Be Careful About The Words You Use

Be Careful About The Words You Use

Our words and phrases reflect who we are
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Everyone has words or phrases that they repeat all the time, whether they mean to or not. Whether it is because you have heard it before, or it seems to always fit the situation, some words and phrases become a major part of our vocabulary, and subsequently who we are. Recently, I became aware of my constant use of my own phrase: “mistakes were made.” I’m not sure where I first heard it, or when I started using it, but this phrase somehow became a vital part of my conversations, whether I was describing staying up too late, an awkward social interaction, or a test that went horribly wrong. I never thought much of the phrase and my usage of it; it was just something I say, but recently my friends pointed out how often I say it and how they equate the phrase with me. So, that left me wondering what “mistakes were made” really stood for, and whether I wanted it to represent me.

Mistakes is a word with a bad connotation, it implies that something wrong has been done. Without realizing it, by using my popular phrase I was putting myself down and implying that many of my actions were wrong or regrettable. However, when I see myself and my actions, I don’t think in that way. My actions, even if they don’t go perfectly, well, or as planned, are not mistakes; they are just choices or occurrences in my life. Yes, some choices are probably not the best, and I could make better ones in certain situations, but I don’t hold any regret for what I have chosen. Life is full of choices, some good, some better than others, and in order to live a happy life we need to accept the choices we make. By labeling these choices with mistakes and regret, we are putting ourselves down, instead of recognizing that life isn’t perfect and every choice we make is not going to be either.

Just the other night, I was beating myself up and using my favorite phrase because I stayed up very late on a school night to watch "Harry Potter" and eat cookies to celebrate my friend’s birthday. The next day, in my exhausted, delirious state, I claimed that by doing this, “mistakes were made.” However, when looking back, this isn’t really true. I made a choice to stay up late and celebrate, and while staying up late was probably not the best choice, spending time with my friends and having fun with them was a good choice. Instead of recognizing my actions and both the positives and negatives of them, I clouded them with negative connotations by using that phrase.

Now, even though I now recognize the power that just a silly phrase holds, I will not stop using it, or change my vocabulary overnight. Some phrases and words come so naturally to us that it is difficult to stop using them. However, I urge everyone to at least take a moment and think about the words they use. Whether we like it or not, the words we use are a reflection of our personality and self, and we need to make sure that our words match up with the person we are.

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What Everyone With Diabetes Wishes You Knew

I wish people knew that it is a constant battle.
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I do my best to keep my story positive. I am a positive person day in and day out, but I can’t help but wish that people knew certain things about my disease without me having to teach them or without me having to help them understand. Although I love educating others, it begins to feel as though no one around me wants to hear it.

When I have a few bad days, I want to hide. I want to scream at my body. I want to throw it away. I ask myself, “Why? Why did this happen to me?”

But then I stop and remember that it happened to me because I can handle it and because I was meant to teach others about it.

I wish people could see the battle that I am fighting, some days more than others.

I wish people could see the numbers that follow me around all day.

I wish people could feel a high blood sugar.

I wish people could feel a low blood sugar (hypoglycemics don’t count).

SEE ALSO: 15 Different Reactions You Get When You Have Type One Diabetes

I wish people could see me struggling to solve this disease.

I wish people knew that my diabetes is not someone else’s diabetes.

I wish people knew that Type 1 Diabetes is not Type 2 Diabetes.

I wish people knew that thousands of people are struggling with this disease around the world and some of them don’t have the resources to survive.

I wish people knew how invasive this disease is between the finger pricks, the pump sites, the sensor sites and the syringe holes left in my body.

I wish people knew that I can eat that cookie.

I wish people knew that I can eat two cookies if my heart desires it.

I wish people knew that I am constantly thinking about my blood sugar.

I wish people knew that I can’t go anywhere without a glucometer, insulin, and glucose tablets.

I wish people knew that diabetes can cause a lot of other problems in my body.

I wish people knew that this disease isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s more than just pushing buttons and testing my blood sugar.

I wish people knew that I have to consider every single piece of food that goes into my mouth and how it might affect me later.

