“Special” in my school of thought is a special with patience more than the average normal human being, having integrity, determination, strength, perseverance, tolerance, and above all having built a fight-back approach to strive and survive against all the odds life puts forth.  

So, on the 10th of June 2019, I was very busy with my brother’s birthday. I helped my mother prepare the food and helped my younger brother with decorations. Everything around me was colorful, full of life, joy and full of spirit. 

But deep down inside me something didn’t feel right! ignoring aside, I continued with the preparations. After the cake cutting ceremony, BAM! I passed out. My mother gave me juice to get my body back to normal and checked my blood sugar which was 300 with an arrow up! Sigh… 

It happened to me many times lately, despite that day. The symptoms I remember I had were drained energy, urine burning, dizziness, weakness, weight loss, and mood swings. Noticing all the symptoms my mother consulted with our family doctor and he prescribed us with some tests. After so many tests, I was diagnosed with type1 diabetes. My mother and younger brothers didn’t even tell me anything in the beginning. But they were crying and looked stressed all the time. It was after 2-3 days that my mother told me that I was diagnosed with type1 diabetes!

So, meet MARYAM KHAN ☺  

A 19 years old young and fearless future biotechnologist. I was diagnosed when I was 16 years old. That highlights just three years to my diagnosis. A thought that never let me rest: Why am I so vulnerable, always swinging around a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts? 

I feel a roller coaster of my emotions! And a storm of feelings always made me ruminate to just escape in the depths of storm surge and never come back.    

Narration: “When I’m feeling stressed, I know that my sugar levels rise so that’s why at that moment I open my painting materials and start making paintings. When I’m feeling relaxed I know that my sugar levels are going well”  

Why do my moods always reflect my fluctuations in my diabetes? I think there is something in relation to my emotional condition and diabetes. So, at the times of my highs I paint:  I paint a bird that burns itself and reborn from its ashes. Yes! That’s exactly me. The highs of my emotions and sugar levels made me feel all broken with my wings, and when getting back to normal range it leaves me feeling like I am alive again and ready to fly with the wings stronger than before. 

I don’t know but I like being this way. The way I similitude to a golden bird with all the strength, perseverance, and determination to relive again and again and again. 

Sometimes I am surrounded by guilt! A guilt of am I managing diabetes correctly?I feel guilty when I am not being emotionally composed with my closed ones. My uncertainty is my struggle and it’s my insight. 

The question is how and when these feelings will subside? In front of me is a long journey to my career progression, my health, and my relations!  I want to do a lot of things in my life. I want to develop an identity that everyone feels proud of and above all I feel proud of myself when I look back. 

But I think I am not the only one who reflects this in a mirror. I am sure a lot of peers are with me on the same page. Because anywhere in the world we all are connected, connected by heart connected by diabetes.       

Here, I would acknowledge and mention my family and their unconditional regard to always give me room to grow, and handle my highs, lows and breakdowns by always standing by my side and by providing the best support I can ever have. Including Meethi Zindagi ! My peer support network who always lifts my hopes and motivations  to live a life worth striving for.    

My journey to acceptance is still an untraveled journey. There is a lot to travel on this road. But I am sure that one day I’ll get myself a “ME” and make myself proud!

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