Welcome to Diabetes Blog Week! Diabetes Blog Week is just like it sounds… diabetes bloggers all blogging on daily topics for an entire week. Or, in this year’s case, for five days. To find out all about Diabetes Blog Week and to sign up,
As always, thank you to Karen Graffeo, creator and curator of Diabetes Blog Week. She’s awesome.
It’s Tuesday. Today’s topic has us thinking about The Other Half of Diabetes:
We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk?
In the interest of being completely and brutally honest, I must confess this: I’m really not good at the mental aspect of living with diabetes.
What I’m really good at is ignoring things.
I have bad days, like everyoone else. I have my share of diabetes mishaps. Times when I forget to check before eating, or leave my meter a mile away in my truck, or forget to bolus. There are instances when I’ll get super frustrated with a high BG that just won’t come down. Instances when a low keeps me from being able to work out.
When I do go through those things, what do I do? Do I get frustrated and worry about the potential damage I may be doing to my body? Do I have to talk myself into caring about caring for myself again?
Well… no. I might get mad about it for a second or two. But then I go on with the rest of my life. Seriously, I do this all the time.
What I’m concerned about, though, is that I’m not processing the frustrations of diabetes quickly. I’m worried that I’m internalizing too many of the feelings that, if I just let them out once in a while, might do me some good. I’m worried about things building up inside, then releasing like a dam on a helpless valley, washing everything away in one fell swoop.
I have to also admit that I worry far more about how my coworkers and The Great Spousal Unit cope with my diabetes. There are people at work that care and empathize with what I go through living with a chronic condition. Maureen worries every time I leave the house, and sometimes I can really see what it’s doing to her internally. More than I can see what it’s doing to me.
So that brings me to the “Any tips, positive phrases, mantras or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk?” part of the episode.
My number one tip/mantra/idea is Leave yesterday behind. The future is unwritten. It’s not that yesterday isn’t helpful as a reference, a “remember not to do that again” or “when I exercise, I need to make a checklist of the things I need to eat/do/prepare for” kind of thing. But I’m not hanging on to guilt or frustration over something that happened out of the blue. I guess I don’t want diabetes to take away any more of my happiness than it’s already taken.
I am also completely aware of the fact that like diabetes, my tip will not be helpful to everyone. So my second tip would be find what works best for you and go with it. Whatever it is, as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, if it allows you to be happier longer, I am all for it. Chase your happiness. When you get a chance at happiness, grab it with everything you have and never let it go.
And when these two ideas fail, don’t forget to reach out for help. Seeking support, advice, and a shoulder to lean on is actually a sign of strength, rather than what it feels like when we’re doing it. Be strong enough to ask for help when you need it. And strong enough to give help when someone else needs it.
Well… something that didn’t seem like a topic I could really get into wound up inspiring me after all. Looking for more inspiration? Check out the amazing Diabetes Blog Week posts on this very topic on THIS PAGE.