Think about it: Every successful relationship in your life has a strong foundation. How? You spend time with it. You listen to it. You nurture it.
Just like a romantic relationship, diabetes is with you every single day. It is with you everywhere you go and needs your attention in order to be in a healthy place.
If we don’t take the time to form a great relationship with diabetes, it is going to be a heavy frustration in our life that never leaves us alone. So how do we “bond” with our diabetes?
- You have to accept that you live with diabetes and that it will likely be with you for the long term. This means allowing yourself to feel the pain and sadness that comes with diagnosis. Whether you have lived with diabetes for 15 days or 15 years, if you don’t let yourself grieve, you will never have the opportunity to heal.
For everyone this looks different. Sometimes it is as simple as spending time in silence allowing yourself to think about the fear and anxiety that often comes with having diabetes. Others may process well through journaling or talking through it with a friend or counselor. It is less about the how and more important that you find SOME way that works for you.
Allowing yourself to admit the pain you may be experiencing is the first step towards finding growth and positivity in living with diabetes.
- In order to pay less attention to diabetes, you actually have to pay attention to it MORE. Yes, you read that right! When you spend more time throughout the day briefly checking in with your T1D, you often spend less overall time on the blood sugar rollercoaster, dealing with high highs and low lows.
This may mean checking your CGM readings or pricking your finger more often, making sure you prepare supplies for long days out, pre-bolusing or microbolusing when dosing is miscalculated. Through my experience, more little moments dispersed throughout the day allow for an overall smoother diabetes day.
- Give yourself some credit!! Take time to write down the things you do for yourself and your diabetes every single day. Most people around us do not have to live with these daily challenges and sometimes it is easy to forget how much freaking work we do for ourselves! You are amazing! Don’t forget it and be sure to give yourself some grace when things don’t go as planned. It happens to all of us and getting down on yourself about it doesn’t do any good.
These little changes add up overtime. Give your diabetes some extra attention and watch not only your blood sugars change, but your perspective on life! Diabetes can either be an extreme source of frustration every single day or something that makes us stronger and appreciate life more than we would otherwise. How are you going to look at it? It isn’t always easy, but diabetes is with us whether we want it or not, so let’s make the best of it together!
Raquel (@typeonday) has been living with type 1 diabetes for 19 years, is a T1D Mindset Coach and the founder of Type One Together. She believes that as a T1D, you are absolutely capable of living whatever life you want and deserve to have the blood sugars that make you feel your best! Join her on Friday to talk about all things mindset, T1D and how your relationship with your diabetes makes all the difference.