I’m 13 and I’ve had diabetes since i was six. I don’t really remember when I did not have diabetes, right now I’m feeling like there is no one in the world who knows what I’m going through. I am the only one in my school who has diabetes and I am the shortest and youngest in my class. I feel like I’m never taken seriously and nobody really notices me. I’ve been in one school for 9 years and I’m tired of feeling like a no body, and for my diabetes I’ve just kind of given up, I don’t see the point in anything anymore. The “normal people” don’t see how lucky they are they take advantage of eating regular foods, being free of needles and insulin, and even the simplest things like putting clothes on without having to worry if you will rip out an infusion set or something. I’m starting to feel extremely worthless and unable to do anything. I always feel tired and Hungary but I know if If I eat I have to give myself insulin, so sometimes I just don’t eat. I’m really afraid to talk to anyone about this even my own parents because they might take me to a consular, and I feel that will only make things worse, so if anyone on this site can help me at all that would be great. BTW I’ve tried different hobbies, sports, crafts, and whatever but Diabetes has taken over my life and I’m just done with it.
I’m 20+ years older than you, and I haven’t had diabetes for very many of those… But I can remember how difficult being 13 was like it was just yesterday… And back then I was “normal.”
I can’t even imagine how difficult being 13 paired with feeling different in this way must be. All I can tell you is that you don’t stay 13 forever. It’s a trying age where everyone is starting to transition towards adulthood and the pressures and complexities of that manifest in some absolutely bizarre and difficult ways, particularly in the social dynamics… Everyone is so concerned with if they fit in with the group they want to, if they’re cool or not and how they’re perceived by others… I truly do remember it all… I feel for you. This stage of life doesn’t last forever, I can assure you that.
Diabetes won’t stop you from living a fulfilling life. The best years are still ahead of you. Keep your head up and don’t feel bad for being who you are.
I think many of us came here because we felt alone. Your feelings are perfectly normal. And there is a big reason these feelings are now really worrying you. You are on the path to becoming an adult. You care more about all of your peers at school, just as all of them care more about others. This is a natural part of growing up as your peers and your identity becomes more and more important to who you are.
I’d like to offer you two suggestions. First, many of your feelings are actually shared by many around you at school, feeling unnoticed, not liked, different. And the overall situation may seem hopeless, but I would encourage you to accept the opposite view. Things “will get better.” You will be happy. You will be successful. Every night before you go to sleep, try to write down three things that made you proud or made you happy or just made you feel good. If you do this it will help you focus on the good things in life and strive for them instead of simply focusing and dwelling on the bad things.
The second thing I would like to suggest is that you keep a list of the top five things you want to change. Like dressing better or getting more or better friends. And focus your efforts on those things as a long-term goal. Not something you will fix tomorrow, but something that next school year you can have changed. It is ok to enlist others in your endeavor even if they don’t fully know how or why they are helping you (like taking a friend clothes shopping).
And remember, diabetes is just a thing. It doesn’t define who you are and it doesn’t make you any less of a person. As you grow up and eventually go out on your own, you will accomplish things and become a unique and valued. People will see you much more as @Mikit02, not as someone who has diabetes.
I agree with what the others have said, but wanted to mention something else. You say you don’t see the point in anything and you’re afraid to talk to your parents because they’ll take you to a counselor. There’s really nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean that you’re crazy or bad. It just means that you have problems worth talking about.
Whether you need to vent, deal with depression, burnout, look for positives, or anything else, sometimes talking with an unbiased person is even better than talking to your friends or parents. Some even specialize in those with chronic conditions.
So even though it seems scary, I’d encourage you to think about letting your parents help you find someone to talk to. Your feelings are genuine and deserve to be heard.
I’d like to echo what has already been said. I was diagnosed with diabetes at age nine (I’m now in my 30s) and remember what it was like being a 13-year-old with diabetes (and other health issues). Things will and do get better.
Have you connected with any groups for young people with diabetes? Not support groups, necessarily, but groups that organize and go to different activities. When I was a teenager, connecting with others who were dealing with the same things as me was a huge help in not feeling alone.
My daughter is 13 and has Type 1. Would you like to communicate with her privately via email, PM on this Forum, or perhaps even telephone?
I’ve been right where you are! I am now 28 and was diagnosed at 11 months old. 13 is a hard age, it really is, and I promise you, it really does get better. However, this is now, not 10 years from now. The most important step you’re taking is reaching out for help. That is something I didn’t do at your age. There are so many people here who are willing to listen, help, encourage, and just be there for you, this is a great place to start.
