I Can Do This!

I’m not a person who seeks out inspirational or motivational things. I don’t have any paperweights with words of wisdom engraved into them sitting on my desk, or posters of soaring eagles on my walls. None of that stuff ever seems to stick.

With one exception! A year ago, redhead diabetic genius superwoman Kim Vlasnik introduced us to one simple phrase that has gotten me through more crappy diabetes days than I would have ever expected. “You Can Do This.” The idea? To collect stories from people with diabetes who had been doing “this,” and to share those stories with the people who most need to hear them — other diabetics.

I’ll admit that I’m a moocher. A year after the YCDT launch, I still haven’t contributed my own encouraging story. Instead, I’ve just sucked up all the sentiments of motivation and support when I’ve needed them. And boy, have I need them lately.

Here’s where I bring it all back to me: Being pregnant with Type 1 diabetes is a tremendous job. I am so damn tired of it — the technical number-crunching itself and the waves of guilt and dread and disappointment that come along with it when things aren’t perfect. But just today, as I was bemoaning the draining effects of last night’s low blood sugars on my energy levels, the words popped into my head automatically: You Can Do This.

The phrase is so perfect because it’s so simple, and because there’s really no way to argue with it. I mean, of course I can do this — what choice do I have? I’ve been doing this for more than two decades, and a ton of other people are doing it, too. Elizabeth Hughes, the first person to ever use insulin, did this — pregnancy and all! And that was even before the Internet!

Even better, Kim has done so much to make You Can Do This work for so many people. T-shirts! Videos! Written stories! Booths at Friends for Life 2012! And behind all of that, a genuinely kick-ass woman who’s driven by a real concern for other people.

Happy 1st birthday, you can do this! And thank you, Kim, for reminding us all that we can.