Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hostile Takeover of Me Inc.

A friend of mine recently reached a tough point: her young child, diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes earlier this year, cried at bed time asking her mommy why is she not ‘normal’ like other kids. Why does she have to live with the pain of needles for the rest of her life? 

My first reaction… Sending a giant cyber hug. Empathizing. Meeting them both right there, in the tough, tempted to join them in bargaining, who should get this instead. I worked for a while with Type 1 patients and their families, sitting at their kitchen tables, listening, grasping the magnitude of how much life changes in a single stressful day, when the pancreas in question can no longer squirt the life-sustaining portion of insulin. I observed how frightened parents immediately volunteered their well being, stepping in front of the firing squad of ultra-fine needle-tips and blood-testing lancets, to protect their offspring. My youngest patient was 18 months old. My oldest 74, just diagnosed with LADA, requiring multiple daily injections of insulin, therefore resembling “juvenile” diabetes. The question always seems to be the same: “Why me?”

This question is the toughest to answer when it comes to medical conditions. No-one purposefully sets out to contract diabetes, eating 6kg of sugar a day, challenging the pancreas to pump or die. Same goes for cancer, stroke or other diseases. 

Next on the "Why me?" list -- heartbreaks: left at the altar, left pregnant, left for the best friend or a distant cousin… The whole industry of Harlequin novels heavily depends on this drama! The wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert in her memoir Eat, Pray, Love gives an account of a refugee from a present-day genocide whose first confession, after boarding a rescue vessel, was that the boy she liked at the camp and who she thought returned those feelings, actually liked another girl.

More “Why me?” scenarios -- Financial crap: "I don’t have enough." " I’m drowning in debt." "I can’t afford a vacation." "I’ve been downsized." "I don't wanna pay child support any moooooore!"

My intention is not to undermine life’s real problems. There are many and they can be devastating. 

Instead, my idea is to try on another question - like a new hat - every single time we are tempted to say: “Why me?” No guarantees, but it just might work. I have tried it many times and surprisingly, it pretty much always fits better. More importantly, it also FEELS better.

It is simple: Why not me? 

And its variations: 

Why the heck not me?! 
Who else but me?!! 
It should be me!! 
Bring it on, Universe!!!

Simple wisdoms don’t come from self-help books. At least not as easily. My simple wisdom came from being a #Serbian, #Immigrant, #Single, #Mother - a chip I willingly sported on my shoulder for quite a while. I dreaded our first Father’s Day card decorating workshop in school. To the ‘limited’ Me Inc. this was an open invitation for awkwardness, discomfort or even bullying, my child would have to endure, that year and every year. So unfair. Why him? Why me?

Thankfully, my favourite sport has always been “400m hurdles - women” down at the Life-Pondering track. The little twist in that common yet loaded question came as a whiff of a rare, divinely-smelling flower: Why NOT me?

Who else would be better equipped to show this boy how to live abundantly and shatter all limits? Who better to demonstrate how to LMAO at adversity, using it as the perfect wave to surf to where I actually desire to be? Why NOT me to model that “all news is great news!”? Every time. Who better to show him how to play, like a pro, every single card I have been dealt in life? 
The message changed quickly to:

"I <3 being a Serbian Immigrant Single Mother. Watch me!" 

So what to do when sitting with those difficult questions about health, finances, lovers or all of the above & then some? 

Pull a HOSTILE TAKEOVER on the old, outdated You Inc. Its fearful, angry and unkind board of directors haven’t been serving the shareholders well and should be ousted in one fell swoop. Good news - you don’t have to wait for April, for the company’s next annual meeting. 

Do it now. 
Gather them up, then OUST them all! Oh, how I love that powerful word - OUST! It sounds like OUT on ssssteroids. Or for my Serbian crowd, МРШ У РУПУ!!!

To some tribes-mates who liked you better when you were frightened or miserable, this will look like a major disruption. A threat. Oh well…

But to the New You Inc.... Ohhh, the dreams! The possibilities! The deliciousness of pulling your own strings and showing the world and your children how it’s done! 

The time is perfect for it NOW - that’s why the original discomfort burned so intensely. 
To jolt you. To wake you up. 
Step one: go smother your self silly in kindness and hugs, forgiveness and appreciation. 
You did the best you knew how, up until now. 
Then look closely and you will find your superhero cape has been hidden underneath your shirt all along. Really, why not you? And by seeing how you do it, your kids will find their own capes too!


  1. Great article and very uplifting - reminds us to be resilient and not take the downs without learning and giving it all we've got.

    1. Thank you Jody! This topic is my life's work as it took me a while to make sense of it all, not having a "friend like me". For sure it could be FF>>

  2. This is a fantastic, inspiring post. Well done.

    1. Oh how much it means to me to read this, Kerry!!! THANK YOU!

  3. a positive push. will keep it for the rainy days...

  4. Oh, Marina!!! I'm so grateful your BFF sent you a link to my post! I will follow you until the cows come home. What a gorgeously brilliant way to raise our children--looking at our challenges only as ways to improve ourselves and uncover our super hero capes! Great big cyber hug to you!