Oh, yes. I regret nothing. I’ve written several posts on this topic because I feel that it’s important. And it keeps coming up in some way, shape or form. The most prominent question I get asked is if I ever wish I hadn’t been diagnosed with Diabetes. Really? One would think that asking me if I would have preferred to grow up without a dangerous and difficult to manage auto-immune condition would be redundant. But the question has been posed more times than I can remember. Sometimes, I think people lack content to discuss and ask questions just for the sake of asking them. But I digress…
It’s okay to wish for something. Do I wish I never developed Type-1 Diabetes? Of course. Do I wish my brother hadn’t passed away at the age of 18? Obviously. Would I have preferred not to go through the personal and professional difficulties I’ve dealt with in the past three years? Oh, you damn right! But as I’ve often said before, it’s important not to live a life of regret. One can easily spend all of one’s time looking towards the past and regretting some of the choices and situations that have happened to them. The problem one faces when doing this, is that they fail to live in the now; and there’s a lot of life you can miss when you’re busy dwelling on the past.
Another important aspect to bear in mind, is that every situation one has been through, good or bad, has ultimately contributed to the person one has become. And there’s really no negative aspect to this. If you believe in who you’ve become and trust that you’re a good person, then those events that you may otherwise regret have likely helped forge you into the strong, capable person you are. If you’ve become a bad person, there’s always the ability to make a change, going forward (unless you’re totally fuckin’ evil and don’t care. I know a few people like that).
“ I Am The Master Of My Fate, I Am The Captain Of My Soul”– William Ernest Henley, Invictus
I’ve been an admirer of William Ernest Henley’s poem, “Invictus” for years…. Poetry is always open to the reader’s interpretation (unless you have a pretentious art teacher who feels she needs to force her perspective on you) but I always felt that this poem demonstrates how no matter how difficult or rough life gets, one needs to persevere and push through, keeping a firm control of one’s destiny. As romantic and hopeful a thought that may be, that’s rarely the case. As I’ve often said before, life rarely cares about one’s plan.
We may be the masters of our fate, but fate deals us the hand and we’re usually stuck playing the hand we’re dealt. That may seem a bit of a negative perspective and it certainly isn’t meant to be. But it all comes down to the old saying about sometimes you just got to roll with the punches. This is often the only way to be the “master of my fate.”
Do I ever look back and wonder how life would have been for me, had I not been diagnosed with Diabetes? Absolutely. Not a week goes by where it doesn’t cross my mind. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up while reading about the medical researcher in Alberta who has found a promising treatment that could reverse Type-1. I’ll believe THAT when I see it, but I can’t help but feel that I may have grown up to be a significantly different person if I had never had Diabetes. After all, Diabetes forces one to develop perseverance, tenacity, an unwillingness to quit and a will (and need) to keep fighting.
I sincerely believe that those qualities would be lacking, if my life hadn’t turned out the way it has. Maybe with the ability to eat anything I chose as a child, I would have become obese. Maybe I would have developed an affinity for sports and become a jock, potentially bullying people much in the same fashion as the hated hockey players I had to deal with in high school. There’s no telling how different things might have turned out. This is why one can’t allow oneself to regret. You gotta learn from it all and keep going. ☯️