I love to travel. We have lived in seven different countries and visited many others. To say it’s a passion would be a bit of an understatement!
Travelling with a chronic illness though is very challenging and demanding. Since being diagnosed I have read a lot about it but I haven’t had to travel too much in that nearly 13 week period, so I have been spared many of the challenges, demands, decisions, etc. that are required of a person travelling, for work or pleasure, whilst living with a major health issue.
So, instead of talking about my tips and tricks for survival on the road….I thought I would talk about what I would do if a new form of travel was invented….Time Travel.
If I was able to time travel I would travel back to my younger me and teach myself about being self-aware, about being connected with others and about the fact it is OK to ask for help. I would talk to myself about how I do not have to be everyone else’s rock to the detriment or my own wellbeing….not only because it is bad for me, but because it’s also bad for those I think I’m ‘helping’. I would sit myself down and give myself a good talking to about the need to just let it go. I’d tell myself to not hold onto negative emotions, that they are bad for both my mental and physical wellbeing.
I’d show myself the power of self-belief and positivity and what those things alone can do for my physical and mental health and wellbeing. I’d counsel my younger self on being braver and embracing my talents even when others don’t believe. I’d encourage my younger self to sing more, act more, perform more and to do it all with others who share my passions. I’d buy my younger self a t-shirt that said, ‘Everyone else’s opinions of me are none of my business’ and I’d tell her to wear it day and night!
I’d tell my younger self that its okay to fail. Failing doesn’t define you. What’s not okay is to give up, that can define you. I’d tell her that when life serves her lemons to make a Margarita and invite friends and family over to share the burden with (and the Margaritas)!
I’d tell younger me that she can be Wonder Me, she just has to believe in herself. I’d tell her that ‘she can do it, there’s nothing to it!’ (maybe I’d get another t-shirt with that on it!)
If I could travel back in time and tell younger me all of these things I probably wouldn’t have Type 2 Diabetes right now. Stress is what led me here….and if I could have better managed that stress, I wouldn’t have needed the medication whose side effect was a 30kg weight gain in six months and a diabetes diagnosis that my endo believes is directly linked to the weight gain caused by the medication.
Of course I can’t travel back in time I can only travel forward. Guess what? I’m just fine with that. In just under thirteen weeks I have dropped 22.4kg and lost 20cm off my waist. I feel fitter and healthier, both physically and mentally, than I have in a long time. I rocked my last HbA1c test with 5.3% and my endo thinks I can be totally medication free, with my T2 diabetes in ‘remission’, within three months. I also have a a super go to list now for dealing with challenges and stress. It’s a very personal list that really works for me. I know how to ‘let it go’ now, see an old dog can learn new tricks! So there’s a lot to be grateful for and positive about, and that’s what I am focused on.
If you are still your ‘younger you’ maybe you can take away some things from this that will help you be as mentally and physically as well as you can be. I hope so!