I grew up at a time where most people strove to conform to the norm. To be different was not as embraced nor as popular as it is today. It was particularly not good if you had some sort of abnormality or defect that made you different from the crowd. As an example, I had a cousin who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young boy and he was segregated from the rest of the cousins. Today, his condition would not only be acknowledged, but he would be heralded for his ability to live with the disease. Times were indeed different.
When I was diagnosed with #diabetes back in 1971, I strove not to be treated any differently by my friends or family. I did everything I could to hide the disease. I put up a good facade that I was like every other 17-year-old kid. I even ate poorly like many of my friends, but for me, this would only make my condition worse. The more I denied being abnormal, the reality was I was hiding my condition from myself and living in a state of denial. As I later matured, I began to realize that no one was perfect. In fact, the truth was that everyone had skeletons in their closets. Mine had just occurred at a younger age. Once I realized that it was okay to be a #diabetic and acknowledged that I had a disease, then my real healing could begin.
Later in my life, when I opened up about my health in my PARAGON STEE corporate newsletter, I began to realize how my messages resonated with my audience, providing #inspiration. Not only did they appreciate my message of hope, but they also wanted to share with me their stories. I hadn’t foreseen this at all. The truth is we are all dealing with something or will be one day. The sooner you can face the truth, the better off you’ll be. Because odds are: the skeletons are here to stay.