The Upside of Diabetes?

What? Really, the upside? Yep. Before you dismiss this as some sort of Pollyanna utopian dribble, just think about it for a minute.

Every human being on earth has challenges in their life. Dark, disappointing and tragic events play no favorites. When these things happen it can seem like our world has come to an end or that it soon will. Having a chronic illness is just one of these possible events. Regardless of who you are and your station in life these types of things are unavoidable and usually come as a surprise. We can land in a very dark and very deep hole that can seem impossible to escape. But eventually we do.

These experiences, dreadful as they may be, bring with them personal growth and understanding that we otherwise would not acquire. This is but one of the things that makes each of us different. These elements of growth and understanding usually take some time for us to appreciate them. The lessons can be difficult and painful, blurring our vision towards the deeper meanings and impacts. Sometimes it can be very difficult to find the gains we might have made in the midst of this darkness. In fact, quite often we are so angered and frustrated by these events that we simply refuse to believe there can be any positive found.

So what exactly is the upside of diabetes? Just like everything else with this disease, your results may vary. This growth, the gains and the things we learn are different for each of us. My life is not your life. I can only speak to the things that I have found as a result of my diabetes which help to move me forward.

After going almost completely blind, I have a much greater appreciation of the vision we have been able to restore. I know for sure that I have a much greater appreciation and understanding of my body and my health. The truly small stuff has truly gotten smaller. But perhaps the thing that diabetes can teach each of us, and I’m sure that many of you will agree with this, is how very much alike we are while at the same time each and every person being so different. We understand better than a lot of people do that we need to respect the other person’s position as much as we do our own. We can understand the importance of being true to who we are, working every day to do just that. Diabetes doesn’t leave us a lot of choice in the matter. Diabetes has caused me to look very closely at my life, my beliefs and how I spend my time. For me, these have all been good things. They have not necessarily been fun things by any means. But, I have grown because of D. In spite of D. I am grateful for my life, my family and the gains I have made while dealing with diabetes. Don’t get me wrong, I am not glad that this is happened in my life. I cannot celebrate diabetes. But I can’t make it go away either. So, since it is here I can do one of two things. I can feel sorry for myself (been there done that). I can be angry at the world, the universe, God or just my disease. Or I can accept it as a fact of my life, learn the lessons it is bringing to my doorstep, grow and use my energy for a better life and a better world. It is sometimes not easy to see this, but it is always the best answer. DX Lean Diet Forskolin


I have found that people with chronic illness are more empathetic and have a more insightful understanding of life’s complexity and the nature of ‘the human condition.’ Hats off to you.

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Well said. I wrote a similar post for my blog a few years back. Now we we have a cancer diagnosis for my husband. Now I have a new set of challenges. it’s tough because it is in his eye, and I am dealing with a round of retinopathy and cannot drive right now. Pressing on, walking in faith, onward!

I think diabetes made me live my life in a way I wouldn’t have if I were healthy, and I think, in my case, that’s a good thing. The definition of “risk” changed for me because once you’ve considered the challenges diabetes brings, everything else seems easier. Many of my associates think I’m crazy because of my decisions (I moved to Korea right after college, I took a 7 week roadtrip across America with my mom, I married my husband 9 weeks after I met him), but they didn’t seem like high risk decisions to me when I compare them to any decision regarding the diabetes. I still take the view that I need to squeeze all the enjoyment out of life that I can (I just signed my brother, husband, and I up for a 5k bubble run). I appreciate that the diabetes has made me bolder.

I also think diabetes has made me think better of my fellow man. Even though I often get annoyed with others (especially doctors), I can appreciate that 100 years ago, I would be dead for sure. It was the will of medical researchers that got us to be at this point with our diabetes management. People are the reason I lived long enough to travel and get married and run 5ks. We are blessed that people continue to fight to make the world a better place.