By the time diabetes came along when I was 31 years old, I thought I’d found my way in the world and had my mental health on cruise control. I knew the difference between a bad day and a depressed week. I knew when unhealthy thoughts claimed too much of my attention and I learned to redirect my thoughts.
But diabetes was a blow. It knocked me off my feet. Eventually, I just gave in to the breakdowns, gave up on trying to keep it together, and I rode the wave of sadness. I didn’t know how long I’d be down and out about the diagnosis, but I knew that keeping it all it wasn’t healthy.
Thanks when I became a blogger.
I blogged to keep myself sane.
I blogged to keep from crying.
I blogged while crying.
I blogged after recovering from 2am hypos.
I blogged to connect with others.
I blogged to pull myself out of funks.
Writing has always been my private escape, but blogging (showing my private words to the world) was therapeutic in new ways-and I liked it.
Diabetes has made me pay attention to my mental health constantly. There is always a reason to see myself as a failure with diabetes and so I must stay on top of that. When my morning blood sugar is too high, I have to push back from feeling like a failure. When I exceed my carb-count for a meal due to giving in to food pushers or giving in to guilty food pleasures, I have to push back from feeling like a failure. When I didn’t get the calculations just right and ended up having a hypo, I have to push back from feeling like a failure. Diabetes can make you feel like a complete failure each day. Because of this, I have been learning over the past 8 years how to be more conscious about pouring positivity into my spirit each day. I have to remind myself that I’m doing an amazing job even on my worse day. I’m doing an outstanding job of “on-the-job-training” of doing some of the work of a vital organ while being able to smile. Everyday isn’t sunshine, but thankfully everyday isn’t a hail storm either.
To everyone with diabetes, remember that you are diagnosed not defeated!