I was motivated to such an extreme and potentially humiliating idea as that morning I had received a photo of my father at his desk surrounded by a bucket of KFC and a large thick shake. And to be honest it made me see as red as the greasy chicken’s logo.
Only months before I’d spent a week by my father’s hospital bed as part of a downward slide with his Type 2 diabetes, which resulted in him losing a toe.
Diabetes Australia explains: Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
In regards to my father, I know the lifestyle factors are the main issue. As many of us do when you get ‘car crash moment’ in life, my father made promises to look after his health from that moment on. Most, if not all of which were quickly reneged on, so when I saw the photo I was angry and felt very let down.
I knew my father’s quick wit and fairly thick skin would weather the intervention so I organized a Diabetes specialist to be on the line as I revealed to my Dad that he was live on air.
The phone lines went crazy. The first caller was disgusted at what I’d done, the next was on my side and so it went on. One man was crying saying he wishing his estranged daughter cared enough to take such measures, and then the last call for me summed it up.
She explained that she’d been through the same with her Dad who’d since passed and the death was slow and atrocious. She had pleaded with him all along the way to take better care of himself but his addictions won over.
This week my Dad is back in hospital with something that has nudged the thoughts of finality that much closer. This time I’m just sad but I’m not expecting we’re leaving here with any a-ha moments or resolutions of any kind.
Addictions to anything that doesn’t serve your physical or mental purpose are tough to get rid of. I look at it like this, if you picture that within all of us there’s this imaginary bucket, that in order to be healthy needs to be reasonable full of love or we’re in trouble.
If for some reason in our history through upbringing or circumstance has resulted in that bucket losing some love, inside without knowing many of us choose the wrong things to try and fill it back up.
It doesn’t matter how loved I know my father is or someone you may know, if at their core they don’t believe it, they’re going to look for other things to fill it up. And the sad thing is the more toxic these things are, the more holes are eaten away in the bucket.
As much as I still want to yell and scream to get my Dad’s attention and as much as sometimes I want to make it about me by thinking why doesn’t he love me enough to get his act together, I also know it is not about me. I can see how his lack of love has and may continue to become my own if I choose to take it personally.
Diabetes Australia says there is ‘currently no cure for Type 2 Diabetes’, but if addictions are related to a lack of self love, then maybe love is the drug that all of us need to find more of? A bit of therapy to find it, never hurt anyone.