Welcome to Day Two of Diabetes Blog Week. Are you having fun? I sure hope so. If you don’t have a blog but would like to participate, there are a few ways. You are welcome to leave your thoughts in the comments section here each day. I’ve also been posting the daily topics on the Diabetes Blog Week Facebook page, and you can use the comments section there each day to post your perspective. And, last but not least, every day tuDiabetes will host a thread in the forum where you can share - you can find today’s here. I hope this helps open things up for anyone interested in participating.
Our topic today is The Other Half of Diabetes. We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)
I won’t lie. For me, this is a tough subject to write about. Not that I haven’t written about depression before, because I have. But I still feel some level of discomfort in admitting that I struggle emotionally. And I think that’s part of why it’s so important to talk about it - because we shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. We need to break down the stigma.
And so, how does diabetes affect me emotionally? Sometimes it doesn’t, not at all. But other times, it really drags me down emotionally. Sometimes the weight of life with a chronic illness feels crushing.
When I was younger, in my teen years, diabetes was something that made me different from everyone else at a time when being different was the worst thing in the world. So I pretended I didn’t have it - I pretended to my friends and to myself. Diabetes made me feel broken and defective. And I hated it.
Now that I’m (supposedly) an adult, I don’t feel ashamed about having diabetes and I don’t try to hide it. But sometimes I do still feel broken and defective. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t do diabetes for one more day. And I don’t mean the nuts and bolts of diabetes - the needles and finger sticks don’t really cause me any pain. The pain comes from trying my hardest to do my best and still getting crap blood sugar numbers. From arriving someplace late because I was too low to hop in the car and drive. From snapping at my husband because I’m high and I feel physically awful. From being a huge bundle of nerves before each and every endo appointment and eye screening, because this appointment might be the one where I find out diabetes had done irreversible damage to my body. From seeing my friends with diabetes struggle with all of these things too.
This is my other half of diabetes. And it is by far the largest and most difficult half.
*** Disclosure: I know there is no such thing as a smaller half and larger half. After all, I’m married to an engineer, so I should know half means 50%. But for the sake of this post, work with me here, okay?? ;) ***
You can find more The Other Half of Diabetes posts over here.
What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up. You can also check out the Participant’s List here.