We didn't stand in line, freely signing up for diabetes (that would certainly be the shortest line we've ever been in). But now that we have it, and our life assignment is to manage it, how do we ensure that diabetes doesn't have us?
Perhaps it starts with a decision. I remember coming to grips with my diagnosis, over time, and thinking, I'm not going to let type 1 diabetes rob me of my happiness. Decades later, when it comes to living with diabetes, I now prefer to think, I'm crushing it. Since we know that there is no perfect when it comes to diabetes, why do we get trapped into thinking we're not succeeding? Perhaps one's mindset can help produce the results we're looking for and they'll follow suit. It may not be science, but it makes good sense to me.
Being happy and healthy matters. Every now and then I feel like I'm having a meh kind of day with my diabetes. You know the drill: you've done everything right and your blood sugar is high. You even decided to forego most carbs for the day to straighten things up, aka a raw diet day. You drank enough water to basically drown yourself - and your blasted blood sugar is still frustratingly high. Diabetes is a practice. It's a practice of patience and absurdity mixed together. (It's like trying to tame my white-girl fro: it doesn't come easily, especially in humidity.) Everything has its challenges. With diabetes, some days are a breeze, others aren't. You can do the exact same thing today as you did yesterday and get completely different results. That's diabetes. It can be maddening and some days you aren't going to win.
Maturing with diabetes has made me realize that falling victim to feelings of failure is a bore. Celebrating small victories, on the other hand, fills the soul. My blood sugars are on point this week, I rode my bike 5 miles, I nailed a new job, I feel great today, I ate like a champion this week. Whatever rings your bell, connect with it. You may be thinking, "This woman is silly, whatever." Well, maybe it's time to eat some Chinese food. I know, it's the worst for blood sugars (so eat half of your plate). It's the fortune cookie that I'm going after anyhow. Whether your fortune is silly, inspiring, or laughable, they're always great.
- You are worthwhile
- Be kind to yourself
- Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest
- People learn little from success, but much from failure
- Don't be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams
- If you want the rainbow, you have to tolerate the rain
Don't get me wrong. I'm not always happy. I complain, I get frustrated, I can be annoying as hell! I'm sure of it. But I don't hold a grudge against myself. I let one day roll into another without letting it define me, and I'm killer at eating well and exercising. I try my best to let the small stuff roll right off of me. Diabetes can't steal our happiness unless we allow it to. Find what gives you joy and do more of it; start a gratitude journal; be kind to yourself; look on the bright side of life. Thank your body for everything it can do rather than scorn it for what it can't.
Where do you find joy? It may take some elbow grease to rub off life's tarnish, but you may just find what has been hiding underneath, shining all along.