On the Twelfth Day of Diabadass
The 12th Day of Diabadass: Meet Libby
Because Libby Russell is one of the greatest creatives we know, we thought we'd hand the mic (or, in this case, keyboard) over to her! Here's the ultimate how-to-be-a-diabadass, according to Libby.My name is Libby, I’m 30 years old, and I live in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, with my fiancé, Sean, and our cat, Hendricks. We’ve been here for almost 4 years and love it with our whole hearts! I grew up in Maine with a slightly younger brother; our parents are superstars, who provided nothing but the best childhood imaginable. A lot of playing outside, dogs, cleats and shinguard-filled mudrooms, and all-around fun. My brother was born with a major heart problem that required immediate surgery, so my parents are professionals at incredibly shocking health scare news about their kids. They don’t panic, and that’s the most important thing I’ve learned from them. Their approach has always been, “Is it livable? Yep. Alright, then let’s go out there and live!” It’s a refreshingly optimistic way to go about things, and it makes it hard to wallow around feeling sorry for myself. I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes since I was 17 years old. I got diagnosed right in the middle of my junior year of high school and lacrosse season - right when I was starting to get really serious about the sport, and considering playing in college. Thankfully, my mom picked up on my symptoms really quickly, and when I was officially diagnosed, I was still healthy-ish. Let me tell you though, when I was undiagnosed for those few months, those long road trips to look at colleges when my blood sugar was secretly 400 mg/dL was notfun for anyone - lots of pit-stops to pee!
It's All Rainbows & Unicorns 🌈💯
Managing my diabetes has been a slowly evolving process. Because I was diagnosed during a time when a lot of life was happening, it admittedly took me a few years to come to terms with everything. When I graduated college, I had a big conversation with myself. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a single peer to bond with over this disease because marketing and doctors had led me to believe there were only elderly people and young kids living with diabetes, and I was frustrated that everything about diabetes was archaic.
Nothing was aesthetically pleasing to have hanging around in my purse, and I wasn’t exactly proud to pull out a test kit that looked like something I conjured up from 1972. I realized that part of why I was still so private about my diabetes, was because there was nothing about it that made me feel proud or empowered. It just made me feel embarrassed and like a liability to myself and others.