“I am enough”. My constant motto or mantra. On repeat in my head, basically my forever Spotify top song.
A bad day of blood sugars? I am enough.
Does your boss make an offensive diabetes joke? I am enough.
Eli Lily, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi all continue to price gouge insulin?: I am enough.
It took me 8 years of diabetes life to learn that even with a broken pancreas, I am enough. For 4 years I hid my diabetes. Intentionally or not, I did not want people thinking I was “different” or any less capable than my non-diabetic peers. It really hit me when my friend and roommate of over a year finally saw my insulin pump and asked if I had diabetes. I was shocked, how did my close friend not know about this major part of my life? After this day I decided that I would live my diabetes out for the world to see. This was the most courageous thing I could do and my first step toward finding my self-worth.
Self-worth for me, isn’t a first, then, now story. Finding your self-worth is repeating 1000 “I got this” whispered under your breath. It’s a rollercoaster of doubt, blood sugars, fear, love, and acceptance. It’s a deep breath when tears begin to well. A kick in your own ass, cause girl you gotta pick yourself up sometimes. I really wish I could pass on some magical diabetes wisdom about self-worth. It’s not that easy.
The beauty and pain of self-worth: it’s an inside job. Yes, maybe a job for a therapist. But maybe a job that you work at every day. I know, we already have one full-time job we didn’t sign up for (thanks diabetes). But let’s just admit it, living every day with a chronic illness makes you more awesome. Your stories, experiences, and voice are needed in this community and beyond the Diabetes Online Community. Your triumph surviving every day is proof that you are worthy of your love, your joy, your happiness, You are worthy of your health.
When my whisper became a roar: “I am more than enough”. I began to advocate for the worth of others. My friends, my Diabetes Online Community (DOC), are worth being seen and heard. I’ve turned my unshaking self-worth into my devotion to advocacy. I’m done being a profit margin for PhRMA and major diabetes non-profits. My life is worth so much more. Our lives are worth so much more
Madi Johnson is T1D advocate, yogi and dancer. She has been advocating for herself and her community for several years. Madi recently joined the T1International Washington state #insulin4all chapter as the Legislative Lead. When she isn’t fighting the good fight, you can find her dancing at the YMCA or hanging with her pitbull, Luna.