Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Brings Me Down - #DBlogWeek Day 3

DBlogWeek200x200Welcome to Day Three of Diabetes Blog Week.  If you have signed up to participate, please check the Participant’s List to make sure I’ve added you correctly.  I tried my hardest but the chances are slim that I didn’t mess up an entry or two.  So please email me if your listing needs to be corrected and please accept my apology for the error.  Also if you are blogging along with DBlogWeek but haven’t officially signed up yet, please do so here so I can add you to the participant’s list.  We want to be able to find your blog!

Our topic for today is What Brings Me Down.  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? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

Today I want to show you the face of someone who struggles with depression and ongoing feelings on inadequacy.  This is the face of depression.
KarenGraffeo2
So okay, I'm not really quite sure where to go from here.  I think you find this surprising, because when I’m bogged down with these feelings I still I try to put on a happy face and keep the depression hidden away.  But then again, maybe everyone sees it and I’m just fooling myself about hiding it away.  After all, I’ve written about this before, even though it’s often something I’d rather not discuss.  And there in lies the bigger problem.  Why aren’t we talking about this more?  Why do we need to slap on a happy face and tell the world we are fine?  Isn’t it hard enough to have these feelings, without constantly trying to pretend you don’t?  Let’s not do that anymore.

I find it fairly impossible to explore how closely the feelings of depression and inadequacy are rooted to diabetes because I’ve lived with diabetes for over 3/4s of my life.  But without diabetes I don’t think I’d feel so broken.  Without diabetes I don’t think I’d feel so burdened, and like such a burden to my husband (even though he NEVER sees me as a burden).  Without diabetes I probably wouldn’t have grown up feeling so different and like an outsider, hiding diabetes so I could try desperately to fit in.  Without diabetes I probably wouldn’t feel that it’s mostly my fault that Pete and I will never be parents.  (I’m not saying that is true, I’m just saying it’s how I feel and it breaks my heart every day.)  And although I know it probably isn’t diabetes that makes me feel so isolated and with nothing to offer society, I also know without these other depressive feelings from diabetes piled on I’d probably have an easier time conquering that isolation and worthlessness.  Without the constant burden of diabetes I’d probably feel much stronger and more confident in myself.

Now I think it’s important to point out here that this blogs tagline in meant with all of the sincerity in my heart.  Life with diabetes isn’t all bad.  I have had so many great opportunities and experiences and made so many wonderful friends because of diabetes.  And the depression isn’t constant, it ebbs and flows throughout the year.  But some days, well, many days life with diabetes does seem all bad.  And this is the face of depression.

Diabetes Blog Week


Click for the What Brings Me Down - Wednesday 5/14 Link List.

What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out a list of participants over here.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your honesty Karen. Sometimes I think that the guilt is talked about even less than depression and when you try to talk about that with others the whole conversation becomes the other person telling you why you shouldn't feel guilty... It's ok for us to have the whole spectrum of feelings - just because we are depressed or angry or feeling broken sometimes it doesn't mean that we aren't also joyful, grateful, and strong at other times. We are all full, complicated people, and thank goodness for that.

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  2. This week I have a cold and have been collapsing on our bed at about 8pm and just leaving all of the diabetes/people/cleaning to Joe. Last night I was crying WAHHH I'M JUST USELESS. It is an awful feeling. I guess having a cold is not *exactly* like diabetes. But feeling worthless is universal.

    The part of this that got me the most is the part about not having children. I am glad your brain knows it isn't true that you're to blame, but I wish the thought/feeling would never cross your mind/heart. You're so fabulous.

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  3. Yes, thank you for your honesty, Karen. This was probably the most touching post I've read today. Hugs to you!!

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  4. Karen, you are more brave than I think you know. You are not alone. Thanks for sharing, and know that you are totally worth anything it takes to feel as good about yourself as we feel about you. Which is pretty damn good.

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  5. I really admire you for writing this Karen, thank you so much.
    It makes me think that perhaps one day I can be brave enough to blog about my anxiety.

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  6. It is so brave of you to post so openly about how you are feeling. Thank you for doing so, I fight off depression and I am only a caregiver to my toddler T1. This disease is so unforgiving and exhausting. I loved this post, it made me realize it's OK to have bad days where I feel depressed, it doesn't mean I am weak. Keep up the good fight, and know that your words are changing lives! <3

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