I wish people knew that diabetes affects my sleep.

I wish people knew that sometimes I don’t feel like fighting my body.

I wish people knew that certain foods can really really hurt me for a few hours.

I wish people knew that my life is a little different than theirs, but that I wear it well.

I wish friends could understand.

I wish family would try harder to.

I wish people knew that my disease is life-threatening and that it usually never leaves my mind, no matter how often I practice yoga or how often I meditate.

I wish people knew that diabetes is just as much mental as it is physical.

I wish people knew that I’m constantly thinking ahead, when all I want to be thinking about is right now.

SEE ALSO: A Letter To Those Who Think Diabetes Is A Joke

I wish people knew that life is so precious to people with diabetes.

I wish people knew that I didn’t do this to myself.

Cover Image Credit: Erika Szumel

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Getting A Cat Senior Year Of College Saved Me, And It Could Save You

Even if you're not a cat person (which I know most of you aren't), there are valuable lessons to be learned from a furry companion, especially as a senior in college.

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In the first week of September during my senior year of college, I already felt like I was bungee jumping with the wrong cords that could snap at any second. No matter what anyone tells you, senior year is no joke. With all of the feelings of stress and anxiety, you would think that putting a new pet into the mix of all of that is the worst idea someone could have. But, really, when do we ever get to make crazy decisions if not senior year of college? So I got a pet, of course. Why not live on the edge?

Let me tell you, finding the animal you want to adopt is a pretty magical moment. I went into that shelter looking for a cat that was at least a few months old and had its bearings on life. I came out with one that was barely nine weeks old (totally not the plan). It was all because when I held him he booped his nose on mine and my heart turned into a puddle on the floor. I knew right then that this would be my cat. His given name was Batman, but we decided to call him something much suaver: Bruce Wayne. He also is a black cat, so I would say the name fits well.

It is important to note that before this cat saved me, it wrecked me. The first week of ownership was one of the biggest growing periods of my young life. I cried every day. The realization that I was now responsible for such a small, fragile being was, to say the least, earth-shaking. But, after that first week of worrying if he would even survive in my care, the dust settled, and I got to explore what it was like to not only care for an animal but to have a new companion to live life with. I watched him explore and learn and play. I saw him grow from a small kitten to a fierce lion-cat (who very much enjoys being like a lion and chasing his "prey" a.k.a., my limbs and extremities). I was able to nurture this small being and see him grow into the cat he is today. It has truly been a gift to be such a vital role in his life. High-key, this experience has given me a glimpse of what motherhood might look like (disclaimer: I know that will be much much harder and I'll cross that bridge when I get there).

Now onto the part about how he saved me. I learned what it is like to care deeply about another being while also being responsible for them. I learned how to balance my social life, spending time with him and making him feel loved. I learned how to tell if he was sick or not. Arguably, the most important thing I learned, was that if you think they have an ear infection, you're probably wrong and you probably don't need the $120 ear drops the vet will give you (look, overreaction to their first sign of illness is a thing and you will definitely experience this). But really, the companionship I experienced from Bruce during senior year boosted my morale and kept me motivated to finish undergrad strong. I don't think I would have made it through my senior year if I hadn't had Bruce there to show me love, support me, and keep me laughing. He became a companion that I would not be able to find in a person. He also wasn't someone I had to talk to. We could just sit, play, and sleep without having to exchange words, but even in this nonverbal relationship, he knew I loved him and I knew he loved me. Having him around made everything much brighter and mean much more.

Would I suggest everyone get a cat senior year of college? The cat-loving part of me wants to scream "Yes!" and meet you at the Humane Society tomorrow, but the logical part of me knows that it isn't for everyone. A pet is a huge responsibility and if you aren't ready for that, then don't step into that part of your life. On the flip side, I also urge you to be open to the possibility of a pet being just what you need. Who knows? Your pet could get you through one of the hardest seasons of your life. They could also be just another thing to love and smile about during one of the best seasons of your life. They're with you through it all! Whether your pet barks, meows, or chirps, you'll learn valuable life lessons and gain a loyal companion.

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