In my late teens and early twenties, I experienced deep bitterness toward my diabetes. I had friends telling to me to get over it and a family who understood my resentment. I mean, how do you really console someone with a disease?
As a young adult, I wanted to be a police officer or federal agent. I wanted to be someone who made a difference in society and fight the bad guys. But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Too many restrictions against diabetics, at that time. (Not anymore.)
I was also short and stocky. I had to work out double-time to get in shape and try to prevent low-blood sugars (hypoglycemia). The martial arts were a big help in this area.
However through all this (family, friends, and exercise), I was still bitter.
I had even met other diabetics, who said my diagnosis was unique, and they completely understood my bitterness. That didn’t help as well.
Along with bitterness, there is it’s cousin, anger. I can get angry very fast. Back during these troubled times, it didn’t take much for me to go over the edge. I was irresponsible and sometimes, uncontrollable. If someone were to chide me or start trouble, I would finish it.
Thankfully, I’m not that way anymore. That type of anger only creeps up now if someone were to harm my family. So, what happened to me that subsided the bitterness?
Easy, I met Jesus the Christ.
I met Him through my oldest son (who was almost 3 at the time) and long story short, I laid my bitterness at his feet. Now when I have a bad day with my disease, and occasionally I do have them, I try to calmly take care of it and let the anger go.
And what about Aikido? How does Aikido fit into all of this?
Well, glad I asked!
Aikido allows me to dissipate my anger by redirecting it. Aikido, and Daito ryu for that matter, allows me to have fun and conversation with students from other martial art schools. Aikido allows me to become aware of my emotions and give them to God. Not a Shinto god, mind you. The Lord God and Father of the Christ.
God understands me better than I do myself. I believe God works wonders everyday that we fail to see. Even wonders with ourselves. He alone gives me the ability to be a confident warrior, loving and honorable husband, and loving, grace-filled daddy.
Diabetes is still a priority in my life. I take my health seriously. I still love a double cheeseburger, bratwurst, and a bite of chocolate, but not as often as I would like. I stay away from alcohol and exercise when I can. I love Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and drink 60 ounces of water a day. I despise running, although it does great for my blood sugars.
In Part 4, I will discuss my experience with an insulin pump and why I absolutely love it. (Hint: It beats taking 4 to 6 shots a day!)