#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes

Today is I wish people knew that Diabetes (#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes) day, created by Kelly Kunik.  I started started tweeting last night with my Australian DOC (Diabetes Online Community). If you have a moment to share your thoughts, please hop on Twitter, Facebook or write a blog post.

You can participate in our weekly Twitter chat, #DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) tonight at 9 PM EDT to share your thoughts with others on #IWishThatPeopleKnewThatDiabetes

-Cherise


                    

Reflections 

My daughter will be 10 this year; I can’t believe it. I see a bit of myself in her. I admire her confidence and the ability to speak her mind. Her determination to be different and defy the odds-it frightens and amazes me. I pray that she will see the person she will become, and know that there will be a few bumps in the road, but don’t allow those bumps or people stop her from being who she is meant to be.  

  

When I was her age, I wasn’t confident. I did not speak up or challenge the status quo and I was down on myself. I thought I was the ugliest person on the plant. I had aspirations of going to college to get a degree in communications, but I allowed someone to tell me no, that I couldn’t do it and that  I wasn’t ready for college.  I wish the younger version of myself could have had a glimpse of the woman she would become.  She would have been proud to know that the bumps wouldn’t stop her from being who she was meant to be.

-Cherise

Letting go.

Every week, I receive a new scripture or a devotion that relates to the topic that I am studying. The Bible verses are great, but every once in a while they do not relate to the class.  My new instructor sent a syllabus, which included Jeremiah 29:11 happens to be one of those scriptures that spoke to me in ways that no one could understand. I have made a decision to stop worrying about my career; He has a plan for me. I am done blocking my blessings. I am letting go and letting God. What He has for me-it is for me.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you.” declares the Lord,”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What happened to Cherise?

The other day, I talked to (one of) my mentors; he told me that he had a feeling that I am a hard person to please. I looked at him, and told him I was. I am not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but I took it with a grain of salt and walked out with a smile on my face-he was right. I analyze work and church a lot- my thought process shifted from positive to negative, which is not who I am, but I figured out it was the person I was becoming and the person I have been for the a few months.  I somehow lost focus on the things that matter in life-the things that I can control. I need to get that part of me back, the person that did not allow the changes in life to affect my attitude. I had the ability to share my thoughts, pray about it and leave it at the altar and walk away with a smile. What happened to that Cherise? I am mentally drained and need to be spiritually fed.

This week, I was tasked with a homework assignment that I did not want to do, but I needed to because I want to get 100% on the assignment. So, I went to church to complete my homework assignment, nothing more.

God had something else in store for me.  I walked out of the church with a new lease on my life.

Today’s sermon puts things in perspective; I need to go back to being the old me-I use to look at the best in everything and everyone, but somehow I lost sight of what made me happy at work and church. I was happiest at church when I worshiped with others and when I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. My biggest gripe was that I needed a church that had gospel music and I needed to hear people shout and give thanks.  But something was missing.  My needs were different than my wants. I want to continue to grow spiritually, because it is a big part of who I am. Would I like to have gospel music and hear someone shout from time to time? Yes! However,  I realized that I was stopping my spiritual growth because I was focused on the music and the shouting. (My a-ha moment) God has a way to speak to me beyond the music and shouting. My spiritual foundation was built from birth; my mom introduced and helped me build a relationship with God. I am not going to find the same church or have the same pastor that I had growing up; my old church does not exist in the Indianapolis area.

 I’ve finally found the solution to my problem. In order for me to move forward, I need to let go of my old church home; so I can find a church home that will help me grow and move me, beyond the music to allow me to continue to grow spiritually and to ignore the weeds that keeps popping up in my rose garden.

 

Step 1

Last year, I participated in a mentorship program at work. I did not think I would get anything from it, and I did not believe I needed to be mentored, but I figured why not? What is the worse that could happen? NOTHING; sometimes I stand in my way. I put my nerves to the side, and  I sent an email to my perspective mentor, asking if he would like to mentor me.  I was thankful when he said yes.  

The first meeting went well; I was a little nervous. We discussed his past and how he made it to the role he has today. I shared my past and my passion for the diabetes community. The meeting ended on a great note, and I promised that I would not be nervous the next time we met. 

What did I want to gain or learn? I knew I wanted to work on executive presence and my speaking/presenting skills, which I knew he could help me with, but I did not expect to work on my career development and myself.  

The following meeting I had with him was amazing and eye opening. He said one thing to me, which completely blew my mind,” Cherise, What if you stop thinking about the things you like to do and focus on the things you love to do.” I probably had a “stuck on stupid” look on my face; I was a little confused, but what he said made sense.  

In order to be able to get something out of this mentorship, I needed to look deep within myself. I was on a mission to learn more about me and focus on the things I love to do at home, work and in the diabetes community and learning how to balance my personal and professional life without losing myself in between the two.  

Painful Memory

Yesterday I heard of Robin Williams passing through a friend’s Facebook status. I instantly clicked on the link and read he committed suicide. I was heartbroken; I did not know him, but he was talented, and he seemed very genuine. I admittedly said a prayer for his family, and then I thought of my own.

When I was five years old, my brothers and I was playing in the living room of our house. I am not sure what happened, but I remember seeing a rope in the shape of a loop and my mother standing on a chair. My mom did not see us, but we saw her standing with her head held low, tears falling from her and she placed her head in the loop. She looked up and saw her four children watching her-she got down from the chair ran over and gave us a hug. I can’t believe I remember that day like it was yesterday. I cannot believe my mom almost took her life. Robin’s death brought the painful memory of my mother’s attempted suicide.

I could not sleep last night-the still shot of my mother kept playing over and over in my head.  I called my mom this morning for the first time I was able to ask her about her suicide attempt (I received the ok from her post it here). 

Me: “Mom, every time I hear about someone committing suicide, I think about the time I saw you almost take your life.”

Mom: “Yes, I know.”

Me: “Mom, I am glad you did not kill yourself. I am thankful you did not. If you do not mind me asking, why did you almost take your life.”

Mom: “I went through a bad divorce, my childhood and everything else just kind of hit me at once. I was in a dark place.”

Me: “Did you hit rock bottom? You felt like you could not go on?”

Mom: “Yes, I was tired. I was tired of being walked on and being used; I was depressed. I was in a dark place.”

Me: “Why didn’t you kill yourself? Did you have a conversation with God?”

Mom: “No, my kids saved my life.”

Me: “I am glad we walked in on you. I do not remember you getting help. How did you get passed the dark place?”

Mom: “My kids and faith. I stopped thinking about what others were saying. I blocked it out. I roll with the punches. I have never had the feeling or thought to kill myself since then.”

Me: “Mom, I am at work. I have to go. I am glad you’re still here. I love you.”

This Time Will Be Different

Over the past four years, I created two new blogs and a abandoned them a few weeks after I started. I asked myself over and over again, Why did I stop blogging? The only reason I could come up with is that I lost myself inside of diabetes advocacy and Diabetes Social Media Advocacy.

My entire focus was on the diabetes community; I placed the entire world on mute and turned my passion into a full time/part time job. I slowly found myself being “Cherise with diabetes”, and not that it is a bad thing, it is not who I am.

I am going to give blogging another shot, but it’s going to be different this time.

-Cherise