I have had diabetes for 8 years. I am currently in my 3rd year of college. Recently i have been feeling really down about my self, more than usual. I dont inderstand y i just cant get over the fact i have this stupid, inconvenient disease and just live my life. i feel this has set me back socially. As i get older and meet new people i feel more and more self conscience about my self. I just dont know what to do…
Because diabetes is a part of how you have to live your life- it’s there in the highs and the lows and the missed sleep and the considerations in everything you might want to do.
I suggest meeting other diabetics at your college.
Caryn, I felt like you feel now. I was the only one I knew with diabetes in college. I’d had it since age 10. I had always been okay till then. But I got down about it during that time. You have SO many other stresses. What you need is to be able to focus on those tasks and priorities without your sugars going whacko, and yet, the extra stress and the hours you keep just seem to make it all worse, right?
Here are my suggestions, from someone who was there pretty recently (college class of 2002).
- Do find other diabetics to talk to. Your friends will listen, but your diabetic friends will get it.
- See if your campus health center offers free counseling. It’ll be the last time in your life you can get therapy for free!
- I started a campus support group. It was mostly faculty and staff who came to an introductory meeting and never came back, but after a while, I was perfectly okay that it was just the sorority girl with the pump, me (the sophomore on syringes at the time), and the young guy with type 2. It was enough just for us to know someone else was out there.
- Resist the urge to back burner the diabetes. Don’t let it drive you. It WILL crash. You have to stay in control. Everything else will be easier. I am telling you this from having done the opposite! One Thanksgiving, I tested my sugar and saw in my meter history that the last time I’d tested was in October. Do not do this to yourself. laughs
- AND MOST IMPORTANTLY. Allow yourself to accept that we’re allowed to have limitations. I will NEVER forget this one day my senior year. I’d woken up low, rushed around my apartment, gathered up my stuff, was late to class, jumped in the car, etc., etc. I sat in my car in the parking garage once I got to campus and just stared at the clock. I was easily 20 minutes late to my hardest class. I wanted to just absolutely get down on myself for my complete failure… And then I remembered that I was doing my best. And that that should be enough. I was doing my best and the class would go on without me that morning. My priority should have been to feel better, to be stronger, to take care of me and have a good breakfast. I shouldn’t have gotten into a car. I shouldn’t have to feel like freakin’ Superwoman. It should be enough that I was in class the time before and would be there the time after. The world would keep turning if I needed to pay attention to my “stupid, inconvenient disease” (couldn’t agree more!) that morning.
It’s okay to be diabetic. It’s okay to need a breather. It’s okay. I promise. Force yourself to cut yourself some slack. Failure is allowed. You can’t do it all perfectly. Your sugars will be sporadic. Just do your best and take care of what you can.
Melissa and Jonah already gave you GREAT advice. I would just echo Melissa’s advice about seeing an on-campus counselor. One thing that is great is that most colleges offer this for free now.
When I was in college, I went to a counselor and just vented about diabetes stuff (and other stuff) and it helped to have a scheduled time to talk about how I was feeling. It’s hard cause I didn’t want to burden my friends with “diabetes” stuff, but I needed to vent about it. So I had a weekly meeting with a counselor. It helped a TON.
I haven’t seen a counselor since then, but if it was still free I probably still would!
Dealing with diabetes in college is NOT easy, but know that you are not alone and you will do a lot better if you find a routine for your life that works for you. There are many college students and former college students in this community! Just ask any questions and we are here to help!!!
Melissa, Jonah, Kristin wrote the good words to you. I was alone, the only diabetic at elementary school, collège, lycée and university… You live in a great country, there’s no counselor in France. Only tired teachers who didn’t understand my diabetes (type 1) … But it was so far away from now. Courage and I hope college students from the community help you. And by the way, I can help you with my experiences!
Thanks to all for the advice. I actually justed started to see a counselor a few weeks ago. i guess ill just have to see how that goes.