Now, I don’t want this to sound like a lecture, but you need to have decent control of your numbers. It will make everything better! It’s a lot of hard work, I know this. Getting your basal rate(s) tested and set correctly is very difficult, but worth it. Same as insulin to carb ratios and corrections factors. However, having all this correct gives you time to breathe. Diabetes won’t have to consume you. There will be difficult diabetes times for you, especially given your age, but the hard work is worth it. When I was young and very depressed, I assumed that my diabetes control would get better if I was less depressed. Turns out, it’s the opposite.
There’s nothing wrong with seeing a counselor. You may think that it might not help, but what can it hurt? Reaching out to your parents is (probably) a good idea. If you are really that against talking to a professional, maybe ask your parents to help you find a support group. Maybe you could contact a diabetes educator in your area and find out if there are support groups out there. Join groups on Facebook, follow Twitter and Instagram accounts, keep posting/reading here. There are lot of options out there for socializing with other diabetics.
A dentist is someone who is trained in, and has the technology for, fixing teeth problems. A doctor is someone who is trained in, and has the technology for, repairing injuries. And a counselor is just someone who is trained in, and knows the techniques for solving negative feelings that get in the way of living life.
You wouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor if your leg was broken, because he knows things you don’t. Same applies here. A good counselor knows how to fix things you may not have figured out how to solve yourself. Take it from one who’s been there, done that.
And setting all that aside, it can be a tremendous help just being able to talk to someone who is not personally involved in your life, and won’t repeat anything you tell them. Believe me.
Hi @Mikit02! Hope you’ll come back soon and let us know how you’re doing. I think the hardest part of being in the place you’re in is that, when you share how you’re feeling, people always want to give you advice about how to deal with it and feel better. “Why don’t you take up a hobby, get your mind off it, don’t worry everyone goes through this when they’re in their teens.” They want to help, but they don’t know that from the other side it can seem like they’re saying they don’t think your problems are that bad or–even worse–that they think they know how to handle them better.
So it’s important to recognize that, yup, it does suck–nobody would ask to be a member of this club we’re all in. One thing we all know that your classmates don’t is that it takes a lot of guts to be you. Just by still being here after seven years of dealing with this disease you’ve showed a strength and discipline that a lot of adults never have to develop. Part of that strength is taking a step like you already have, reaching out to people like us who have a basis for understanding where you’re coming from. So I want to very sincerely say good for you! You have that strong young woman inside you, even when you’re mad and sick and tired of all the crap you’ve had to put up with. She’s part of you already: listen to her.
To further your comments, I’d like to add that is perfectly okay to feel sad and depressed and lonely and what ever else. These are normal and natural feelings. Your situation is difficult and you had no part of choosing it. Nobody ever told me it was okay to feel bad, I wish someone had.
I remember 13, even though it was decades ago. Those days loom large and all the advice rings hollow. What got me through it were friends as lost and weird in their own ways as I was. None of them were going through what I was, except maybe having families who thought we were weird. Patrick and Crystal and the Wilson brothers, Raymond and Kathy K. We walked around town and talked and joked. We acted in plays and sang in choir. I read a lot (Bronte, Voltaire, Tolkien) and I wrote a lot (poetry, plays). I don’t journal. I’m not into realism.
Keep writing. Write about anything; write about nothing. Write. Make art. Not because it’s therapeutic. Because you have to say this is what it is to be human; this is what it is to be me.
Look for the others, the ones sitting by themselves. Go talk to them. Middle school and high school are when you find each other.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. Please don’t give up, its going to be okay.
You must be quite an amazing person. I mean, you are in this dark space, and feel no support, but you found the strength in you to come on here and reach out.
There are many people who need and want your friendship, who you may not have met yet. And because of this suffering you’re going through, you will be able to be a huge comfort to others when they go through these things—because you know how it feels.
Those normal kids who don’t have to deal with this stuff…we never know though what’s around the corner for anyone. In fact, the longer I live, the more I realize that so many people who look like they have a great life are struggling with things I never would have guessed. What ever you do, please keep reaching out and know that you can get through this. (((hugs)))
I was 6 when I was diagnosed. Teen years are tough with diabetes. One of the best things that happened for me was I went to camp for diabetic kids and found out there are other people like me. Fellow campers were my best friends for many years even though I didn’t live near any of them. Now with social media should be even easier to stay in touch. Maybe ask if your parents would consider sending you to camp. If money is an issue most camps have ‘scholarships’ to help pay for them. Or look on FB for a group of teens like yourself. Find someone who is where you are in life not just gone through it already.
