Total Pageviews

Thursday, May 18, 2017

D-Blog Week 2017: (Throwback Thursday) What Brings Me Down

Today let’s revisit a prompt from 2014 - 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? 

Here is what I wrote in 2014. And here I am, currently crying, because this is a topic that I don't really let myself consider.

Part of my coping is connecting with the community - and sometimes, disconnecting. I read a few blogs, I'm active in the Beyond Type 1 community, and I follow a ton of beautiful T1 instagrams. Sometimes I make a point not to visit those places, because they're not good for my headspace. And that is part of how I cope. The other parts include lying down on the floor occasionally, sitting on tables whenever possible, crying when I need to, and doing my best to go to my exercise class every week.

Other than that, I don't really cope all that well. 
Although it started fairly recently (and also went away fairly recently), I was dealing with daily visceral anxiety related to diabetes. Every day. Whether about lows, or highs, or potential complications, or something as simple as not knowing exactly where my blood sugar was. I couldn't stop it; I couldn't seem to control it; I couldn't breathe because of it. 
I've never passed out; I've never been hospitalized (post-diagnosis); I've never struggled with my diabetes before. But here I was, panicking, because of things that I knew full well probably wouldn't happen. 
I'm already stressed about having kids - and I'm not having kids for at LEAST five years. I have so many other things to worry about, why am I fixating on this?
I was obsessed with every blood sugar result, which resulted in feeling intensely overwhelmed because I was spending so much time focusing on diabetes. I cried quite a few times because it finally (seven years in) hit me that this is forever and there's nothing I can do. I can do my best, but that might not even be good enough. I'm worried about sleeping, I'm worried about my eyesight, I'm worried about every single thing that could possibly go wrong - even though I have "excellent glycemic control" and I'm not really at risk for anything. Except mental health issues, that is.

When I finally managed to bring this up, there were no solutions made available to me.

I know that there are solutions, but it looks like I'll have to find them by myself. Which I will, when I think I need them again. Now that I am able to admit to myself and to some others that I am struggling, I think I will be able to seek out the help I need. 

I just found this blog through D-Blog Week, and she hit it on the head. Diabetes and mental health are so intertwined - and this isn't something I realized until I connected with the community. It also isn't something I realized until it started to affect me.

I am so glad we are talking about this. It is so important. Diabetes is so emotional - so much so that I can't even articulate it. It's a chronic illness. It's forever. Because of this extra thing we have to deal with, all day, every day, that creates stress and anxiety and depression and burnout. Find out how to cope with it, what works best for you. Find the resources you need. Take a deep breath, go for a run, lie down and cry - do whatever you need to do. Diabetes and mental health are inextricable and we have to deal with both those things, but we will be okay.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, it's impossible not to feel emotionally attached. I feel the same way sometimes and just need a break from diabetes social media. I found a quote once that reminded me to focus on the present, and not the future, because complications take years to develop. Thanks for sharing.