|Posted by Marissa Petal on August 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM|
Many teenagers have struggles. Whether it's depression, eating disorders, lonliness, etc. But mines is slightly different. I've suffered with Type 1 Diabetes for many years.
A lot of people don't care much about Diabetes. Nor do they take the depression that Diabetes fuels seriously either. So, let me explain to you what Type 1 Diabetes is, how different it is from Type 2 Diabetes, and how it can give a mental impact to many, many teenagers before I tell you my story.
Diabetes, in general, is a disease. It is caused when a person's pancreas isn't working correctly or doesn't work at all. Therefore, the person has to manually input the insulin that in order to stay alive.
The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 is that Type 1 isn't from eating too much sugar or being obese. It can be caused by genes or illness. Type 2 occurs from lifestyle choices or from old age.
Now, when a child has Type 1 Diabetes, they get constantly told they can live a normal life. That is true, in a way, but personality wise. What many Endrocryndology doctors and nurses fail to realize, that no normal child/teenager will be found injecting insulin, or counting carbs, or having to prick their fingers six to seven times a day. So, imagine a Type 1 teenager having to eat with their carb-counted lunch while they watch their friends eat as much as they want and whatever they want. It can make that Diabetic feel like a freak, or if there's something wrong with them, or can make them feel alone.
When I was first diagnosed in June 2009, my first roommate was a girl, a Type 1 Diabetic as well, and she was 15. She was hospitalized for not taking good of herself. She ate whatever she wanted and never took her insulin. At the time, I was just 11. I never really understood why she did that until my depression hit. But now I knew, she did that so she can feel normal.
The thing with Type 1 Diabetes is, not everybody is well-educated in it. A lot of people think that just because it's a controlled disease means that there shouldn't be any depression or suffering. Or, they think that Type 1 is tied with Type 2 and will often make "I swear, you're eating so much I'm surprised you haven't gotten Diabetes yet" jokes. Or they think that Diabetes is something that only old people would get, and never in a million years would they find a high schooler with Diabetes. But I'm here to tell you, that Diabetes can be like Cancer's cousin. It can kill. It can make your life much more difficult. A Type 1 Diabetic's body is much more sensitive than normal bodies. If you get too emotional, your blood sugar goes up, if you use a certain medicine, your blood sugar can go up, etc. If a Type 1 Diabetic doesn't take care of themselves, they can loose either a limb or their eyesight or hearing. Heck, even if a Diabetic does take care of themselves, they're still at risk for death. I remembered reading a story about this girl who was a Type 1 Diabetic, she took care of herself and her blood sugar was low in her sleep. Usually, when your blood sugar is high or low, you get an effect. If it's low, you get all jittery, hyper, sweaty, or shaky. If it's high, you become grumpy or annoyed. But people who take good care of themselves usually don't feel their blood sugars get low, and it's obvious that this girl didn't. Just from not feeling and not handling that low blood sugar, she was killed in her sleep. Yup, Diabetes killed her.
Now to tell my story.
In 2011, I, still, had depression. It wasn't medically diagnosed because my doctors never took it seriously. Neither did my mom. But it was there. The suicide thoughts, the wonders of cutting, calling myself ugly, blaming myself for my parents divorce, the depressing attitudes and music, it was all there. I went to a psycologist, but she just made it worse. My friends nor my ex could understand my struggle. The only people who were there for me were my friends on Wizard101.
I remembered the night that I cracked. It's still a memory that haunts me. It was one night when I was playing Wizard101. I was doing the Crab Alley quest of King Amadeo disgusing as King Thermador and I was fighting those anglers. I had assume that it was on an alternate character because I was having such a hard time fighting them. Being Diabetic, I have to eat at certain hours throughout the day. So, my mom was telling me to go take a shower so I can have my timely meal. I told her that I'll go after I finished this battle, and I did finish it, but I was dragged to another one. My mom got impatient and angry and started to fight with me. I was getting frustrated and I told her to hold on. What was going on in my head during this time was: I hate my life. This stupid disease is the cause to why I can't live my life. It's the cause to why I can't take a shower or eat whenever I want. My mom got so angry that she disconnected the internet from my computer. And right then, I cracked. I screamed and cried. I screamed that I wanted to kill myself and my mother only got more angry, hitting me and telling me not to say that. So I went to go take a shower, and I cried and cried and cried. I have no room, so there was nowhere for me to hide. And even plus, if you lock yourself in your room and you have a hispanic parent, you are doomed.
