Two days in a row!? I'm on a roll!
Click for the The Other Half of Diabetes - Tuesday 5/17 Link List.
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? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)
I'm thrilled this topic is being discussed. Not because it's super happy and exciting, but so many people see the needles and the blood work and the doctors and think it's totally manageable, so why are we really complaining. Right? Wrong. While those are all important aspects, it's not all diabetes is.
Sometimes, diabetes is being so hungry and having extremely high blood sugar, but not being able to eat. Some times it is being so full, but you went over the amount of insulin you actually needed and are dropping and have to chew up chalky glucose tabs. Some times, it's waking up many times in the middle of the night to treat or going to the bathroom. Some times it's high anxiety that you're doing everything wrong. Some times, it's all the questions about "How are your sugars?" -or- "Are you controlling your diabetes?" -or- "How did you possibly get diabetes? Could you not take care of yourself?" I often cry from stress-because I'm a crier. I can get angry when I have a bad pump site or when some one steals my brand new pump, CGM, and three months of supplies off my door step. (YES THIS HAPPENED.) It's frustration fighting the insurance companies to get exactly what you need. It's sadness when I look at my boyfriend Shawn and he sees me so angry, sad, frustrated, and annoyed-the look on his face saying that he would do anything to take it off my hands for even an hour. And, some days, it's just fine and all I see it as is the needles and the blood work and the doctors.
How have I learned to deal with the mental aspects? Well, I haven't. But, I try. With Therapy. With my favorites in the DOC. With strangers in the DOC. And I even have one beautiful friend with Crohn's Disease who pretends to be diabetes so I can yell at something and blame a physical being, in exchange for sometimes me pretending to be Crohn's disease. This is one of the most fantastic outlets, because we have no idea what the other is going through other than the fact that we both have chronic illnesses that don't have a cure. Some of my close friends see the frustration I have with diabetes, but other than that, I just go about my day assuming no one will get it other than the select few I've let in on the anger and defeat this disease brings.
I don't have any advice to get out of the funk. If I did, not one would be out of it. The only thing I can recommend is to talk. And realize tomorrow may be better, or it may be worse, but it's still a tomorrow. And with all the feelings and resentment Diabetes brings, tomorrow is worth checking out.
I think the mental aspect can take a toll on you long before the physical does in a lot of cases. It's so important to talk to someone if you're so far into the dark you can no longer see light. If it's a friend, a parent, a coworker, a sibling, a therapist, or someone in the DOC, don't fall in the silence.
By the way, I'll be heading to MasterLab 2016 this year. If you're going, let's be advocates together!