We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)
Day 2 and already a little late, the story of my life. It seems no matter how much I prepare, organize, get things ready, things slip. It's the nature of life, and it truly is the nature of Type 1. We talk a lot about the highs and lows and possible complications. We talk a lot about the other autoimmune diseases that could pair up with this monster but mentally....that's a subject whispered barely audibly in a room by yourself. Have you ever seen the Edward Munch picture The Scream? Sometimes, many times, that is my mental state dealing with two kids with Type 1 and a hubby with Type 2. But on the outside I smile, I stay positive, I push forward one step at a time, one breath at a time. My husband likes to say that the boys' Type 1 is a very physically fit guy in the corner doing one-armed push-ups just waiting for you to let your guard down so he can get a good right hook into you. Just when you think you have this all figured out he hits. You can never let your guard down, and that is so mentally (and physically) exhausting and it contributes to guilt and worry and all those other emotions when it all catches up to you. (And it will because no one is 100% perfect.) And that is a recipe for burn out. And burn out lets that guy get the upper hand. And then those physical things we talk about become noticeable.
When Sugar Bear was diagnosed we were given a box with info inside but on the spine of the box it said this:
So what gets me through the tough moments, what phrases or mantras do I use.....I tell myself to just breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Positive in, negative out. This disease is so taxing on everyone effected by it. It's grueling. It's a marathon and even in a marathon you have to pace yourself, stop and walk if you need to, stop and catch your breath if it all gets to be too much. And go ahead and scream. Let it out. Better out than in because then you can go on. Keep putting one step in front of the other. Every day, every moment is a new day and a new opportunity for you to get the upper hand, for you to kick butt. For me, some days music helps, most days humor is my best friend. But always, always I'm reminding myself to center, to breathe, to listen and to know that this too shall pass and then it'll be the next moment, the next breath, the next step. It's not easy, actually it's rarely easy. If one of the boys is high, one is low, and hubby is high or maybe all three are high and I'm tired, I'm always tired, it can be an ingredient list for disaster. This disease is emotionally draining, you have to find your recharge mine is recognizing to just breathe.