When doing my best isn’t good enough

During April, I will be participating in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC), sponsored by WEGO Health. As part of the challenge, I’ll write each day about the challenges I have in dealing with Type II diabetes. My hope is that my writing will help others who might be dealing with diabetes or another chronic disease to understand that they are not alone (and also work through some of my own issues at the same time). This post is in response to the provided prompt: Quotation Inspiration. Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.

My Grandma – Mom’s mom – was a huge influence on my life. She was a powerful figure, smart and strong, and I hung on her every word. When I was still quite young, she introduced me to a quotation and concept that has served me well ever since. I can’t remember what it was that she’d asked me to do – probably something to do with Math – and I’d tried really hard to do it (or so I thought) but just couldn’t get the hang of it. So I told her that: “Grandma, I’ve tried and tried and I can’t do it. But I did my best!” I waited for her to praise me for having done my best. Instead, she said, “It’s no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” I didn’t know then that she was quoting Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War, only that I was going to have to get the thing done and stop waffling about it.

So much of my life is about trying to do things. I try not to curse. I try to keep ahead of the laundry so that it doesn’t overflow the hampers. Heck, I’ve been trying to finish a half-finished blog post – not this one – for over a week now. What really hits me between the eyes, though, is this statement, which is something I tell myself all the time: I’m trying to live a healthy life and take care of my diabetes. As my grandmother would have said, “Denise, that’s simply not good enough.”

Diabetes doesn’t care how hard I’m trying. Diabetes is silently destroying my body as we speak and I can try all I want not to binge eat and to get some exercise but in this particular case – as in so much of life, really – trying hard just isn’t good enough.