Diabetes psychology 101

As a fellow human being (and not a psych incidentally) we are aware that our biggest emotional goal is to pursue what we perceive is pleasure, and avoid pain as often as possible. This is the key to managing your diabetes because it is the place where you have the ability to set healthy boundaries, which of course is the foundation for healthy relationships on ALL levels with ourselves, and others.

The two extremes of course are “Do I do whatever I want and enjoy the short term gaines at the cost of some complications?” OR “Do I have a very high degree of maintainence that could in fact be dangerous on some levels?” Obviously the middle ground is where we need to be.

After thirty five years as a type1 the majority I have met run sugars that are quite often higher than they would like, but do it anyway. I NEVER judge them because as we know this is the easiest thing to do in the world. Finding those who are high maintainence is somewhat rare, and even more so for those who have thier control a little tighter than they should however, they do exist.

The obvious answer medically is progress without perfection, that suits you and your lifestyle. The psychological answer is how much do you love who you are, knowing all about you that you know, and can you increase that by just a little more each day? Followed by the lifestyle that you choose, and your ability to acknowledge the way you control your blood sugar levels both publically and privately. This includes those who may not have the money to afford the necessary tools. Now here is the good news.

The way you think is very much in your control and from all that I have read here, this is a great resource for the basis of a healthy mindset which is honesty. Tell us how you feel and understand that the “Superdiabetic” does not exist and there is no need to try and be one.

Like all things there is a time and a place to discuss your wants and needs, and it is very healthy to let people know if you need help (especially in your work place) because those who try to hide it eventually get caught, sometimes for that very reason. The tighter your control is, the more public you should be about it starting with your doctor(s) ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE ALONE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME.

There is no room for shame where any illness is concerned. The cycle for a lot of diabetics is first they are physically ill, then mentally as they try to adjust to an enormous task with all kinds of data and expectations handed to them. At first many try and when they are overwhelmed, some degree of depression sets in and they give up.

Please understand that you are valuable and worth the work. You have been handed something that nobody would voluntarily take no matter what the reward. The trick is to make small changes with your doctor(s) and see the cause and effect of what you do. Although you are not licensed to practice on anyone but yourself you have out of necessity, become your own caregiver.

Make slow changes and DO NOT suffer in silence and take charge of who you are, and what you do. Always err on the side of caution (higher sugars when necessary) and don’t beat yourself up, or let others do so when we all realize that no one is perfect. Develop strategies that support you, and keep relatively close contact with others 24/7. This is very important for all of us anyway, and even more so for those with tighter control.

Don’t cut yourself off from everything just watch the quantity of it and it’s O.K. to have a little more once in a while. Said another way, learn to laugh at pizza, or beer for that matter. See food as medicine, and you will be just fine.

Love Always
The Anonymous Diabetic.