I like mine attached. So does my friend Connie.
A couple of years ago, she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Her doctor was busy writing out a prescription when she said, “Wait! Don’t I even get a chance?” He asked, “Do you want one?” She said that she did and he prescribed a new way of eating, instead. You see, she’s seen diabetes up close and personal with family members who have lost digits and whole limbs – people whose dignity has been compromised by a disease that they chose not to treat. Now, two years later, she’s 25 pounds lighter and her diabetes is completely controlled with diet.
We started this week with the question: What if you were dying? It’s a nice (if morbid) balance to bring the week to a close by again addressing the effects of obesity on health – the serious effects.
I recently spent time with another friend who has some serious decisions to make. She is obese and has to decide what she’s going to do about that. I love her and I love her precious spirit, which is one of the kindest and gentlest I know. I’m not telling you anything I didn’t tell her when I say that if she doesn’t change her lifestyle – and soon – she’s going to die. It’s her choice whether or not to fight for her life; but, I sincerely hope that she does.
Several of our conversations were very frank and quite possibly offensive to her; however, I was never intentionally cruel, spoke from experience, not judgement and saw no value in dancing around the issue. I asked her to let me know when I crossed the line into her bubble and, while she never yelled “Uncle!” I’m pretty sure I was all in her head space. I tried not to go too far into it and I try not to go too far into anyone else’s space here. As I’ve said several times before, food is not the issue for obese people. There is some other demon at work there and I would be heartbroken to think that I strengthened someone else’s demon. However, I cannot stand on the sidelines silently and watch someone I love and treasure kill themselves. I won’t nag; but, I won’t be complicitly silent, either.
When I was young, my mother used to tell me all the time that “to whom much is given, much is required.” As it happened, that particular little saying turned into a nightmare of self-accusation for me; however, its core truth is untouched by the nightmare. If I have the knowledge to help, I am required to help, or to at least offer to. I was also reminded of that at a training seminar yesterday. Both my professional and my personal passions require me to offer help to others. What adults choose to do with that help is out of my hands; however, I have to offer. Deirdre Sullivan said, “In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.” My conscience will not leave me to stand by and do nothing.
I can lead a horse to water. After that, it’s up to the horse.
Still, if I can lead, I must.