Remember: Diabetes is only part of your world, NOT the whole thing.
When you're diabetic, it can feel like your entire life revolves around a disease — like no one understands the highs and lows, or what it does to your body and emotions. You think people assume you caused it yourself from your weight or your "bad diet." Meanwhile, you have to consider (then reconsider) just about everything you eat, when you eat it, and then what it's going to do to you ... while everyone else gets to munch on whatever it is they please!
Have you ever just not wanted to check your blood sugar because you're tired and frustrated? After all, checking your sugars mean piercing your fingers ... repeatedly. At the same time, you dread the reaction you're going to get from your doctor for not following their instructions. Have you ever just wanted a break from your medication? You hate facing the scars on your stomach from your pump or injections, but if you skip your meds, your sugar levels get all out of whack.
You may feel alone, because diabetes generally isn't discussed. Or, perhaps you don't know anyone else with the disease. You might even feel alone if you do know someone with it who seems to have it under control. But, good news (yes, there's some)! You're NOT — you're not alone in this or your feelings.
I counsel people with diabetes and run a group for diabetic women — the one thing I hear over and over again is how angry they are at the disease. They feel frustrated about not having control over their own bodies and admit to not feeling worthy of all the trouble.
It all comes down to who's in control: you or the disease. In figuring out who has this control, the first thing to do is accept that it's a part of your life — forever and always, unfortunately. Remember: true control comes from the way that you care for yourself; when you don't care for yourself properly, the disease takes control.
Ask yourself what the goal is that you're going to accomplish by fighting it. Will you prove something to someone? Will you hurt yourself? It's easy to feel like a kid who has no say and the only thing to do is stomp your feet, and declare an objection. Trust me! Every diabetic I've spoken to has felt this way at some point.
To take control of your diabetes you must view yourself as worthy. Get into this habit by congratulating yourself when you do something good. Take moments throughout the day to notice the things you've done well. When you notice your mind going in a negative direction, gently set it back on track by putting the thought aside and changing it to something more accepting. If you forget to check your sugar, be kind to yourself, forgive yourself rather than telling yourself how lazy you are.
It's hard work, but if you can do it, you will find that you're taking care of yourself, which will make you feel better and make it easier for you to care for others. Being diabetic is a frustrating thing to bear and something that you must tend to every day. So it makes sense that you would get tired of it and want a break. In those moments, continue to remind yourself that you are in charge, NOT the diabetes ... and you are worth doing the work to cope with this disease.
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