A discouraging trend I’ve seen among those with type-1 diabetes is a short-lived drive to overcome their (or their loved ones) dire circumstances. In some ways, I think, insulin injections are as much a curse as a blessing. Insulin injections give the illusion of health. When, in fact, insulin injections are nothing more than life-support therapy. They buy one time, which could hopefully be spent on healing. But, instead, it often only buys one apathy and a false sense of well-being.
Sadly, much of our corporate consumer culture focuses not on the joy of pursuing lofty goals, the adventure of risky undertakings or the satisfaction of struggle. Media is often in total opposition to these three qualities which one needs to overcome type-1 diabetes. As Brendon Burchard writes in The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power:
…it is easy to be seduced by bon vivants and those who promise lazy afternoons of eating, drinking, gossiping, or watching tasteless reality. We can be fooled by their leisurely pace, mistaking their lack of ambition for serenity. But these kinds of people can be more apathetic than relaxed. We must beware [of] them, for they can make us fear the thing that advances our lives: effort.
I’ve felt this fear. So has my wife. I can hear it, unspoken, behind the words and lack of follow through of those who contact us for help: “Yes, there are so many things I could do to slay the T1D monster. But they might not work. And then I’d have lost all that effort, time and money which could been used for other things.” Often those “other things” aren’t to finish a sculpture, write a book or run a soup kitchen for the homeless. “Other things” are often watching Netflix, checking Facebook or going out to fancy restaurants. As Burchard puts it…
“Take it easy,” they say. “Why work so hard? Nothing you do is going to last or mean anything or make a difference anyway.”
“Type-1 diabetes is incurable,” they say. “It’s bad genes or bad luck. Even if it’s fixable, leave that to men in lab coats. Lab coats give them powers you don’t have. There’s nothing you can do about a disease that is slowly killing you (or your children). It’s okay. Forget about it. Look, here’s a YouTube video of a tarantula knitting a scarf. He’s so cute.”
The Motivation Manifesto explains…
It’s as though on our ambitious journey, these people wave toward us on the sidelines with a smile yet they whisper to others that our toils are a waste of time. They make like watchmen, warning us with great glee against oncoming struggles… Beware those too apathetic to strive fore important things as they ultimately install indifference, swaying so many independent people from the path of greatness.
Again another fear. The fear of struggle. The fear of trying things that don’t work and then having to try another approach. Or, even, the struggle of dealing with things that do work. For example, the most promising advances in our health have always come with some major detoxification symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, skin eruptions, etc.).
T1D is probably a complex battle against multiple infections, toxins and habits of wrong thinking and living. Life is a struggle just to figure what to do, no less to actually do it. Sadly, our culture, right now, has taught us to think of struggle, effort and sacrifice as hardships to avoid, not adventures to relish. Grocery store novels, Hollywood movies, spectator sports and video games falsely satisfy in us the innate drive to dare, to explore, to go on “the quest” for something noble and great.
What does Brendon Burchard recommend to counter the onslaught of indifference and apathy which leaves millions of men, women and, especially, children, victims of disease like type-1 diabetes?
Let us choose the strenuous life, taking pride and finding honor in our struggles and our contributions. We will not fear the exhaustion and anxieties that magnificent dreams and unceasing hard work can bring. We will keep a joyous heart even as we toil, for our toils bring us toward that which we find meaningful. Let us humbly pass by the watchers and the aimless, the bored and the bellyaching. They have nothing to offer but distractions and useless comment.
Let us make ours a higher cause than comfort, a greater calling than mediocrity. We have duties to complete, initiatives to begin. battles to fight, real victories to celebrate. And so forward we go with strength and fire.
Thinking outside the T1D matrix,
–John C. A. Manley
P.S. You can purchase a copy of Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power from amazon.com, amazon.ca or amazon.co.uk. I usually can’t stomach most self-help literature. But this book is different. Reading a page a day might keep you moving forward.
P.P.S. For more on developing a never-say-die approach to beating type-1 diabetes you may like to read (or re-read) The Kitty Hawk Approach to Curing Type-1 Diabetes.