day (even in the back of your head while you are sleeping!) is about that child and whether or not you dosed them correctly...and on and on.

    I think you expressed it beautifully.

  5. Hi, Jules,
    Thank you so so much for your kind words on my blog; they made me cry (happy tears). It's strange how the words of someone you've never met can help in a dark time, but they do.

    This is a powerful post. It's not nearly as difficult as diabetes, but I've had many similar thoughts as we've dealt with our baby's allergies: but we did everything right--breastfeeding, healthful diet, why her? My heart goes out to you and your son.

    Hugs back to you.

  6. Not sure if it helps, but here I sit feeling very similar...all 30 yrs of me feeling as if THIS IS more work, no more school, no more me, just taking care of the kiddos trying to keep them healthy. Sad. I think, I hope it's just the moment, but it does often feel very overwhelming. And at those moments I'm beyond thankful for the great family and friends that help carry the stress and remind me that I am truly never alone and have an abundant amount of choices left for me. This is just one small little snapshot of who I am.
    Amen to that!