I am a T1 for about 15 years. I've just turned 31 and have started to worry obsessively about my poor choices in the past and fears of future complications. I've been lucky that except for my diabetes, I've been relatively healthy. My fear is I used to be a heavy drinker in college and cut back but still occassionally binged into my late 20s. I used to have fairly decent A1Cs but there was a lot of fluctuations in daily numbers. I recently had a scare with a relatively high A1C (I don't give numbers because people get too competitive). I'm just currently obsessing about complications due to past mistakes. Right now, I'm doing fairly well, but I guess that makes me only regret my past more. Does anyone else do the same? How do I stop this obsessing? I have a wife and kid and I don't want to die young or have serious complications anytime soon so I am doing my best. Did anyone ever experience this before? How did you overcome all the regrets from your youth? I have an eye doctor next week, I'm freaking out. Please help!

You’re still a young man. The vast majority of people who go to college party pretty hard there, and those who don’t aren’t that fun to hang out with. All you can do is do your best going forward. You have realized that you have different priorities now, so it should be easier now that you have the right kind of motivators.

The best way to puncture the unhealthy obsession about past poor choices is to make good choices today and tomorrow. Each day invest in your future health by doing something concrete to make it so. Check your BG more frequently. Develop a plan to act on those numbers. Write stuff down - it's a "forest and trees thing."

Give yourself a break, you're experience was not so different than most young people's.

Start now. Do well today. Document your progress. Don't look back!

Hi JonD, I am Type 1 for about 27 years. I was diagnosed at the age of 27 and went through several years of denial and putting career and family before my diabetes. Finally, I realized that my daughter was going to need me around and that the best thing I could do for her was to take care of myself.

You know the old saying "with age comes wisdom" and it really is true. Focus on taking the best care of yourself from this point forward. Don't dwell and worry on the things you cannot change. Focus your energy and thoughts on what you can do now to improve your control now and into the future.

At the age of 54, I continue to work harder than ever at good control, eating right, staying on top of medical appointments. I find peace of mind by focusing on the fact that I'm doing all the right things and that's where I try to keep my focus.

Personally I think, from what I see that while it certainly matters how we take care of ourselves both in terms of D and lifestyle choices, that doing poorly for a period of time in either (or even both) categories doesn't mean we're doomed.Many factors influence our health including those choices but also including genetics and just the old "luck of the draw." There are several diabetics on this board in their 60s, 70s and 80s who were diagnosed as children. That means they were diagnosed and lived for decades during a time that we had very little knowledge or ability to test and treat Type 1 diabetes. They are still here and going strong! As for lifestyle choices I used a lot of drugs when I was younger, far beyond typical partying. I wasn't expected to live out the year in....1968. Yes, 45 years ago! I am 65 years old, and while I do have some health issues they are not likely to kill me anytime soon if I deal with them (which I do, very well if I say so myself).

Regrets are useless and can impact our emotional readiness to do what we need to do today. You made some poor choices, so learn from them and you can become a stronger, wiser person than if you'd never gone through those things! I agree with everyone else that you need to focus on doing the best you can for your health today which will impact all your tomorrows. And if you feel you are stuck in the regrets and hopelessness than perhaps taking care of yourself can include some counseling to get you unstuck so you can move forward and enjoy your life. When I look back at my own bad choices I'm just grateful (and proud!) of how I turned it around and how much simple enjoyment I have of my life today. And when I forget, I remind myself to live in the moment, do the best I can, and continue learning from any errors I make.

Thanks everyone. These posts are very helpful. I'm doing most of those things now, but I still am so petrified of future complications. I am driving my wife crazy "sweatie, I can't feel my toes," "am I going blind?" "my back hurts, is it my kidneys?" She's getting fed up. I suppose I wish I had done being super healthy sooner. Again, I didn't take terrible care of myself, except for the drinking really. Always took my insulin, checked my BGs like crazy, but had a ton of roller coaster days and didn't eat super healthy. I really just focused on the A1Cs rather than holistically. I just keep wondering if/when this is going to come back and bite me. No matter how much work I do right now, it doesn't stop these fears about all this biting me back. Did I do severe longterm permanent damage? How do I stop these emotional regrets and fears while still taking good physical care?

Maybe if you changed your wife's petname from "sweatie" to "sweetie" marital discord might improve :-) :-)

Seriously though... To add to what others have wisely said here, also hammer it in to your head that the past can not be undone, so absolutely nothing positive will come from hand-wringing over it. It is what it is.

