I’m going to say it flat out . . . . diabetes is a huge pain in the ass. That said, I usually do try to stay positive. Although I do my best to keep my blog honest and real, I still try to keep things mostly upbeat. In “real life” I do my best to put a good spin on things and not let it get me down. But not yesterday . . . .
Yesterday I couldn’t stand diabetes and every damn crappy thing that comes with it. I was sick and tired of dealing day in and day out. I felt so depressed and sorry for myself - and for all of my friends who fight the fight every day. I felt too exhausted and fed up to solider on. I couldn’t care less about tuning up or overhauling. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I know there are quite a few things that led up to this melt-down and I know exactly what pushed me over the edge. Honestly, that final straw was something so stupid that I won’t even waste my time or yours writing about it, except to say I know the exact moment when it all was just too much to handle.
So here I was, pissed off and fed up with diabetes. I started thinking about the Friends For Life session I attended called Burnout Happens. Joe Solowiejczyk, a long-time friend of FFL, a CDE and a man who just marked his 50-year diaversary, ran the session. He talked about learning to take a sort of diabetes mental health day when it all gets to be too much. Joe buys his favorite ice cream, lines up his favorite movies, and makes a phone schedule for his friends so someone will call every hour and tell him how great he does with diabetes. I decided to give something similar a try for myself.
The first thing I did was eat a donut for breakfast. I decided to spend the day on the couch. I never changed out of my pajamas, and I certainly didn’t consider getting on the treadmill. I ate rice crispy treats. I watched movies that always make me cry. I ate chocolate. I snuggled with my cat. I ate ice cream straight from the container. Like Joe, I counted my carbs and bolused for everything, but I didn’t worry or even care about any blood sugar spikes. (In fact, I set my CGM alarm on silence for 24 hours, so I wouldn’t have to hear it’s shrill “look, look, you fucked up again” screeches.) For one day, I allowed myself to think the thoughts and feel the feelings that I usually try so hard to squelch. I let myself feel broken. I let myself feel like a failure. I let myself feel worthless. I let myself be heartbroken about the fact that I’ve lived with diabetes for over 31 years. I let myself feel depressed that diabetes just isn’t going to leave. I wallowed big time. And then I ate more chocolate. The only thing I hadn’t set up was the words of encouragement from friends - but I was touched and thankful that they rolled in anyway.
I went to bed feeling ready for a long sleep. I was surprised to find I slept better than I have in months. And today I woke up feeling strong! I woke up feeling ready to be positive about myself and supportive to others. I woke up feeling like I actually did get a little vacation.
Honestly, we all know a day of wallowing won’t take away diabetes or change anything about it. I’m certainly not telling anyone to sack out on the couch and eat a lot of junk. But for me, a day to cry and curse and mope and eat a ton of crap was just what I needed. It didn’t change a thing about diabetes, but helped change how I feel about dealing with it. It was just what I needed to adjust my attitude, pick myself back up, and soldier on.