A Hump Day Pep Talk.
I’ve never considered myself an expert on living with diabetes (or chronic illnesses for that matter) just based on the sheer fact that I have diabetes. Diabetes is terribly complex and variable, likewise with many other diseases (or non-diseases – ever notice how healthy people have things that go wrong in their life too?). Despite blogging about it and speaking about it (hello Diabetes 2.0!), I really don’t consider myself an Expert. Just someone who knows some stuff.
Here’s some stuff I know:
When I talk to people, whether they are parents, teens, twentysomethings, spouses, whatever, they always seem to be really upset with diabetes. And for some reason, the majority of those people actually seem ashamed that they still hate diabetes after all these years. Allow me to let you in on a little secret of my success (ha!): IT’S OKAY TO GET MAD.
Remember that any time someone says something about how you should take care of your diabetes, it is because they are trying to help, love you and don’t know any better. Unless they are being a jerk about it, in which case, feel free to tell them to shut it. Remember that before you were diagnosed, you didn’t know anything about diabetes either.
You are not a failure.
When faced with an unfortunate blood sugar, treat it and get back to your life. If you know the cause of it, make a mental note to change your actions next time. There’s nothing you can do about it now so stay calm.
There is nothing in the rule book that says you can’t eat cupcakes, travel to Europe or play sports. For every “I can’t” you can think of, I can find someone who said, “I can.” A person with diabetes climbed Mount Everest. Trust me, whatever you are facing, you can do it.
Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.
You know the definition of insanity? It’s trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results every time. If it’s not working, stop doing it. If it’s working, keep it up until it stops working. Change is inevitable. Be patient when it happens.
Diabetes is not optional. Get mad as much as you want, but keep going. Think of diabetes like taxes. You hate them. They are annoying. You have to do it. Sometimes you’re afraid of the consequences. But it usually all works out in the end.
Talk to someone. The best person to help you through a difficult time is someone who has already made it to the other side. Listen.
Stay calm. Breathe. If that doesn’t work, go hit something (preferably a soft, inanimate object).
There are people in this world ready and waiting to help you. Keep them close to you.
There is no such thing as a perfect diabetic. There’s no such thing as a perfect anyone, and those who say they are are usually more unhappy than those who are imperfect. Do not allow others to dictate how you feel about yourself and your health.
You don’t need an insulin pump. They’re nice. But you don’t need one. You do, however, need insulin. Get used to that fact.
Remember, it’s one number. And it’s going to change, because that’s what they do.
There is also no such thing as normal. I don’t know who the heck made up that word, but it annoys the bejeezus out of me. You are different, but so is everybody else. Different is normal.
I don’t know everything about diabetes. You probably won’t either. But I would love to hear from others about the little pep talks you give yourself when you need a boost.