2020 Global Art Competition

028 Patricia, age 16-25, Bolivia

The day that changed my life

My life changed 4 years ago, and today I can say that I have the strength to speak clearly and loudly about my life condition.

Hi! I am Patricia, and I have had diabetes for 4 years, since I was 13 years old.

When I found out that I had Type 1 diabetes, I was too skinny because 77 pounds is not a normal weight for a 13-year-old girl who is 5 ft 5”. When I found out about my new life condition, I had no idea what to do because it is not a normal thing for a 13-year-old girl to just start thinking daily about how to take insulin or how to stop eating certain foods. At first, I asked my mother how many more injections I should give myself per day so that I could be healthy and no longer have to inject anything, and I remember that my mother only said: calm down, it will pass. Until one day I understood that this was not going to end and that I had to learn to live with it. Of course, it is easier said than done, for me as well as for any other boy or girl, it was very difficult. I began to feel rejected, to hide my condition from everyone when I should have warned them about it so that, perhaps in some difficult situation, they would know how to help me. I began to isolate myself from my friends, I began to receive a certain type of bullying for not talking to anybody. I mean, imagine, I was a 13-year-old girl who did not speak or look at anyone. At school I would hide in a corner to cry and cry and ask myself why all this happened to me, but then you understand that you cannot spend the rest of your life crying over something that you have to go through and that will be part of yourself. And I began to change gradually, to speak more, to stop crying, to not distance myself so much, and to realize that there are people who love me with or without a new and different life condition.

Today, 4 years later, I think I acted and felt that way because there were many people who told me that I was not going to get very far, that I would not live long, but now I know and I am more convinced that I can and will prevail and go very far. Every day I think that God’s plans are perfect, and that God also gives his worst battles to his best warriors.