May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?
Diabetes isn't just a condition. I can't just deal with it for a minute and then forget.
It's there every second, every minute, every day.
I may not consciously think about it all the time, but it's ALWAYS there.
Diabetes never takes a vacation. (ESPECIALLY not when I take a pump vacation).
And it can be hard.
Usually when I'm really tired and really stressed, I lie in bed at night and think about everything that could happen. The fact that there might never be a cure, that I will actually have to live with this possibly forever.
It gets in my head. What could I have done to avoid that high? That low? Did I forget to carb count? Am I not exercising enough? What if nobody ever wants to date me because of this attachment I have, this extra thing to think about?
Most of the time I push these off to the side. I'm fine, I say, I'm good. I'll be great, and this WON'T get in the way.
But sometimes it does.
Being a teenager is hard enough. We have school (100% academics for me), work, volunteering (which I can't drop because it's one of the best parts of my life), homework to do, projects to complete, movies to watch, books to read, and, supposedly, a social life. (Oh yeah! And apparently boyfriends are a thing. If someone could, like, find me one...)
So it's just not FAIR that I have diabetes to deal with too.
Like I said, it gets into my head. Sometimes it hits me so hard I forget how to breathe and have to sit down for a minute to calm down.
Sometimes I feel so alone I want to cry. I feel like there's no one who really understands.
Sometimes I'm so scared that no one will love me that I want to cry.
Sometimes I can't press the button to deliver that site, that insulin, that finger prick.
Sometimes diabetes gets in my head.
And it hurts.
How do I cope?
I use you guys. I read blogs, watch videos, look at pictures...I realize that I CAN do this, because I am NOT alone. There are so many people out there going through the same things. They understand.
And sometimes, it's okay to be upset. This is a hard thing to deal with.
But the thing is, after it knocks you down, you HAVE to get back up.
And I will.
Diabetes will NEVER stop me.