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Outside Perspective 

May 19, 2016

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!)

What the weight of diabetes can feel like


I only just started sharing my diabetes + mental health journey online. You can read about it here and here.

Sharing a mental health journey is scary at first


 It’s a process I’m working through, with the help of so many people and doctors. But I suppose I’ve been working on it for a long time, just not with Joslin’s help. I don’t know if I have any tips or tricks yet, but someday I will. So I decided to reach out to some people in my life and ask two questions, along with sending the prompt. 

  • Have you ever noticed me to be stronger or weaker because of diabetes? 
  • Has my diabetes ever caused concern for you? 

I wasn’t sure what kind of responses I would get, but to me, mental health & diabetes & strength have always gone together. There are friends I’ve pulled aside to ask if my diabetes and sharing the very negative aspects has been a burden. Luckily, they think I’m crazy for thinking that is a possibility. But I wanted to know more. I am so happy and impressed by my family and friends and so grateful for their help.

I think that your diabetes makes you stronger. You are more aware of yourself and you don’t let it stop you from doing what you want to do but you are prepared for whatever may come your way as a result. You don’t look for sympathy or expect people to treat you any differently. It is a part of who you are and you run with it 🙂

You are definitely stronger because of diabetes.  Your basic nature is quiet and shy.  I don’t think you would have the backbone/gumption you now have, if not for diabetes.  We always were open about your care, so when we were not around, you had to step up.  For a painfully shy young girl, that was a lot, and you did it.
You have never been weak.
Diabetes has always been a concern for me, and always will be.  As you know, in every aspect, I speak up.  I am proud to be your mom, and not afraid to push you, regarding diabetes, school, life in general.
Diabetes is tough.  But remember, it is the best and worst thing that has happened to you.  Great friends in and out of the diabetes community.  Only those people willing to learn and help if need be, are your friends.   Not a slug among them!
Great teachers. Again, always willing to learn.  Your school nurse came to your insulin pump classes with us!   Amazing.
Your schedule kept all kids happy, full bellies!
Remember, all of us, life is for LIVING.  Diabetes can not be ignored or fought.  When you take care of it, anything is possible.
And most of all, daddy and I wish we had it, instead of you.

What I love about your approach to diabetes is that it is always included. When you are dating, diabetes is your litmus test. How the date reacts to your diabetes is a way that you have learned to gauge him as a person. I admire that about you and I see it as a way you make diabetes work for you.

I have seen you be weaker by it, only when you’re low and have to get out of the pool.

Yes, [I was concerned] that time that you called me and needed some ice cream, I honestly was a bit nervous but very happy to help and especially happy it was an easy fix!

I have most certainly noticed you to be stronger! I learned so much about how you need to be in tune with your body and how strong a person you are… how you need to say no to things you want to do sometimes to keep your physical strength… how you need to constantly be monitoring what’s happening with your body… and how damned good you are at calculating a million different things having to do with carbs and blood sugar that still seem like an entirely different language to me. Not only the physical strength, but the mental strength to do all of these things day in and day out. You never get a day off, and I can’t imagine what a mental challenge that is – yet you don’t just deal with it and slog along… you crush it. You are an active, optimistic, thriving person who also happens to have diabetes

There are so many aspects to this side of diabetes. Here are more.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 19, 2016 7:43 AM

    Aww those are so nice! What a great idea to ask friends and family 🙂

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