I Found Myself When I Found Yoga

WRITTEN BY: Emily Wilson

I was 20 years old and in the middle of my sophomore year of college when I was diagnosed with diabetes. Being super active and fit, no one could understand how such a disease like diabetes could present itself in my body. But, as many Type 1’s know, it’s nothing we do. I was born with an autoimmune disease and stress triggered it and the rest is history. Upon my diagnosis I fell into a state depression, which is something I’ve always struggled with it, but diabetes escalated it. I hated myself and most importantly I hated my body, and how it had betrayed me.

I was so ashamed that I had diabetes and wouldn’t tell a single person unless I absolutely had too. And when I had to, I was so embarrassed. When I was taking shots and would be out with friends, I would go into the bathroom, or if we in public, into a bathroom stall and check my sugar and supply myself with insulin. I gained weight and couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. I was having to stab myself with needles constantly; I was becoming more and more angry as the days drew on. After two months of being of the shots, I transferred to a pump. While it made my life more convenient, I was still deeply ashamed. I hid my pump as much as possible — when I was in swim suit I did everything in my power not to let anyone see it, because I didn’t want the looks I thought I would get.

It took me about a year to stop being so angry with myself and embrace this disease, after all, I figured, I’m probably going to be dealing with it for the rest of my life. Then along came yoga.

Spending over a year living outside of myself because I couldn’t stand my body and what it had done to me, I neglected myself. The day I stepped on my yoga mat was the day that it all changed. I was suddenly having to be aware of what my body was telling me and more importantly I was starting to see just what I was capable. I spent every day doing yoga and getting back into exercising, but yoga was the only thing that seemed to draw me out of the darkness. Yoga connects us to ourselves and helps us see our true potential and for that I’m so grateful. Fast forward two years, and I’m starting my teacher training to become a yoga teacher with a goal in my heart: to inspire.


All those years spent hiding myself and diabetes really taught me something and yoga highlighted it. Why should I hide what is a part of me? It might be an annoying part of me every now and then, but it is me. I started not caring who saw my pump or saw me check my blood sugar. I started telling people I was diabetic without a need to say something. It was a sense of freedom and it was amazing.

Teaching yoga brings me such a joy that nothing else in my life has. I love to help people connect to themselves, because of the years I spent running away from myself. I also love to see people start to believe in themselves because it reminds me of the awesome day I started to also. Most importantly, yoga is my outlet to show the world how strong Type 1’s are. We fight to save our lives and fight against our bodies that at the beginning are trying to kill us. We wear our pancreas on the outside of our body, which is pretty dang cool, and we are warriors in that sense. I love showing the world what a Type 1 diabetic is all about, and I love showing that to the world through the eyes of yoga.


Follow Emily on Instagram or check out her blog HERE.


Emily Wilson

Emily is from Georgia and was diagnosed April 8, 2013. She's a Type 1 warrior who teaches yoga and loves to inspire others to embrace every part of themselves. Showing the world how strong Type 1 diabetics are is how she lives her life on and off my mat.