From my diary:
I feel anxious today. I failed my one-hour glucose test the other day and was forced to take a three-hour one, where they drew blood four times. Mom said the same thing happened to her. “It runs in the family,” she said. “Grandpa on your father’s side, and Yiya and all of her siblings, except for Fey.” Oh joy. I don’t want diabetes. I called the doctor today for the results. Left a message with the A-K nurse, asking her to call me back when the results are in. Then of course you analyze how long it’s taking for them to return the call. If it’s the doctor who calls back, it’s bad news. If it’s the nurse, chances are things might be okay. I’m nervous. Mostly I don’t like the idea that there’s something wrong with me. A disease associated with fat people. Yes, it’s common in Indian and Asian women, even the thin ones. But I’m a redhead. It makes me feel like a failure. It’s embarrassing, being told you have diabetes. I’m probably wrong, but in my head, it means I’m fat and unhealthy. It makes me want to go eat everything full of sugar, just in case they say I have diabetes. How do you get through Thanksgiving with diabetes? I’m sad and feel lonesome and sorry for myself today. And I’m resentful. Last night, I tried to breathe through it, insisting to myself it was outside my control. So there’s no point in getting upset. There’s nothing you can do about it. But holy shit, so help me if they say I have diabetes, I’m taking a sleeping pill and passing out for Thanksgiving. There’s no way I’m tempting myself with family favorites or watching other people enjoy what I can’t. How can an American enjoy Thanksgiving without hoards of stuffing and orangey discs of starch, with sticky nuts and glorious light brown sugar and maple syrup on everything?! It’s not fair. It’s not fair that I’m home crying in bed, worried, while he’s out at a bar past 1AM drinking with his friends. I’m resentful of everything and everyone, which sucks. Lea will make me feel better.
When it comes down to it, the only person I’d really call crying hysterically is my sister. I have a handful of friends who I consider to be like sisters, and in theory, they’re all there on the list of middle of the night, drop everything, friends. I bitch to them about my own sister, but somehow, in the moment, when I’m maybe making no sense, and the only sounds coming from my body are sobs and heaves, I call my sister. I don’t do it because she’ll offer the best advice. I do it because there’s a history there, and it’s less embarrassing with her.
It’s embarrassing when we break down, which seems like the wrong word. Embarrassing. It’s a shallow feeling, implying you care what someone else thinks. When you’re in it, forearms deep in emotion, the last thing you should be worried about is how you’re being received. You don’t want to be judged, but coming unglued like that, crying and irrational, or fuck it, even completely justified and rational, it means you’re admitting that your life isn’t perfect.
Everyone knows no one has it perfect, but when it’s you, revealing your own turmoil to someone, it’s sometimes just, well, embarrassing. I guess that’s why I go to my sister first. She doesn’t expect anything of me. She doesn’t make assumptions or think I’m somehow less together. She doesn’t roll her eyes or become overly concerned. She listens—actually she’s not even a good listener—but really, she’s an extension of me, being my sister. It’s like not telling anyone when I tell her. And she always makes me feel less alone in the world. Like no matter what happens, we’ll have each other.
Friends are alarmed that I was just moments ago talking about their dramas, in a light banter, and now I’m on the phone sobbing. And they will of course want to make me feel better, so they’ll listen and offer practical advice, just as I do for them. And I’ll call certain ones for different things. First I go to the ones I know won’t take my side, if there’s a side to be taken. I go to the people who won’t just tell me what I want to hear. Then I might later go to the second tier of friends who do a good job of cheering me up, but who usually, don’t add much insight. Friends can be like perfume that way. Friends get me to stop crying, start breathing, and sometimes get me to laugh. And I’ll shake my head, agreeing. It’s a sensible, constructive, break down. I go to them for advice, not comfort. Lea, though, is like a bowl of soupy ice cream, and I love her for it. I’m so glad she’s coming for Thanksgiving, even when I’ll be sick of her after two days. Which always happens. I think we get along best when we’re in different states, which is surprising considering how much we love each other.