My name is Fabiana, I am 31 years old and I have diabetes since I was 12. Now it has been 19 years dealing with this though condition and trying to be perfect…
I am originally from Brazil and I am currently living in San Francisco, CA. I am in a career change and doing a MA in psychology here, but mainly I say that what I am doing here is a MA in living new experiences!
In those new experiences I am living I include the fact that I am living in San Francisco, a very diverse and mixed city! My own house is sort of a sample of all that cultural diversity, I live with with 3 other girls with very different ethnicities and stories, one of them is american-arabic, the other american-persian, and the other one from Bangladesh… I am learning and opening a totally new perspective on the world as I knew it.
Well but my point here is, I am also living new experiences related to my diabetes buddy. One of those life-changing experiences just happened last weekend and that is what I want to share with you.
I went to this conference called “Celebration of Strength” for women with diabetes in San Diego. It was an event promoted by Diabetes Sisters (http://www.diabetessisters.org/), a non-profit that connects women with diabetes, and the Behavioral Diabetes Institute (http://behavioraldiabetesinstitute.org), a great center in San Diego that understands and focus on the emotional side of this disease, which for me is huge.
Talking about the emotional side of diabetes. Some of the amazing speakers we had at this event, who most of them have been living with diabetes for a long time, talked about the perfectionism we may carry in our shoulders, mainly trying to be the “perfect” diabetic. I can totally relate to that and I must say it is such burden in my life.
There is no way we can be perfect in any area of our lives, even less when talking about diabetes. The speakers presented some objective aspects of the disease that just makes it impossible to be a perfect diabetic, one of them for example is that there are 155 different things we have to do every single day (in the super ideal/unrealistic world) in order to maintain our diabetes management under control, or I would say “perfect”. Even though even if you do it all there is no promise that the result will be perfect as well, and seriously, it probably won’t, because just there is NO perfection. And the possible outcome will be: You will drive yourself crazy…
So, what they were saying that really helped me to look to my diabetes in perspective were:
We are NOT the number we see in our meters. It does not make us worth it or not. The number in our meters is literally just information.
Out of these 155 things we “should” do, what are the things that really matters?? Start with one step at a time. Be selective, act in the big picture, and then just live your life…
Because at the end of the day the purpose of taking care of ourselves is to live a healthier, happier life. What is the point then to be so perfect but don’t have a life?
" The best is the enemy of the good"
- And then to conclude, my own take away of it all was…
False standards of perfection leads us to feel shame and guilty.
Whom of us ever felt like that? I have felt that for such long time. Still do…
I was all the time blaming myself from being imperfect and mistakes. I “should” do this, I didn’t do that, I failed…It was as a constant destructive self-talk.
So, what I think that was the most valuable gift I got from this conference was to meet with other 100 women who live the same challenges, who are not perfect as well and who can be compassionate and laugh about our “mistakes” together.
That is the power of connection! That is the power of being just humans and not Super-heros…
I would love to hear your thoughts on that subject!
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