He feels like a toddler being lead into the first day of nursery school. His father walks him to the conference room to make sure he arrives safely, no doubt. Even though they're early, the room already holds three captives. His father hands Dr. Blake, who looks young in cords and a nerdy t-shirt, his insulin pen. A vaguely familiar looking girl in a soft gray sweater and blue jeans rests her chin on her knees. A wide, white bandage covers her throat. A too-skinny boy with black hollows under his eyes, a shaved head and a lip ring completes the group.
As soon as his father leaves, Dr. Blake comes over to him. "I'm not on duty," she says, handing over the insulin pen. "You need to be responsible for this."
He is flooded by a wave of gratitude. It is hard not to feel trapped with someone else watching every bite that goes in his mouth, and forcing him to account for it.
The clock ticks past four-thirty as the last member of the group limps on, and Dr. Blake calls them to order. The group goes around and introduces themselves, giving the usual basic personal statistics: name, school and year, age of diagnosis. He was diagnosed young, although eight seems carefree compared to two.
They talk about scars.
The boy with the piercing, Jamie, says that he doesn't give a shit about his scars. He rolls up his sleeves and shows off his tattoos, defiantly. Jamie strips off his shirt, daring Dr. Blake to stop him. Sebastian can count his ribs. He looks like a skeleton covered in skin. There is an expiration date, four years in the future, printed on the boy's all too visible rib cage. It makes Sebastian shudder.
The girl in gray brings her knees down from her chest long enough to speak quietly. "I have some physical scars," she says as she pulls back the white bandage from her throat, "but I think the psychological ones are worse." She goes on to explain some of her struggles.
He isn't sure if he agrees or not. He isn't sure if he's as messed up as these kids. He holds everything together. He gets good grades. He's a member of a sports team and a club that … loses.
The hour is over surpassingly quickly.
He carries the pen definitely from the group meeting. Dr. Blake follows him, half running to catch up to his long strides. "Thanks for coming, Sebastian." She speaks in his ear, so the passing orderlies can't hear her. "I don't know if it helps, or not." He shrugs. He doesn't either. "I don't know if you're ready," she adds. "You're still angry … just as angry as any of them. And, until you let go of your anger, you're just going to spin in circles. Let me know when you're ready to done being angry, and ready to make a change. Let me know when you're ready to let your control go."
A /N: This story has been a journey I never could have imagined when I started it three months ago. It began as the brain child of my wicked crush on Sebastian Smythe and my own struggles with diabetes and depression. Almost everything diabetes-related I described here, (with the exception of the super overdose) is described from my real experiences. The rest came from cannon and imagination. When I started writing, I wasn't still angry, but I was stuck. Writing this, I've met an amazing community of people who are supporting me. I'm making changes in my life. Changes that hopefully, Sebastian will be able to make someday, too. I don't know where either of our stories will really end, we're both works in progress.
I want to finish by thanking the people who have helped me with this.
First, there are the people who stuck me through the stupid things I did: Sarah, Elle, Bryce, Theresa, and my parents. You guys watched me after my first experimentations with alcohol, sat with me through the ketones both at home and in the hospital, have have lost more than enough sleep over me.
Thank you to Deb, my *amazing* endo (diabetes doctor) who met me on my level, even when that was a scared, angry little girl who was trying to self destruct. I don't know how to express how much I appreciate that you never yelled at me, never equated my worth with my A1c, took care of me despite the fact that you have to mark "See back for complete list of diagnoses" on all the forms, and celebrated all my small victories.
Turning to the FF community, Thank you to DifferentChild, who helped me discover some of the Warblers more… interesting foibles, and did a fair bit of on-the-fly beta-ing.
Love to Martina, Lovely-Sweetie, BlueCharlotte, ., rebelthethird, and everyone who reviewed. You guys drove the story.
A huge thanks to the community of tumblrbetics, including Jathan, who have been watching my posts and making sure I'm not killing myself.
Love to Hannah and Ellen. You guys are amazing… and totally inspire me.
A huge shout out to Steph, who has not only been there to bounce ideas off of for the story, but was instrumental inconvincing me that I could make a change.
I love and appreciate you all!