Monday, November 15, 2010

Resistance training

As human beings I’m not sure if our tendency to resist is a defect ingrained in our DNA or something that we learn? For me, resistance is felt as a certain muscle tension with the unconscious belief that I can prevent or undo certain events or circumstances using my own personal muscular strength. Kind of like holding or catching an object to prevent it from falling. My resisting mind sounds like “No, this can’t be happening” or “Why do things like these always happen to me?”. It is also recognizable by a certain tightness in my hamstrings, shoulders and neck.

Events that trigger unpleasant feelings are inevitable in life. Tragedies, death, pain, suffering, disease are all part of living. Even if we put all of our time and energy into resisting such events, it will not undo them. Resistance won’t bring back the deceased, it won’t cure chronic diseases like Type 1 Diabetes and it won’t turn back time to enable us to change certain events that may have been preventable. Constant resistance WILL however eventually make us sick (or sicker) if it persists for too long. And it will prolong or simply delay the unpleasant feelings associated with the event. What we resist persists. Resistance is a defense mechanism that we use to try to avoid (or lessen) the unpleasant feelings that we are experiencing. The worse thing is when all of this resisting happens unconsciously. If we don’t know that we’re resisting, how can we stop? As soon as we start becoming conscious of it, we begin to let go. We begin to surrender to what is. And we begin the healing process.


Such powerful words that represent the beginning of the end of unhappiness. I’m trying very hard to burn these 2 words in the main part of my brain. For so long, I resisted playing the Type 1 game every single day. I cursed inside when I got a meter error during middle of the night blood checks. I resented doing site changes when our schedule was already full. I just hated doing blood glucose checks before outings when we were already running late. I got really upset when people just didn’t get it. And I still feel that certain tightness deep inside when I see a high number appear on Adele’s blood glucose meter.

After over 8 years of Type 1 gaming, I can’t say that I no longer resist playing, but it is getting better. I’m more conscious of it now and can more often turn it around as soon as I feel this resistance starting to build. The Type 1 task where this consciousness has helped me the most is during the middle of the night glucose checks. I just get up and do them. No questions asked. And if the voice inside my mind starts cursing about how difficult and unpleasant this whole process is, I just tell change the channel. And usually end up falling asleep much faster afterwards since I’m just taking care of Type 1 game business instead of feeling sorry for myself resisting what is and wishing that I could just sleep through the night like normal parents of a healthy 10 year old. In the end, once we become more conscious of our resistance, it then becomes our choice. Do we want continue to try to fight the powers of the universe or surrender to them?

I think it's time to start letting go and to raise the white flag. Sometimes "giving up" may actually one of the most constructive things that you can do...


Meri said...

Awesome post Mike! I 100% agree!

Your words remind me of our family motto: You get what you get and you don't throw a fit. :)

We need to go with the flow. Swimming against the current gets you no where.

Amy said...

Awesome post...right on!

Beautiful girl you got there!!

Scully said...

This rings so true. I can completely relate to your thought process about middle of the night tests. Now I often wake up and don't even remember testing and possibly correcting. Great Post!!

Anonymous said...


Wow - Just - Wow.

I think you should change the "giving up" to "acceptance" though. Grief councellors say that acceptance is the final step of the grieving process. When my son was diagnosed, I felt as though I lost a child, and I did in a way. Every expectation I had as a parent changed. I went from expecting my son to have perfect attendance at school to being thrilled that he just made it through the school day alive.

I have accepted the diagnosis of T1. I have accepted that my son is at risk for major complications. I have accepted that every day is a gift with him. That doesn't mean I like it. It doesn't mean I don't pray for cure - soon. It does mean that we get on with the daily business of living, diabetes be damned. We do what we have to do to feed the beast, but we don't let it take over. We can't - life is too short for that.

Great post Mike.

Take Care.

Sarah said...

I agree with Alice about knowing that it's not giving up but accepting.
I appreciate your post and all it's honesty.
I also wanted to let you in on a little personal voyage. I am adopted. My family is great, but it was always a little uncomfortable, like that the cousins and uncles never really accepted me as part of the family. When I got married my in-laws accepted me wholeheartedly. They invited me to everything, wanted my advice, opinions, and just made me feel valued. Then my mother-in-law got diagnosed with cancer. She battled and was winning, but in the middle of her treatment my father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was in the middle of training for the courage classic bike ride, a grueling weekend ride over several climbing mountains. He was in tip-top health. And he got hit hard with it. Watching him move on from that diagnosis to live a full eight months with joy has impressed upon me that even if the path seems dreary all we truly can control is our reaction to it. Our choice to be happy, thankful, filled with is all up to us.
I hope today is a great one.
Take care.

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Good for you Mike!

I know it isn't easy. I've gotten to the point of acceptance myself and am so glad. It makes everything better. I still slip a little every once in a while though.

I look forward to hearing about more of your resistance training!