I am old enough and smart enough to understand the way women are meant to respond to the lies of advertising. We are constantly told –  and meant to believe –  we are not enough. Our bodies are not slim enough, our skin is not taut enough, our thighs are not firm enough, our hair is not shiny enough, our arms are not toned enough.

At my current age, I’m meant to be trying to erase the signs of ageing, willing wrinkles away with an assortment of lotions, potions and minor (and major!) cosmetic surgery, plus trying somehow to regain the body I had twenty years ago.

Thanks to a mother who pointed out the deception of advertising from when I was a young girl, refusing to allow us to buy into the spin, plus a healthy dose of political and feminist teachers at school, all combined with much reading as a teen of Naomi Wolf, Susie Orbach, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, and then later on, Kaz Cooke’s Real Gorgeous, I manage to not be too overcome with my body image issues and feelings of inadequacy. Mostly

My body is forty-four years old. I’m okay with looking in the mirror and seeing a reflection that reminds of me that.

I see the lines around my eyes and am not too startled because I know they have formed thanks to many years of laughing so hard that I can barely breathe, cried so hard because of loss that has rocked me to my core, walked for miles through cities while the sun has shone brightly (and I didn’t reapply my sunscreen).

I’m okay with my body not looking the way it did when I was twenty. I quite love the evidence that I carried and delivered a healthy baby – there is a lot of evidence of that! My far-less-than taut stomach points to that as much as the scar along my lower abdomen from where she escaped.

Surgery would be the only way to return to the pertness destroyed after twenty months of breastfeeding. But quite frankly, I’m kinda proud of the signs from that, because initially it was such a challenge for me to learn to breastfeed, and then manage the subsequent hypos. There should be some proof of the effort that all took!

I can deal with my skin not glowing as it did when I was younger, and the signs of a late night being far more visible than when I was in my early twenties. Those days I could manage being out until the early hours, and then be up bright and early for work the next day with nothing more than a coffee and a slick of my signature red lipstick to deal with the lack of sleep.

And the occasional grey hairs that appear around my hairline are met with acceptance – and gratitude that I can vainly still pluck them out because they are so intermittent that it’s easy to do.

I once wrote that ageing is a privilege. Not only do I believe that, but each and every additional year I live with diabetes, I believe it even more.

I just wish that while I acknowledge the miracle that is my life today – because had I been diagnosed with diabetes a mere seventy-seven years earlier, I would not be alive today – I could be more comfortable and accepting with how I wear diabetes on my body and in my mind.

It makes no sense that I am still uncomfortable of the visible signs of diabetes on my body. But that is how I react most days. The devices I wear still make me wince at their sight. I try to avoid looking at the scars and marks and signs of those devices on my body – all over my stomach and hips. I notice myself more aggressively washing those parts of my skin, and wonder if I am trying to scrub away the signs of diabetes.

In the mornings when I get dressed, I hide my pump and RileyLink away as fast as I can, tucking them into my bra and throwing on something over the top so they are not in my line of vision as I stand at the mirror applying my makeup. I’m not ever going to be one of those people who wears her pump on her hip, proudly showing it to anyone who asks.

And even though my Dexcom is on my upper arm, I prefer the cooler months when I can hide it away from sight under layers of Melbourne black.

Today, I spoke with a mother of a teenager who wanted to know how she could convince her daughter to agree to wearing her pump again. ‘She hates how it looks on her,’the mum said to me. ‘When will she get over it and just realise it’s the best way for her to manage her diabetes?’And I didn’t know what to say because I am a woman in my mid-forties and I am not ‘over it’, seventeen and a half years after first attaching an insulin pump to my body.

The only thing I could say was that it can be a difficult thing for some people to accept – and that I too struggle with it. But that the compromise for me is that as much as I hate seeing diabetes on my body, I’ve accepted that the devices make me feel and manage my diabetes better with them there. But understanding that takes time. Maybe age helps too.

My ageing body is something I can wear with pride because it tells the story of my life and what my body has managed to do. Whereas my diabetes body points to parts of me that are broken. And can’t be put back together, no matter how hard I try, or how hard I try to convince myself otherwise.

Have you seen Body Posi Betes? It’s the brainchild of my darling friend Georgie Peters who is doing everything she can to promote body positivity in the diabetes space. You can join the Body Posi Betes Facebook page here and follow the Insta feed here. I’m going to binge through all the posts again right now, because truthfully, I need a bit of diabetes body positivity right now.

Usually hidden from (my) sight.