Hi I could tell u many things but the facts the same diabeties sucks it does effectt everything about ur life I have been fighting for 15yrs. I found out in my 2nd yr of middle school. The main thing that helps keep me going is my faith in God so maybe look into that. The other is id definitely would look up camp for diabeties I went to one called camp joslin in Massachusetts. It was amazing ever single person was just like u and I just fit in. Well good luck
Oh sweetie…My heart aches for you. I’m an old lady and the Diabolical Whimsy of The D turned my life inside out and upside down a decade ago…But here you will find support–emotional and practical. That is what is required to learn to have a Good Life—a Long Life…
You will learn how to do it----Baby Steps…One thing at a time…Pick one thing and focus on that…Ask questions…
Feel our embrace of you. Nothing about this process is easy…BUT everything about it is DOABLE…Everyone here aged 10 to 83 has found away…
Open your heart and let us help you…Love you!..Judith in Portland…
I know exactly what you are going through, and I feel for you. I am 24 now, I was diagnosed at 12, and being 13 was the hardest year of my entire life. On top of being newly diagnosed, I also had very few friends and got picked on frequently in middle school. There were times I felt so depressed and alone I thought maybe I would be better off if I weren’t alive anymore. I know how incredibly hard it is to be that age, but I really can promise you that it gets better. Your teenage years are rough, and looking back I wish that I had reached out more to others for help. Instead I closed myself off emotionally because I felt that no one understood me and what I was going through, and only caused myself greater harm. I think it’s great that you are beginning to reach out, even just by posting here. If you would ever like to talk please don’t feel weird at all about sending me a message. Sometimes it can be tough to talk to a counselor because unless they’ve experienced type 1 themselves, it’s difficult for them to really understand what we are going through. Sending lots of good thoughts your way. I know you will get through this because I have been exactly where you’re at right now and here I am today much love, Cristina
I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way right now. I’m 15, and I was just diagnosed with diabetes a little more than 6 months ago. I don’t know everything you’re going through right now, but I definitely get it. Whenever I see kids mindlessly eating, I can’t help but feel jealous. And I was the same way with not wanting to do shots so I didn’t eat, but I have the pump now and that has helped immensely. I get how you want to be normal because that’s the most important thing at this point in our lives. Diabetes isn’t normal, but it makes us stronger. You are better than all of those other kids. They don’t have to deal with shots every day or getting low at the most inconvenient times. You’re strong, and you need to remember that. I think if you really want to talk about it, go to your parents and just let them know you need them, not a counselor. I really hope you can find some answers in all of these replies! If you ever need help, your T1D community is here for you. Feel better!
How can we be of help for you? We are happily listening…
You were never “invisible”. You just didn’t realize it. Most of us don’t until it gets pointed out to us.
Finding your voice, the things you enjoy, that really challenge you… that takes a lifetime. Life is not tic-tac-toe, for most of us anyway. Sometimes the bus goes in total circles. On good days, it goes where you want it to with zero effort.
Cut yourself a break would ya?
You are many, many, many things. Diabetes is important, but NEVER your only part. Talk to us, we listen
Like you I have had T1D a little over half my life and it is very hard to remember when I was carefree and did not have diabetes. Of course being 68 years old and retired can make it difficult to remember what I had for breakfast But seriously…your comments are as true for me today as they are for you. I have never seen anyone else pull out a pen/needle or an insulin pump at a restaurant. “Normal people” have very little knowledge of T1D, how it is managed or its potential bad effects on us. The tubing of the infusion set is a pain, day and night. Melted chocolate on my fingers always shouts “Bad Diabetic”!!! My Endo’s are still on me to improve my A1c even though I have no serious complications and other than having T1D I am in better physical and mental health than my peers.
So, do I have a secret plan that will magically help you? Sorry, no. I have figured out my way of keeping on an even keel and you will have to figure out yours. Where and when and how to start??? Well, guess what…You already have. You posted your thoughts and asked for help with the exact group of people who can help. You have received some good suggestions for next steps and an exceptional offer from rgcainmd for a potential friend and co-conspirator on how to snack well.
I suggest you talk to at least one of your parents. They probably have sensed something is amiss and should know that it’s not being 13, it’s the T1D thing.
Let my longevity tell you that this can be managed, never solved, but managed increasingly well as you mature through the next few years. You will then be the one who can offer support to those T1D’s who are today are where you were 5 years ago.