My career has always been in the area of training development, training facilitation, systems and procedures development and implementation and Quality Assurance. Looking back over my work career I have identified that the value I added and, consequently, the value I received back in the form of compensation was when I was in a position to assess and transform an existing process that was not working into a “new” and different process that would work. I have a knack in seeing what is wrong and how to fix it. Not always, but usually when it is not working.
One of the the jobs I had was that of Training Director for a small company that sold financial products. I called the new training manual The Yellow Brick Road. I called it that because the new process was a step-by-step process and needed to be followed step-by-step if it was going to work.
The diagnosis of either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes means that a system of the body (a critical system) is not working. A new system with different procedures must be put in place. The system that is not working is the endocrine process. It is the process that converts food (carbohydrates and fats) into glucose. Just like when business systems slow down in performance or stop working it is not everything within the system that has gone bad. It is usually one or two things that are the cause of the dysfunction. In Type 1 Diabetes it is the inability of the body to produce insulin. In Type 2 Diabetes it is the reduction in the effectiveness of insulin to keep blood sugar in the “normal” range.
My approach to my own diabetes has been a step-by-step process on many levels. And that is the hidden nuance of this disease. My approach in assisting others with diabetes will also follow a step-by-step process. The Yellow Brick Road ends with the discovery of the true source of the wizard and a journey back home. It is the path from the unreal to the real. When you have engaged in the process you will begin to awaken to a deeper truth and will be closer to h-OM-e.
See “The Work” page above for more details on what I do and who I work with. This work is the path to our ultimate goal of total transformation and liberation.
I have sometimes used addiction as a metaphor for Type 1 diabetes. Think about it for a minute………
A type 1 diabetic must inject insulin daily. If still taking shots then a Type 1 diabetic might have to partake in a “fix” up to 8 or more times a day. If on the pump we are constantly “hooked” up to our drug of choice.
But, Michael, we don’t crave insulin?? Try not taking it for a day or two and see if you begin to crave it.
But, Michael, it is good for us unlike being addicted to something like drugs or alcohol?? Yes, it may be good for us but we are addicted to it. We need it. Without it we will have symptoms of withdrawal.
What I am asking you to do by contemplating being an addict by being a type 1 diabetic is to hold a mental perspective that you may not have thought about. When thinking of our disease as an addiction there are a few pathways that may open up. Explore these. Think about the people around you. Are they acting like co-dependents or enablers? Are you treating them like co-dependents or enablers? Do you hide your disease? What is it that caused the addiction in the first place? Do I own any responsibility for the onset of my situation? Is the goal to overcome my addiction?
Check out the 12 steps of AA. The first step says…..”We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.” Does having diabetes imply we are powerless over something and that our lives have become unmanageable? What is the something that we are powerless over? For sure the goal is manage our disease. If we don’t, our lives do become unmanageable.
I don’t bring this thought exercise out to be provocative. No, my intention is to offer a momentary shift in the way we see our disease so we may obtain additional tools to combat it. I have had type 1 diabetes for 39 years now. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if you are able to increase your level of awareness you will increase your ability to respond to your disease on a moment to moment basis. Denial is one of the hurdles in the recovery of an addict. Some say the opposite of denial is acceptance and it is acceptance that will “set you free.” Screw acceptance. I don’t accept this disease. However, I am willing to be aware. Work on awareness and the quality of your disease control will increase and you will be on the healing path………..