This is an expanded version of another post.
While pondering what to write about this morning, I read a story prompt that said to describe a mysterious stranger. That lead to me thinking about the song, “Stranger in My House”. The version I am talking about is sung by Tamia.
Specifically, I thought about these lyrics, “Or could it be, that the stranger is me? Have I changed so drastically? Is it I want more for me? And you remain the same?”
I stopped at those lyrics and thought about relating them to my own journey. I’ve gone through a lot of changes these past several years, all spurned by my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes a few years ago.
Diabetes has ravaged my family, including some of the damaging components like amputations and blindness. When I was diagnosed, I went through a period of shock. I spent a lot of time thinking about how this was going to affect me. Will I start feeling new types of pain? What am I going to have to give up? Will I collapse some day and who will be there to tell me, “Drink your juice, Shelby”?
After about a month of processing these thoughts, I decided I was not going to go down that path. Citing my sister’s blindness and my brother’s leg amputation, along with their struggles since these things, my commitment to become healthy was forged in the fires of their poor choices and regret. While speaking with my doctor, I told her I was commited to changing my lifestyle but felt a bit guilty for my reasoning. I took comfort from her saying there’s no reason for me to feel guilty about my motivation.
I look at my old self now and realize that yes, the stranger is me. Though it’s from a different perspective.
In the past 10 years or so, the person that I was gazed upon the 8 year old boy in pictures, remembering that happy child yet unbelieving it could be him. The person I have become is much healthier both physically and psychologically. The boy has grown into a man, and through the looking glass he sees a familiar stranger.