Day in. Day out.
This isn’t just a cold or the flu we’re talking about. This is an every day, every minute, every second job that none of us signed up to take on, but we were handed the duty anyway. Just as with any job that has no breaks, things tend to get to you and wear you down. It’s in these times that you’re the most vulnerable to depression and the highest feelings of anger, frustration and the “What the freak is the point anymore?” syndrome. Some days, you just want to take a break and rejuvenate, but you can’t.
Just this past few weeks, I’ve been having sort of my own WTFITPA syndrome moments. Until Tuesday, I haven’t been able to get a hold on any of my sugars, no matter what I did. I tried every single thing I knew would help and nothing did. My emotional state was beginning to dwindle from my usual (in the spirit of Bob the Builder) “I can fix this!” to “What am I missing??” to “OMG, something is seriously wrong with me” to finally, “Just suck it. I’m doing everything right and it’s not working, so why keep on? Diabetes can just be diabetes and I’m just not trying anymore”…
Which is the worst spot you can get to. As hard as it is, you can’t ever give up on trying to take care of yourself and your diabetes. It’s always going to be there and how you treat it determines how it treats your body. So what to do? How do you learn to keep your cool while dealing with this disease? My answer for me is simple.
When I start getting stressed and overwhelmed, I tap into my creative side. I’m an introvert (and I’ve just learned recently that that is totally OKAY! Not everyone needs to be an extrovert!) and I tend to do my best when I’m in a quiet environment to help troubleshoot problems. Whether it be in my office at home working on pictures, or drawing with paints and oils, or even something as simple as doodling on some sheets of paper. My mind is able to open up and explore and it calms me.
I also try to immerse myself in something else or someone else. Taking time to learn others and to get out of the diabetes mindset even for a little bit relieves the tension for me. Going outside to spend the afternoon with my son and learn from him as well as try to teach him things, or going out on date-night with the hubby and simply letting diabetes take the back seat for an afternoon or evening help to clear the diabetes fog so I can see things a bit clearer.
My advice? Find that something that you can tap into that will allow you to still take care of your or your child’s diabetes, but also allow you to put something else front and center, even if just for a few hours here and there. We can’t take a full break from the disease, but we can take little moments in the midst of the diabetes storm to just put it in the back of our minds to find that one thing (or a couple of things) that brings us back to peace, so we can face it head on again.
This is my first contribution in a while to the DSMA Blog Carnival. This month’s topic is “What can a parent of a child with diabetes, or a person with diabetes, do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?“