It can be absolutely paralyzing for some people to discover they have a chronic illness, such as diabetes. And it can be even tougher to accept that the condition will impact your life in a way that will be permanent. Actress Samira Wiley actually needed 10 years to come to terms with her illness.
Wiley discusses putting off treating her diabetes for ten years in the new documentary short “The Gratitude Project,” which was produced in collaboration with One a Day.
When she was about 22 years old and enrolled in The Juilliard School, she sought treatment after being diagnosed when she was just 12 years old.
Wiley states in the documentary, “I lived entirely in 100 percent denial.” She started going to the hospital more regularly and lost weight, reaching a weight of roughly 90 pounds. According to Wiley in the movie, “I was basically nothing.”
After the June 15 documentary’s debut, POPSUGAR spoke with the “Orange Is the New Black” cast member to discover more about her experience with diabetes, when she eventually made the decision to seek treatment, and how she has come to embrace her body.
“I genuinely don’t know what the issue was that woke me up that day and said I had to get treatment,” Wiley admits to POPSUGAR. However, I believe it to have been divine.
The “Handmaid’s Tale” actress has MODY, or maturity-onset diabetes of the young, which is “a collection of distinct types of inherited forms of diabetes that often develop in adolescence or early adulthood,” according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
MODY restricts the body’s ability to manufacture insulin and makes up roughly 5% of all cases of diabetes in the US. Common symptoms include frequent urination, thirst, and dehydration, as well as frequent skin and yeast infections and hazy vision.
She had a “why me?” attitude at the time of her initial diagnosis, according to Wiley. “I was simply furious. “This isn’t fair,” we conclude “claims Wiley. She believes that there were many immature thoughts present. She consequently had a “toxic” connection with her body in which “I was the aggressor most of the time.”
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For years, this continued. Wiley didn’t look for herself because she wouldn’t accept her situation totally. Since MODY is so uncommon, Wiley predicts that if she ended up in the ER, the staff would be completely in the dark.
But as she grew older, her perspective started to shift, and she realized that her unwillingness to accept her condition was preventing her from moving on. “Why do I have this?” The issue is irrelevant. Why? Since you do. And because this is what I have, I’ve just decided to accept that and move on “claims Wiley.
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As a sort of “repayment” to her body for the ten years she spent ignoring it, she now places a lot of emphasis on practicing body gratitude.
Wiley claims that she was merely being carried along by her body and that she was doing nothing. “And it’s a privilege to be able to offer that love to my body, to give it back to it.”
Wiley acknowledges that she used to avoid taking her needle and insulin on the set because she didn’t want to be “a unique person.
” Today, though, Wiley claims, “I just feel so grateful and pleased when I take those moments.” Even calculating the tablets and removing her needle from the insulin container, according to Wiley, “gives me joy.” Every time I accomplish it, I feel so pleased with myself.
Wiley claims that her daughter George’s very existence fills her up whenever she is feeling short on thankfulness. With her wife Lauren Morelli, a lead writer on “Orange Is the New Black,” Wiley gave birth to their first child in April 2021.
“She serves as my gratitude’s reminder. In other words, I’m married to the lady I’ve always loved, and we have a child together. Furthermore, there is something that my LGBTQ forefathers could not have imagined, “claims Wiley.
She also hopes to be able to teach George early on the value of appreciation so she can save George some of the struggles she went through in life and with body acceptance.
“What challenges she will face I don’t know. She’s a mystery to me at the moment. I’m only now beginning to get to know her, “claims Wiley. “I am aware of my own challenges, though.
I am also aware of my own history and path. That’s where I’m focusing right now, along with honoring that and trying to provide an example for her in how I handle my own problems.”
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