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Spring Rains and Hockey Games: Enter Year Four.

May 14, 2014

Four years ago. The Habs had just beat the Bruins in the second round. There’d been lots of spring rain, everything green. I was moving slowly, out of it, exhausted and desperately thirsty. Was rehearsing for a Dixit Dominus performance which eventually I couldn’t sing. I got in the cab to the ER after an urgent call from my doctor’s office, bloodwork just in. This happened.

At first they told me Type 2.

I’m not sure what to do with diaversaries. They are neither “good” anniversaries or “bad.” They are significant, though how significant depends on my current relationship not just with the disease I live with, but with the event of diagnosis itself. Shock, trauma, grace, mindful, anger, unfair, numb, surreal, gratitude, destiny, compassion… these are all words I’ve used to describe my diagnosis and the emotional processing around it. My processing of it differs every day. But I do think of it every day. So that gives some weight to a diaversary, I guess.

This is my 4th, so diaversaries have almost become commonplace. It’s not the epic fundraising bash I threw on my first one, or even the slow-drip of melancholy of the other ones. I usher it with the visceral understanding of its significance, an experience which is far more in my senses than my head.

Last week a lot of feelings were coming up. The sense of loss, the grief about my diagnosis which only really began to surface in the past two years (formerly occupied by sense of *numb*). The spring rains. The playoffs. My own joyful exuberance and ecstatic love of the world these days, so reminiscent of my spring-fever of four years ago, which appeared to crash into a poll upon diagnosis. Tears would come up last week when I thought of the lilacs blooming soon. I remember that the only good cry I had after being discharged from the hospital four years ago, was telling my boyfriend-at-the-time that all I wanted was to go outside and smell the lilacs and begin to feel again.

My diabetes itself, like the anniversary of its diagnosis, is also in a sense commonplace, but also not. While diabetes is a part of me now, I still retain that sense of sweet innocence before a disease found its way into my identity. I mourn also how much diabetes dominated my identity for the first two years, understandably. And I quietly acknowledge that, while it’s somewhat become second-nature, it has not become easy. If anything, it’s gotten tougher, my resilience wearing thin from four years of constant work.

Today marks that turning. I will take deep inhales of spring rains and blooming hyacinth to honour that identity now gone, and mark the passing of time, and the richness that comes from any lived experience, for its own sake. Because while diaversaries may be neither happy nor sad, they are significant.

Three days ago, in the midst of a blissful warm late-night bike-ride home, I hit a bump, crashed, and fractured my left wrist. I won’t speak of the parallels (because I’m still letting them speak to me viscerally) of being in the ER, and slowing down a bit, and learning to do new tasks, and the way my general emotional *volume* dials way down when there are real-life physical challenges facing me. I do find, while navigating a new (albeit temporary) “normal” in my body, that my senses grow heightened, the world feels newly discoverable, and every task feels more present and mindful. Tonight, the Habs face off the Bruins in Game 7. Yesterday’s spring storm has turned everything green. Lilacs will no doubt be out soon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. marion permalink
    May 14, 2014 5:09 pm

    Hi Sarah, I was leaning over a book, reading a chapter (Foucault and Therapy: The Disciplining of Grief in ‘Reading Foucault for Social Work) that I am considering for a masters course on Living with Illness, Loss and Bereavement, when I heard a ping in my inbox. My operating system produces a banner at the top of my screen so I can preview my new mail. I am glad I pressed open and read your thoughts on mourning. Thank you.

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