Rather, taking on tight control as a goal and project can be very motivating, progress toward those goals is encouraging and will brighten your overall temperament, and achieving them is nirvana.

Tight control is what will minimize your risk, so you can breath easier. There's no other option.

I would like to know of anyone here who had diabetes as a teenager and did NOT go through a period of "relaxed control" during their teens or early 20s. I was a very "follow the rules" teenager and I still went through a period in my late teens and early 20s where I slacked off on control, even though I never went through a full-fledged rebellion.

I can relate to worrying, though. I'm 32 and have had diabetes for almost 23 years. I've had my ups and downs with A1c and I still have daily struggles with blood sugar variability and getting an A1c in target range. But I think all we can do is go forward trying the best that we can try.

I do think it is hard to be in year early 30s and having to worry about serious health issues. I don't very many other people my age who have to worry about this type of thing, which means there's not many people to talk to. That's what sites like this one are for. :)

JonD54, When I first got out of the hospital, after mistakenly being diagnosed for two years as a T2D. my foot neuropathy was killing me. I started exercising on a stationary bike and almost all the feeling came back.

Think and plan to conquer the future, don't worry about the past.

Worry is stressful, and stress can cause our blood glucose to rise. At the least, you can learn from past mistakes.

I tell people I learn from "trial and error," mostly "error." Hang in there.

Hi - You've gotten a lot of good advice here. I'd like to suggest one other resource - therapy. A good therapist will be available to listen to and hear your fears so that you don't overburden your wife and may be able to help think about your past in a more productive way. It's easy for us to say "snap out of it' but sometimes you need some professional help to do it.

Take care,


Have you had major health issues yet?


Good control is not a contract with fate. Some of the potential comorbidities can also be caused by other factors including heredity. With your current mindset, you will blame yourself if anything does happen. You ARE going to die of something. They key is how you live each day.

In addition to all the good advice from TuD, I have a suggestion that worked for me. Pick the complication that frightens you the most. For me it was blindness. Then LEARN about it - stare into the abyss. Talk to people here who have experienced it. People fear the unknown more than the known.


There is a LOT of great advice here.

Yesterday, I heard someone offer this:

The most important thing you can do is make a decision. Everything, and I mean everything flows from making a decision.

Decide to act on facts, not fears.
Decide to focus on positive actions today, because today is the only thing you can control.

I also made some extremely unwise choices in the past.
However......I firmly believe that it is NEVER too late to begin anew.
And, there is strong evidence that good control can reverse some existing complications, if one already has them.
Move forward, knowing that the ever increasing technological advances of modern medicine will continue to improve our chances for long and healthy lives.
Such great replies from everyone here. I love TD!!!!!
All my best to you.

Good advice, Marty. 'Been there.

Ditto Kathy!

I wish I was in my 30's worrying about diabetes.

Instead of in my 50's worrying about diabetes.

But then, the above comment actually has nothing to do with diabetes

And, there is strong evidence that good control can reverse some existing complications, if one already has them.
I'm walking, living evidence (and I'm pretty strong too [not smelling, physically!]), insofar as peripheral neuropathy goes.

Living strong evidence

First, yeah, definitely. I'm pushing 50 and I have plenty of regrets, mostly about my middle 30s where I really started to let things slide. I wish I could, at least, tell you how many years of neglect I put myself through but I can't even do that. I would think these feelings are normal, so don't double-down by beating yourself up about beating yourself up.

Second, as far as obsessing goes, I can't think of a more appropriate word to describe tight BG control as a T1 diabetic. I would just say obsess over things you can actually do something about at this time in your life.

It is obsessing over a number to the point where you bleed yourself and stick needle into yourself regularly as protection against unthinkable consequences. Still, you ask yourself, is it enough? The only course of action if you think it's not is to obsess even more. Instead of testing 4 times a day, you find yourself testing 10 times a day. Instead of giving yourself 5 shots, you hook yourself up to a machine to dispense insulin continuously because no matter how much you obsess about insulin dosing, you can't stay up 24 hours a day to test and dose.

So yeah, unfortunately, achieving normal or near normal for a diabetic, absolutely requires the abnormal.

Your reward is that you achieve the best protection you have against the things that really scare you the most. I'd say you have to believe that. What keeps me going is the belief that doing these things can and will make a difference in my overall quality of life so that I can be here for my family as long as I Humanly can with as much vigor as I can achieve.

I haven't yet been diagnosed with any diabetes complications.