May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?
This one is tough for me because I’m just (hopefully) coming off a major down period that has lasted months. It’s hard to regurgitate those feelings when they’re so fresh. I guess it really started in the fall when I noticed that my fasting blood sugars were starting to creep upward even though I hadn’t changed much of anything in my D routine. I was gaining weight when I was eating less and moving more than ever in my life. That, combined with the sadness over my aging mother’s life, just got me down. Really down.
Like most of us, I’ve had periods of sadness and stress revolving around diabetes. How can we not get upset when we’re dealing with this crappy disease? When I’m sad or stressed, I want to eat. Eating is complicated and, of course, the foods I crave the most are the ones I shouldn’t be eating. That means I either deny myself the comfort food, which aggravates the sadness, or I cave in and then feel even worse after. Usually these periods of “AARRRRGHHHHH!!!!!” and “sigh” are brief. They pass and I move on. This winter though it just wouldn’t. go. away. There is nothing more frustrating than doing everything you can to control your diabetes and have it thumb its nose at you and be a turd. You begin to feel like a failure. You begin to think about all that bullshit you read in the media that says you can control your diabetes with diet and exercise. If it’s so easy to control then why can’t I control it? More medication was added; medication that made me horribly sick. I just felt awful, mentally and physically.
One of the things that has crept into my mind over this long period of sadness, and gnaws away at my wellbeing, is the realization that my diabetes is progressing. It doesn’t matter that I had rocked my D for 8 years before things started changing. It doesn’t matter that I’ve taught myself how to eat and what to do in order to keep my blood sugars lower. Diabetes is going to do what it wants, regardless of my diligence and knowledge. How can I not be down knowing that?
I usually try to add some light at the end of the tunnel or words of wisdom when my posts are a downer because I want people to know that, even though things can be hard, there’s always hope. This time you’re just going to have to wait to read tomorrow’s post for that bit of bright, because it’s there. I have skillz. I have spunk. I have determination. Diabetes will not defeat me.