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You Are Not Alone

Coping with health issues.

Life through the lens of a Type one Diabetic 

Change is a constant in life. You can be going through your daily routine and within a second, it can all change.

That's something I'm all too familiar with. Since I was five years old, I've dealt with trauma and change. It's the only life I've known. And that's what I want you to know: You aren't alone in your struggles. Even when you feel like it's only happening to you, I'm here to tell you... I can relate. Maybe even understand where you're coming from.

This is about health struggles. Both mental and physical issues, and how I've dealt up to this point. Diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 15, and having a heart attack at 37. During my heart attack I was minutes away from full cardiac arrest. Never did I imagine I would get so many wake up calls for life.

Needless to say, I do understand what it's like to feel utterly alone and completely lost. I'm an only child and used to doing everything on my own. I've been single for over seven years; my last relationship was mentally and psychically abusive. When it comes to asking for help, believe me it rarely would happen. My pride wouldn't allow me to let people know how much I was hurting.

Diabetes is like a demon living inside you. It plays with your mind. It messes with your body. It takes you away from yourself and sometimes you can't stop what's happening. It is a lifelong battle. And one that takes daily strength to keep your head above water. But the struggles of moving to a new city. Trying to juggle school and life, then being unemployed for four months; living off the kindness of strangers. Never sure if I can afford my lifeline or not. Do I eat today? Should I take my insulin? Or do I get gas so I can get out and look for work? Choices, choices... My life was not a priority. I admit that.

Once I found a job I enjoyed and was excelling at, I took on too much. I was trying to play catch up and feel like I wasn't a waste to society. I chose again, to put myself on the back burner. Because of that...I ended up with pains in my chest and drove myself to the hospital to find out I had to have emergency surgery and I now have a stent in my main artery, which was 100% blocked. I almost died. I still can't swallow that lump of truth. I'm still in shock. That was three weeks ago.

The one thing throughout my life, after my father passing away when I was 12, various forms of sexual abuse, and health issues, physical abuse, bullying... The one thing that always got me through was writing.

When I was in grade seven after my father died, my teacher accused me of plagiarism in my poetry class. I guess I wasn't supposed to be good at something. I was always the one who never exceeded at anything. The ugly duckling in the corner. But once I found my voice through writing, I was a different person.

It was my form of freedom. It was my ability to share my experiences with people. My way of letting people know...I get it. I've been to those low states and you can come back. It's a teeter-totter but that's the key. Balance. If you get knocked down, you get back up.

So how do I manage? Besides pouring out my thoughts and feelings into black and white? I breathe. Five breaths. I do my best to acknowledge what I can't control. I have a list of five things everyday that I'm grateful for. I talk to someone trained to listen and ask the right questions. That was the hardest part. Asking for help.

Why do we struggle so much with asking for help? Why are we so afraid of how others will see us if we ask for help? Is it admitting that we have a problem? Or is it the fear of judgement from others? That's my thought. It's the fear.

When trauma happens we react strangely as humans. We pull away. We don't want to see. We can offer "likes" and "comments" but how does that help? It doesn't help with real life issues. It takes a strong human to say, "I don't know what to say, but how can I help?" And that was all I ever wanted, was for someone just to be there. I didn't need answers. I just needed support. For someone to allow me to be me, and not feel insane. In a way to validate my issues were real.

And that's what I'm here to tell you. Your struggles no matter how small or strange to someone else. They are real. You are allowed to feel your feelings. Yes we are all unique in some way but overall we are all the same. We breathe, we love, we hurt, we laugh, we desire, we dream. We all bleed the same colour of blood. Struggle doesn't give a shit about how much you make or where you live. Life tests those of us who it believes can handle it. So here is some hard truth... You can do it. You've been given something that the universe knows you can handle. The trouble is; you can't see your strength yet. We can all see it. It's up to you to take back your power. Again. That acceptance is one of the hardest things you will ever do. But it's worth it. I promise you.

I have no secret key, or magical words to fix everything. That's all you. It's all within you; everything you need. But trust me when I say, if I can do this... So can you.