“Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss & pretend to be psyched”
This quote is how I’ve been living my life lately, not really knowing what the heck is going on in my life. I’ve been doing the whole fake it til I make it thing because I’m not convinced anyone really knows what they are doing. Starting this blog was originally my attempt to reach other people that are living with type one diabetes (T1D). The more I thought about it the more I realized that there are so many other people in a person with diabetes’ (PWD) life that also need to hear my stories because this disease is apart of their life too. What I ideally want to do is not only write about my stories and experiences but also write about others. Weather that is another person I know with T1D, a parent of a child living with T1D, a spouse or significant other of a PWD, and everyone in between. I want to start off by saying how much I am not a writer, all I want from this is to reach people and when I started working for DSOK this seemed like a perfect opportunity to do so. I believe that part of the human condition is the need to find others that understand what you are going through, & if none of us really know what were doing finding those that have been in your shoes is incredibly comforting. It is to me anyway.
Writing about your life is scary, it makes you vulnerable to the world & all of the backlash that might come with that. When I first wanted to write this blog I wanted it to be completely anonymous. I wanted this because I think it’s important to talk about the ugly stuff, the stuff no one wants to talk about, the uncomfortable things. The more I thought about it I realized that people can’t truly relate to an anonymous writer, they need a real life human to attach it to. So as scary as it is I’m going to own up to all the ugly, all of my faults, and all of the lessons I’ve learned while living with T1D in hopes that it can help even one person. If my transparency can do good, then I’m okay with opening up about all the not so great parts about my life.
Here goes nothin’
My name is Natalie Bayne, I’m a 25 year old hairstylist and program director for Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 4 years old and started going to Camp Endres when I was 9. I did competitive cheerleading pretty much my whole life and cheered at Oklahoma State when I was in college. If you saw me today you would probably have no idea that I was ever a cheerleader because I am quickly on my way to being covered in tattoos. Tattoos that piece my life together in one way or another. Most of my left arm is filed with different camp tattoos, it’s honestly the best example of how strongly I feel about Camp Endres and how it shaped me into who I am. The more I tell people my feelings on Camp Endres and what it did for me, the more I’m learning that my opinion on having T1D isn’t a popular one. Even on my worst day I will confidently say that having this disease is the best thing to ever happen to me. Diabetes has not only blessed me with the most magical things I have in my life, but it continually does so. For as long as I can remember I’ve thought this, its fairly easy for me to see the silver lining in situations but this feeling about this situation has always felt different.
Disclaimer: I hope that my thoughts, feeling, and opinions don’t offend anyone; that’s the last thing I want. I would never want to come off as insensitive to the struggles that someone else faces when dealing with T1D, the things I write are merely just how I feel.
I directly link my positive outlook on T1D with my experience at Camp Endres. When I say my experience at Camp Endres I don’t just mean my experience as a camper, but also my experiences as a counselor. Camp Endres was my happy place as a kid and a teenager; it was the place that introduced me to my best friends, the place I fell in love, figured out who I was, and taught me more lessons than any classroom ever could. Sometimes a place is just a place, but if you are really lucky it can be the center of everything you hold dear. The place you found yourself, the place that saved you, the place that introduced you to your best friends that have turned into this family you never thought you’d be lucky enough to have. Your place. The place. Sometimes a place is just a place but if you are really lucky it can be so much more. This is why I feel so strongly about expanding Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma. I can’t even imagine a world where I never found my place or my people and I want every person that is living with type one diabetes to be able to experience what I firmly believe saved my life.
I wouldn’t change how I feel about this disease, I actually feel really lucky that I feel this way. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I became aware of not only how uncommon this outlook is but also how unpopular it is. I’m beginning to notice that when I share my opinion on my situation & life, others that also have T1D seem offended. It’s like I’ve struck some major nerve because I don’t see this as the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Obviously, the last thing I want is to offend anyone or belittle their feelings. I believe that feelings are valid regardless of what they are and I want to know more about how others in this community feel. Mostly so I can do everything I can to help others find the silver lining I have.
Like I said, I am not a writer but I am a person living with T1D. A person that has experienced a lot of life having this disease. Life is messy, and its uncomfortable, and it’s raw; so I’m hoping this blog is too. I don’t know exactly where this is going to go or who might benefit from it but here I am writing nothing more than my stories and the stories of others around me that are living a day in the life.
Love & Stuff