October 21, 2006


When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.

--Florida Scott-Maxwell

How I love that phrase: fierce with reality. Fierce! Check that out. Yeah, I’d like to get me some of that.

Okay, what do I do again? Truly possess all I’ve been and done?


That sounds uncomfortable, to say the least. Just for starters, I’d have to acknowledge that I ate a not insubstantial donut yesterday. (75 g of carbs. 75!) And it’s a pretty slippery slope from there, believe me.

Still...fierce. Hmm.


Donut jests aside, this fierceness project has preoccupied me ever since my ex and I split up. What I've wanted is to reach a new understanding of myself, a more profound and nuanced sense than I currently have of how I came to be at this funny little crossroads in my funny little life.

I didn’t have sufficiently apt words for this quest until last weekend, when I started rereading William Bridges’s The Way of Transition and found the above quote used as an epigraph. Aha, I thought. Here’s the thing I’m trying to do. And how gentle a caveat: “may take some time.” Yes. It does.

In a perhaps unsurprising way, given whose brain we're considering here, I find it’s easier to possess the things of which I’m ashamed than those of which I’m proud. Gargantuan Mistake #16, Shameful Error #42, Self-Absorbed Foolishness #23--these and others stand out in sharp relief against the occasional Violetine accomplishment or act of kindness. The myriad ways in which I’ve hurt myself and others simply WILL make themselves known at every opportunity. What cacophonous voices those little buggers have. They yell a lot.

Which brings me to today.

Two years ago today, I was diagnosed with diabetes. (The story of that week is archived in three parts: here, here, and here.) Looking back over these two little years that feel like ten--two years during which, not so incidentally, I made a new life and then participated in its crash-and-burn free fall--I realize that possessing all I’ve been and done in relation to this one small area of diabetes entails much more pride than shame.

There, I said it.

Pride because: I read and learned; I changed my diet not to the point of perfection (witness the aforementioned donut) but at least to a point where I could thrive physically and mentally; I found a way to connect with others that not only feels true to my natural introversion but even nurtures it; I started on the pump despite its numerous accompanying anxieties; I was afraid; I was brave; I persevered.

These aren't small things to have done and been. They're rather significant. A lot of them are choices I could have made differently.

Diabetes being only one small part of my life, I have many other things to ponder, understand, possess. But today I'm willing to celebrate a few small victories and to feel a bit fiercer thereby.


  1. Oh yes, you have much to be fierce about today.

    Violet, I've been a fan of yours-- and your quiet, gentle, strikingly honest voice for almost a year and a half now.

    Thank you for reaching out.

  2. "I was afraid; I was brave; I persevered."

    I'm so glad you're out here. You were among the very, very first blogs I ever found and I found such solace in your words. Thank you for being such an inspiring part of my life.

  3. Violet,
    That was lovely - a great way to start my week.
    Thank you!
    - Kathy

  4. Sandra and Kerri said it: fierce, honest, inspiring. Thank you Violet.


  5. It's all a journey V - and one that I'm thankful to be able to share with you.

    You are a really great gal, and I'm so glad that we have this blogging thing with which we can both share little parts of our big D lives (and everything that comes along with it).

    You have handled your diagnosis and experiences so far with a real grace, determination and "fierceness" that is inspiring to me.

    Thanks for being you and sharing it all with us.