When I got out, she told me to go take my blood sugar. She was still mad but she pretended as if I didn't scream about my suicidal thoughts. So I went to go check my blood sugar, and what I did was, that I got a needle, and cut myself three slanted lines on my arm. I didn't cut my wrist. But I cut an inch or two away from my elbow. And boy, did blood started to flow, lots of it. And I got scared. I got alcohol swabs and started cleaning up my cuts. I remembered the nurse in the hospital telling me to put pressure onto a wound to stop blood flow. And my mom got suspicious. She came into the room and saw the blood alcohol swabs and me trying to stop the bleeding. "Did you cut yourself?" She asked. I was terrified. Last thing I needed was to be hit or get grounded. I looked around me, and saw my cat lazing in his cat tree. "No, the cat scratched me." I lied. But at that moment, it was when I realized that I had to get better and I did.
How does Wizard101 take affect into this, you ask? On my way to recovery, I would compliment myself every school morning. I released the blame I put on myself for my parent's divorce and blamed it on my dad's stubborness. I would start listening to pop and I tried to push Diabetes away. I know that pushing away an issue and bottling up your emotions is not a way to recover. I know because I'm the hypocrite who tells people that. And I knew the toll that bottling up will have on me. So, when I did have my breakdowns, my Wizard101 friends and the Twizard Community were there for me when I had no one in real life. When negative and depressive thoughts would swim in my head, I would rely on questing or farming or house decorating to distract me. Sometimes I wonder if I would have more of a hard time recovering on my own if it wasn't for Wizard101.
I am better now. I have better control and willpower to when I push away my struggles. I still don't have anybody in real life who can understand or let alone listen to my struggles, but I have my friends on Wizard101. I, although, refuse to go to therapy and go to a support group. Why would I refuse to go to a support group if I feel like I'm the only one? Fear. I'm afraid that going to a support group will be so brutually honest, I might fall back into that terrible stage of depression, or they might sugarcoat everything and will anger me. I know I am not alone. But I still feel it. I push that feeling away very often and I've accepted the fact that if I was destined to have a Diabetic friend, they will come without the means of a support group.
I usually have a habit of focusing more on other people's struggles rather than on my own. I have this mentality that I am a heroine from a book, who shouldn't be selfish or let alone have emotions that involve sadness. So, I keep everything to myself until I reach the point that the glass of the bottle cracks and I have to spill everything out in order to find a new bottle. But I keep everything to myself out of fear. I'm afraid that I might scare another person away, or if I might make fun of, or if I make a person view me as if I were a kicked puppy. I want to make a difference and make Type 1 Diabetes acknowledgable in my school. I want to set up a team for a marathon run for Diabetes and get people in my school and online to participate and donate. But I'm just scared. I'm scared of how handling Diabetes will be when I'm an adult and living and working on my own. I'm afraid if my children will get this. I'm afraid that if they do get this disease, how can I handle myself and them. How can I teach them to learn and love and accept themselves, although I'm still a hypocrite here because I don't accept myself. And I hate myself not for the figure of my body, whom many girls my age use that reason for their hatred towards their bodies, but for the dead organ floating inside me. I know these fears are sad and scary but it's the truth.
So, when I tell people that I play Wizard101 and they taunt me, I don't care. Wizard101 helped me connect to so many different and caring people who helped me recover. And hopefully one day, I'll find the courage to tell that person who taunts me for playing Wizard101 that this game helped me get through Type 1 Diabetes.
There are a few people I'd like to publicly thank for always being there for me. I want to thank Allison Storm, Roslyn Nightblade, Ryan Rainvault, Allan Nightstone, Timothy Lighttalon, and Jordan Sunflame. Despite how much of a mess I was, or still am, you have been a great impact on my life, and I cannot thank you enough for being there for me. I'd also like to thank the communities in Wizard101. Although I can't name anymore people, you've done small impacts that have kept me going. I love you all. You have helped me become the warrior I am today and I can't tell you have grateful I am.
Categories: Marissa's Blog