Diabetic Cyborg Life: A New Way of Living for the Now
During the last few weeks I managed to get my sleep patterns back to a somewhat normal schedule of around 4 am to 6 pm. This was done just out of my want to be conscious when the sun is out I guess. Honestly, I don’t realty know why I decided to get my circadian rhythm back to a somewhat “normal” state. I will just have to wait and see if the new hours are able to stick and work for me.
Speaking things into truth is often something I do to help me cope with life. Living for the now is how I try to live now after reading some Alan Watts and post some Buddhist thoughts daily for the last month or so. In the past, I always had the thought that events and my actions would make more sense later, and I always made plans for the next three or four months. That habit was from college and planning each year a semester at a time.
That frame of reference just made sense then, but afterwards things can get messy when you have no structured job or plan for your life. This kind of thing falls apart completely when mental or physical health are involve. My multiple sclerosis, or MS, diagnosis and the precipitous drop in the state of my mental wellbeing. The depressive state I was in did not allow me to think about anything but the now and how much life I just had robbed from me by a disease that I never really knew existed.
My type-one diabetes demands that I know what my blood glucose, or BG, is now to try to keep in the preferred range on seventh and one hundred and eighty milligrams per deciliter. That task is going well as my recent reports from Medtronic Carelink show my “time in range” is one hundred percent for the last two weeks consistently. That fight is much easier now since I cut down on the carbs I eat.
Now, I am left with two illnesses that demand I live and know the now much more than any plans for my immediate future. That leaves the coming month more in question than they were previously. The study of Buddhism and the Watts readings changed my views on a lot of issues of life. Finding that living in the now appeals to me greatly with my illnesses.
A need to not focus so much on the future and always building my hopes and efforts to achieve something far off or challenging is vital for my life now. Living a sustainable and repeatable system for living is how I approach everyday now. Whereas, before my system of living was to build toward an eventual hope or achievement I decided I need to reach.
I never like the to say it was a “goal” because I often see people fall short and feel crushed from not reaching their “goals.” If I failed to reach an ultimate expectation or accomplishment, I just felt better about it. That is odd, yes, but that is just how I always thought about things I wanted in life. Now, I must live in and for the now and embrace the reality good and bad as it comes.
Living in the now gives everyday a sense of new feelings and sensations since I am aware of the now instead of planning and hoping for the future. Be like a willow that gives and springs back after being hit and not like the pine that is brittle and breaks. This kind of thinking is something I learned from the Watts book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. That path of thought does give my life that opportunity to feel new sensations and new emotions that were overlooked and denied previously.
The new thinking of Watts and the Buddhist approach of living in the now appeal me more than it would have when I was all about planning months at a time. This type of thought was the opposite of what I did then and now thanks to illness and circumstances I value the insight. The idea that all these new feelings that Watts speaks about in Wisdom shows that to him living a new model of approaching life changes us and out senses entirely. The book does not give any guarantee of grandeur but I feel a shot at warding off depression itself makes it worth the effort to try it.
How all this connects to my health and life, I guess, is just an odd coincidence. The type-one diabetes I have and the pump make it so that I am in a constant state needing to know the current state of my body. The MS made it so that I can’t plan for decades in the future, if I ever could’ve before, and to think now and not later.
Both diseases make for a prefect recipe to turn even a life long deist to look in to Buddhism and Zen to maintain a non-depressive view of life. I am an optimist by nature, so does that conflict with living for the now? An unrealistic one yes, but I am one that just thinks that good, hope, and kindness to everyone is how to live.
One of my favorite Medium writers Jessica Wildfire posted a piece that strikes much the same tone as my new way of living.
Her post How to Stop Caring So Much shows how that not analyzing and trying so hard to maximize your life and just start living it can truly make us a much happier person. She says that thinking too much about your life can cost you the ability to perform and create.
I responded with:
Thank you Jessica for this call to the now! I recently realized after some study of Zen Buddhism and Alan Watts that living the moment is so a much richer life that stops all anxiety and depression about the past and the future. It was long and hard process, but I think your call to stop caring so much shows the beauty that I found myself. My study and change in caring so much about all but the now makes my life a fuller richer life.
This interaction just helped me see that my new wave of thinking was dead on and I needed to just embrace what I already thought about my life.
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