Depression,  Diabetes,  Diabetes Blog Week,  Heart,  Inspiration,  Mental Health,  Photos,  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Clean it Out – #DBlogWeek Day 3

Diabetes Blog Week, Day 3 – Topic: Clean it Out . Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?  

The Garden of Pain, Diabetes Art Day 2012.

You know, I’ve had to think long and hard about how to respond to today’s topic, because there are half a million things, physical and mental, that I could stand to get out of my closet.  I could write about my recent diagnosis with PTSD and how I’m still struggling to make sense of all that entails.  I could talk about how that continues to interfere with my ability to properly manage my type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, etc… and a myriad of other things that I’m working on.  For today, though, I’m not going to do that.  Instead, I’ll be talking about getting rid of a physical item, that definitely has a mental component to it.

Some of you may remember the “Garden of Pain” sculpture that I created for the 3rd Diabetes Art Day in 2012.  It’s inspiration came from another project that failed and from a visit to a sculpture park in Des Moines, IA while I was there for a TCOYD event.  It was a great piece of work and one that I truly enjoyed making.  And it seemed to go over well with others in the DOC, which was a plus.

From that day in late September until early July 2014, the sculpture lived on a shelf near the window in my office.  It could see the squirrels and, yes, they were married.

At some point during the day of July 5th, the shelf that the sculpture was on collapsed, sending it to the floor where other items from the shelf landed on top of it.  I wasn’t home at the time and found the mess upon returning home later that evening.  It was quite disheartening to see.

After the fall.

After picking up everything that was on the shelf and surveying the damage, I pretty much decided the sculpture was beyond repair and that I should just clean up the mess and throw it all away.

I snapped the picture you see here and posted it on Facebook for folks to see.

One friend said that it seemed fitting for a sculpture called “The Garden of Pain” to meet such an end.

Another friends commented, “I suppose you could put it back on a shelf like that. You could just say it was a statement on a broken body or something. Go full snooty modern art with it.

I really liked that idea at the time, so I carefully collected all of the pieces, placed them in a container, and stored them away until I had time to sit down and work on the new project that I had in mind.

I had every intention working on that new piece.  Of using the opportunity to make an artistic statement about the fact that I do, indeed, live with a body that doesn’t work as it should.  To express just how broken I truly feel at times.  And yet, here it is, May 13, 2015, some ten months later, and I have yet to even look at that container again.  Let alone open it and begin to work on the project.

And I’m not going to either.

The fact of the matter is that I do, quite often, feel completely, irreparably, broken.  Both physically and mentally.  My heart doesn’t work like it should.  Neither does my pancreas.  I live in constant pain from old injuries to my back, legs, hips, and chest.  Then there are the migraines.  And the asthma.  And I can’t forget that bit about PTSD.  The flashbacks as a result of that make it hard to forget a lot of things I really wish that I could.

Each visit with one of my half dozen doctors is a reminder. Each trip to the pharmacy is a reminder.

Each time I sort out a dozen oral medications for the month, and restock my supply case with glucose test strips and pen needles for my Lantus, Humalog and Victoza, is a reminder.

Each time I stick my finger to check my blood sugar is a reminder.  And every insulin injection in my stomach is a reminder.

I think you get the picture.

And so that container filled with the pieces of that broken sculpture will make its way out of my apartment and into the dumpster this afternoon, and revisiting that project will never happen.

Because I do not need another fucking thing to remind me that I am… to make me feel that I am… Broken.

Living with a Confusing Pancreas and a Broken Heart at age 36 #Diabetes #LADA #CongestiveHeartFailure. #MakeDiabetesVisible Creator, #ALittleHeartCanDoBigThings Creator, Advocate, Blogger, Nature Photographer.


  • Kyle

    Sounds like your doing it rough, believe it or not there are ways to glue you back together!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Laddie

    Your list of medical issues is long, but so are your talents, friendships, love for family, etc. Keep remembering to ask for help when you need it to get back up on the shelf.

    I wasn’t part of Diabetes Blog Week that long ago so never saw your sculpture. It really was pretty cool. But it sounds as though it’s time to put it in the trash….

  • Frank

    Beautiful analogy between the sculpture and your feelings. And you are most certainly not broken. You are taking positive steps. You are sharing your story. You are letting go of that physical object that brings you grief.

  • Jane

    We are all broken at different phase of our lives, and from following your blog I know that you have been through really tough times and tougher medical issues. But I see you as a fighting person. I would agree that you should throw the broken artwork away and start afresh. I can’t wait to see your new work to remind you that you are not always broken.

  • Barb

    (((hugs))) You are such an talented and creative person. I hope that you find a way to work through the pain and issues you have ongoing. I hope that letting go of this will open doors for new steps towards feeling a bit better about you.

  • Amber

    Thanks so much for your honest post. Have you ever looked into EMDR for the PTSD? It worked very well for me to help my brain move past some of the things that caused my PTSD. When something or someone triggers me now, I go in for a few sessions of EMDR and feel much better.
    I just read a great book called: The Body Keeps the Score. Very well written by a psych Dr. It talks about healing the Brain, Mind and Body of Trauma through Yoga, Neurofeedback, EMDR, etc. Best book I’ve read on healing PTSD.
    🙂 Amber

    • Mike

      Yes, EMDR is on the list of things that I’m looking into for the PTSD. And, interestingly enough, that book, The Body Keeps the Score, is on my reading list. I found a copy at my local library and will be reading it soon. Thanks.