Around 4 o’clock this morning, I rolled over in bed and felt my CGM hanging by one sticky thread of tape despite my jerry rigged reinforcement efforts. I let out an audible sigh, peeled the remaining guts of adhesive off of my love-handle, and dropped the sticky wad of sadness on the floor.
While trying to keep the anxiety of “now I’m on my last sensor with no back ups. SWEET.” out of my mind before the sun had even risen, I checked the last reading on my Dexcom App. 94. Word. Back to sleep I go. Before I knew it I was re-snoozin’, and somehow none other than DJ Khaled had snuck himself into my dream. It was like Snapchat IRL. He was telling me to ride with him through the journey to more success, #BlessUp, etc. The key emoji was there, and it was all very weird, oddly motivational, and the reason why I am now sitting here writing this as fast as I can before I lose steam on this very weird idea.
It’s not normal for DJ Khaled to flood my subconscious as my own personal hype man, but it is normal for me to find myself in increasingly challenging diabetes scenarios that force me to problem solve in very weak moments. So between my 4am wake up call and this rapper’s notorious Snapchat persona, I realized there’s a connection there. Like, what if the next time you accidentally ripped your CGM off, DJ Khaled actually did appear…in his towel, applying his Dove deodorant, telling you to shed your self-doubt and focus on what matters. Who knows, maybe we’ll discover Snapchat is the future platform of motivational speaking.
So without further ado, here are 7 ways I think this dude’s message is actually a perfect source of inspiration for we diabetic folk:
“Another one” in DJ Khaled speak means he’s done gone and won again. His entire existence is based off of his desire to rack up as many w’s as humanly possible. But he’s not talking just like, million dollar record deals and poppin’ bottles and shit, he’s talking about the little stuff. He wakes up in the morning, is thankful for a fresh start, puts on his #BlessUp sandals, and gets after it.
In diabetes speak, “another one” could mean a lot of things: another test strip. Another infusion set. Another low. Another high. Another day of yelling at the insurance company, or crying to your pharmacist, begging her for more humolog. The phrase “another one” to a diabetic unfortunately, and all too often, has a negative connotation or repercussion.
BUT WHAT IF – instead of tallying all of the dramatic challenges we face every day like we’re writing an episode of Kardashians, we tallied the wins and victories we scoop up along the way. You got out of bed and went to work today. You even remembered to wear pants. Fuck yeah, man. #AnotherOne. We’re trying our hardest here, we should get some damn credit – even if it’s just from ourselves.
#2 The Key
If Khaled had a batman symbol to throw up in the sky, it would be the key emoji. He likes to tell his Snapchat followers of America and beyond, what the key to success, life, happiness, being a sex symbol etc., is. And dammit, I appreciate the vast range of these keys, because it all essentially nets out to him just believing in himself. He’ll be snap a vid of himself in a hammock and say, “The key to success is more cocoa butter” and I’m like…yeah, it actually is. I deeply feel that. He defines success off of the things that happen or that he loves in his real life. Not someone else’s. He doesn’t have life FOMO like so many of us do. It’s all too easy to be like, “Ooh, their life is shiny and pretty. Can I have it?” It’s all too easy to forget that maybe other people don’t have the responsibility of having diabetes, but they too, have problems. Hell, eeeeeverybody’s got problems. So maybe for us, the key to success is as simple as acceptance.
#3 Stay Above Water
Diabetes is a panicky disease. I have somewhere between 9-43 “OH SHIT.” moments a day where I feel like I’m faced with a snow plow’s worth of worry. I’m constantly digging around looking for things…”where the hell is my phone? my test kit? my sanity?” Something is alway the threat of something falling out of place and derailing the day. Even if it’s just internally. Living in a constant state of fight of flight can be exhausting. On days where my blood sugar has been particularly stubborn, I come home from work totally defeated. Overwhelmed. TIRED. Omg so tired. But. Sometimes mind is truly more powerful than matter. And to this, Mr. Khaled here has something very insightful to say.
Keep your head above water. I’ve been writing so much less lately because it wasn’t feeling good. I was under water. So I’ve tried to monitor the emotional water levels a little better. I’ve been socializing more, I’ve been watching less shitty TV. Trying to subject myself to less bullshit. Slow down. Listen to Podcasts. Doodle. Cook healthy meals. Go to bed earlier. I’ve even started working out in the morning. Which, if you know me, is like a sick…sick joke. I’m trying to shift my focus to thing that make me feel more in control. Like I have more time to breathe well above water. Positive vibes. All positive.
#4 They Don’t Want you
Whoever “they” is, Khaled is very convinced they don’t want him to be happy. JK – “they” are def his h8rz. Ya, you read that right: h8rz.
As a diabetic, there is so much stigma. It feels like there are so many rules…so many conflicting beliefs and tactics. Our “They” could be like, 400 things. “They” don’t want you to sleep in on Saturdays because you’re blood sugar will spike. “They” don’t want you to run a marathon because you’ll be low the whole time. “They” don’t want you to wear a bikini because your CGM and pump will be exposed to the world. THEY is usually the voice in my own head. And THEY tends to be a huge asshole. She’s the same person that tells me “You can’t do it” at the gym. So take a screengrab out of Khaled’s story and remember: You CAN. You WILL.
#5 Ride With Me
Having diabetes can be insanely lonely sometimes. After a frustrating day of balancing what can feel like the world on your head, you just want someone to understand what you’re going through. How tired you are. But here’s the thing, all you have to do is ask. People want to be there for you.
Type 1’s are a rare breed and we’re exceptionally difficult to find in real life. I recently met a few new diabuddies at a fundraiser, and it was such an infrequent experience for me that I forgot how to socialize. I was as awkward as a 7th grade boy at his first school dance blubbering like an idiot. But after I walked away from them – however embarrassed I was – I was so incredibly happy to speak to someone who lives the real deal just like I do.
Diabetes really IS a journey and we really ARE on a mission to feel successful about managing it. But that’s really fucking hard. So whether it’s through an online community or in real life, anything helps. Lately, I’ve taken to Instagram to meet and talk with other diabetics. It’s a perfect platform to share and commiserate. I’ve learned so much from other people, even if they are just little teeny tiny usernames and selfies on my celly bling blang.
I’ve always been a very fast-paced, panic first, react selfishly, “why me” kind of person. But the attitude is gratitude, amigos. And when I force myself to slow down and process the larger impact that other people have had on my life, it’s pretty heavy. I usually cry a little. Try to hug people too tightly. It can get awkward, but we all get through it.
Khaled says #BlessUp like… every 10 minutes. I’m not a religious person, but I am a big fan of always trying harder to be more appreciative. When you’re right in the middle of a stressful situation, it’s hard to think about the good things, or the people who have helped you realize you can get through that stressful situation. But it’s something we can all be more conscious of.
So next time there’s a mini meltdown on your horizon, take a deep breath and think…is this a #BlessUp moment?
#7 Coco Butter
I have absolutely nothing to say here. Just: “Yep. This is correct.”
Okay, welp. Thank you for baring with me through that outrageous, long-winded attempt to relate having diabetes to DJ Khaled’s motivational Snapchat stories. If you don’t follow him…you should. If nothing else, it’ll add some entertainment to your day.