I’ve been called many things in my life. Some good, some bad. The one thing I’ve called called more times than anything else : Stubborn. From my parents, to my friends, to my bosses, to my doctors – Stubborn. It’s ironic really. While people usually say it to me as a bad thing…I take it as a compliment almost every time. Yes, I am stubborn. No, it’s not to be difficult – it’s to survive.
I used to work for an insurance agency and had to go away to “school”. Like many typcial workshops, there were ice breakers. Now, I love me some ice breakers. Usually, they’re way over-planned and you can tell the hosts lost sleep over how it would go, so I always try to make them fun and get people laughing. This particular morning the ice breaker was to write down your best and worst trait. Easy. I was the first one at the table done. Pen down, coffee back in hand. After about 15 min or so, the administrator called for us to stop and he started going around the room calling on random people to stand up and share their traits. Now, I knew I was going to be called on. I’d be a target since I first walked through the doors. I was the youngest by at least 10 years, one of maybe 5 women (out of 60 people), and the only person who wasn’t wearing a pant-suit. (I was business! But if I can rock a cute skirt, nice blouse, blazer, heels and accessories – you better believe I’m going to!) Sure enough, he called on me. (Note: public speaking – doesn’t scare me. Put me in a room full of people and I can hang just fine) I stood up, introduced myself and said “Well everyone, this was the simplest task for me yet. My worst trait? I’m stubborn. My best trait?” (I paused for dramatic effect and scanned the room) “I’m stubborn”. And with that, I gave a little smirk, a slight shoulder shrug and sat back down. The administrator smiled, nodded and called for a 10 min break.
I genuinely feel that everyone is given traits that they need for life. Living with the betes, I am 99.9999% sure that that’s why I am as stubborn as I am. In fact, I can’t think of a diabetic I know that isn’t at least a little stubborn. I think it’s a necessary trait to have when dealing with all that diabetics deal with! I know I would be 6 feet under with tombstone resting on me if it wasn’t for me being so… stubborn. I may put my foot down and not be budged with every day-life things, but guess what? That’s what lets me not give up. And as my fellow betics know, there are days….and weeks….and years – that you just want to give up: Throw your tester like you’re the pitcher for the Yankees, smash all your insulin vials, and go hide somewhere with nothing but a huge chocolate cake and a bottle of syrup. But guess what? We don’t. We are diabetics and therefore, by default, we are survivors.
People may hate how stubborn I am. I know that peope do. Now, go ahead, ask me if I care. … Nope. I’m stubborn and I’m a survivor. I take each day as it comes and give back exactly what I’m given. You’re nice to me? I’m nice to you. You sock me with horrible blood sugars, you horrible betes you? I’m going to stick it to you – and hard.
Diabetics are made to survive things our bodies say we shouldn’t. We are more mentally strong than most people will ever be. Why? Because we need to be. We don’t have a choice. Each and every day is a fight. So we always need to be prepared.
To me, the moral of the story is this: don’t hate the stubborn person. Hate the reason why they need to be.