Our topic for today is What Brings Me Down. 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? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
What brings me down with regard to diabetes? Honestly? Quite a few things, but probably not what most would first think.
One: Diabetes drama in different groups/clubs/networks, etc. It isn’t about what kind of diabetes you have, how you manage it, how involved you are, we all have diabetes, can’t we all just support one another? Why is it a competition? I absolutely hate the finger pointing, the negativity, attacking. Quite frankly, it’s discouraging to me.
Two: I get really fired up, once or twice a year, when I get stuck in the “my disease is a business” mindset. It’s a very unique position to be in when you’re diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 25, are very involved with JDRF (in many capacities), work in the diabetes industry, and try to navigate the intricacies of DoD insurance. I continue to devote time, effort and money to varying organizations that are helping to improve technologies, and ultimately, find a cure. However, diabetes is one of the BIGGEST businesses in this country, and when our society continues to be reactive with regard to health, rather than proactive, I get very discouraged that a cure will be found at any point, because our economy would take a huge hit. Sad, but really, true. Again, this only crosses my mind on occasion and it’s usually short lived, but still. Ugh.
Three: I do not get depressed from the physical aspect of having diabetes. What I do get depressed about, is the mental and psychological aspect that we as individuals with diabetes live with on a non-stop basis, and will for the rest of our lives. Nobody really sees or understands diabetes, a very big portion of the time. It’s carrying that constant burden of such demand that really is just fucking depressing! My numbers, are great. I know how to manage my stress, fine. But my brain? It takes a beating.