My mother and father both have diabetes. Both sets of grandparents had diabetes. There is 100% chance I will get diabetes. And probably soon.
If I don't radically change my eating/lifestyle habits (more than I already have since coming to Japan... in 6 years I have lost 60 pounds...) and soon, I'm going to be in trouble.
Does this fact have me rushing to the doctor to get medical advice? (Japanese doctors just tell me I'm fat, but then again, they like to tell that to all Americans I think. Not even kidding. My skinny roommate gets told she is fat.) Am I suddenly shunning things that might encourage diabetes? Am I trying to get in more exercise (in my already insane schedule...)?
Nope. I still eat Ice Cream. I still drink sweet coffee drinks sometimes. I still take the escalator instead of the stairs (because it's hot, and I'm tired and... I have tons more excuses I promise.)
The change in diet and extra walking that I got when I first came to Japan is no longer enough to change my weight problem. But I don't seem to have the self-discipline or desire to push myself harder. I want it to happen easy and naturally. I want to be like my friends who can eat whatever they want and do no exercise and never gain a pound.
But that's not how life goes.
I've seen other diabetics. They are full blown diabetics (not a pre-diabetic like me) who take insulin, and eat chocolate every day. Or drink soda everyday. Fried food. No exercise.
And you feel like screaming at them. Why? Can't you see you are destroying yourself? All those things just tear you apart little by little.
And no matter how many times you tell them, or yell at them, or cry at them, they hear, but they don't listen. And they don't change.
This is what it feels like living in Japan.
Everyone has a God-shaped hole inside of them, a hole that they desperately want to fill. There are all kinds of ways to fill it. Money, food, sex, fantasy, art, hobbies, other people... But none of those things are going to fill it. Some of it in moderation is healthy. But most are empty calories of life.
Japanese people are very open to listening. They listen when you talk about God. They nod their heads. They make polite comments. And then they never change.
Maybe this is human nature. Resistance to change.
Diabetes of the soul.
And from someone who stands on both sides, and feels the frustrations of both sides... being unable to control or change myself, and being unable to control or change others....
It just feels overwhelmingly frustrating.
And I have to get down on my knees, see my own powerlessness, and know it is out of my control....
But that does not make it out of His control...
And so I am searching for hope and trust in the darkness of frustration.
(In other more encouraging news, I got the tickets today that will allow me to go home to visit for the first time in over 3 years! My 4 year old niece doesn't even remember me at all. I'll get to meet my brother's fiance for the first time before they get married too. It'll be nice to get to go home for a bit before coming back.)