Monday, 15 February 2010Pride's a funny thing. No, honestly. It's something that it's important to have in moderation, but, being one of the Seven Deadly Sins, is something you've got to be very careful with. And with me in particular, it's something that I have a bit of a strange relationship with.
I don't have buckets of self confidence, if I'm honest. Now, it's possible that quite a few people would be surprised by that. I'm a performer at heart. I'll quite happily get up and sing, dance, act in front of people - it's what I'm trained to do, after all. It's what I know. But that's me performing. It's not actually me. So being that I'm not an innately confident person, you might not think I'd have a problem with pride. But of course I do. Everyone does, when you get down to it.
Quite often for me, when I think I'm too proud for a thing, it's probably more accurate to say that I'm being stubborn about a thing. I was too proud to admit that I was having health problems before my D-Day. I didn't want to appear weak, or like I couldn't handle a thing. And that is one of my major flaws. I don't like to appear vulnerable in the eyes of others. I rely very much on feeling like I'm in control, and it really gets to me when I'm not.
Which is tough nuts really, where diabetes is concerned. When I was in hospital, I did not like to find myself pee-ing in the cardboard trays and cups. It was embarrassing. I didn't (and still don't) like admitting not understanding a thing. Which is how I got into rather a confusion over whether insulin pens were single use only. I didn't like showing I was scared. Again, I still don't. But like I say, it's tough nuts. Diabetes doesn't give two hoots about my pride. It doesn't care if I don't want to pee in the cup. It doesn't care if I'm embarrassed that I'm shaking like crazy, and I just can't stop, or want people to stop staring at me.
I went to see Whistle Down the Wind in Sheffield the weekend before last. Now much to my joy, I discovered it was starring Jonathan Ansell (ex-lead singer of G4, and all round classical delight for those of you not in the know), who I've been a fan of since I was at the start of my second year of university. I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when I discovered he was doing a meet and greet after the performance. So determined was I to get to the front of the queue that I accidentally walked straight past him in the corridor at great speed. I'd already had one hypo before the performance, when I decided to check my sugars before the curtain went up. But I was stood waiting patiently with my programme in hand, when I felt myself shaking. Before I could do anything about it, it was my turn. And I can't remember exactly what I said to him, but I know it was complete garbage. I knew I was plummeting down the numbers too quickly. I wanted to get a picture with him, but I said to everyone (including myself) that I wasn't going to be 'that person'. But in my heart of hearts, I knew I wasn't feeling right, but just wanted to blame it on not wanting to be 'lame'.
I stepped to the side, with my autographed programme. I ate down the glucotabs. I ate down the mini Mars bar. I struggled to hold my water bottle with my shaky hands. I didn't get my picture, and felt pathetic. Not just for wanting my picture taken with him. But for the fact I was leaning on the confectionery case unable to hold the water bottle steady. No, I wasn't having this. It didn't happen to me.
But it did. And it does. And it will.Regardless of whether I want it to or not, there will still be times that my pride has to take a sidestep. There will be times where I have to say 'No, I need to stop'. There will be times when the second or third hypo of the day has drained me, and I can't face walking any further. There will come times where I'll have to say 'I'm scared', or 'I don't understand'.
But that doesn't mean that I have to like it. I just need to learn to accept it with some more humility than right now.
And I'm trying