Can I make a confession?
It has now be over six months since being diagnosed with diabetes. I’ve worked diligently in keeping normal blood sugar levels. I’m eating better, intentionally exercising everyday and setting boundaries that keeps me stress free, but yet, I still find myself feeling sad and on the verge of tears, grieving the loss of my self before diabetes.
You’re probably thinking, “Seriously? You’re kicking diabetes’ butt! You should be excited about all of your accomplishments!”
And don’t get it twisted, I am thankful to God to have made it this far in such a short amount of time. But being transparent, I miss the times when my husband and I could go to a new restaurant to eat without being concerned about the amount of carbs I should have. Family trips to the local ice cream shop on a weekend afternoon or going to a festival and eating a small treat. Being able to conduct business or causally enjoying my loved ones without having to carefully calculate the time I should eat while out and whether to take my medicine with me in the event I stay out past my dinner time. I miss having energy in being able to finish a tasks in one day like cleaning.
I MISS ME….
Bruce Lambert, PhD wrote a blog in 2017 on Chronicality.com called “The Real Pain of Chronic Illness: When Sickness Steals Your Identity”. He interviewed several patients regarding about their views on what they thought was the biggest challenge of suffering from a chronic illness. It was revealed that “..the loss of self, the loss of the person you were before you got sick, and the dreams are what caused the most enduring and challenging types of suffering.”
We being to experience loss of ourselves when the body starts to fail us. The symptoms of the illness itself and the side effects of some of the medications could prevent us from accomplishing tasks and activities that we used to do.
Friend, it’s alright to grieve who you once were as long as you don’t allow your grief to consume or interfere with the life you’re living now and the progress that you’ve made battling with diabetes.
Diabetes is a daunting illness that affects many parts of your body. It can make you feel that you are on a never ending emotional roller coaster and can be limiting, but it’s our choice to not make it a death sentence.
You will go through some very rough times, but is it up to us to rewrite our future by choosing to fight instead of giving up.
Continue to be a good steward over your body. Continue to eat well, intentionally exercise and stay active, take medicine if needed and set healthy boundaries to stay stress free. When you’re taking care of your body, you will start feeling better enough to be do some or modify the tasks and activities that you were used to doing before diabetes.
Discover creative activities to replace the tasks and activities that you were used to doing. For example, spend time with your loved one by exercising together, taking a class, visiting parks and museums instead of eating out. Have picnics instead of buying fast foods.
Focus on creating memories without placing too much emphasis on food.
We can never be who we once were, but once we complete our grieving process and accept the life we have been given, then we will be able to embrace who we are now.
I’ve heard a quote that “difficult roads often leads to beautiful destinations”. Stay strong and vigilant in the battle and you too will also see the beauty in this journey.
Until Next Time,
The Genetic Diabetic