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Mental Health

Hi,

I am 23 years old and have been living with type 1 diabetes for 7 years. I am good at keeping my sugars in control and all the extra work that goes into managing diabetes. However, I feel that the mental impact of diabetes is causing me more harm than the physical affects. I am very secretive about my diabetes and when someone finds out, by accident, that I have type 1 diabetes, it really bothers me and I hate it when people feel sorry for me. It is for this reason that I keep going off of the insulin pump because I do not want people to ask me what it is and then I have to explain what I have. Sometimes I feel like I am broken and there is no way to fix what I have. I really want to accept and be at peace with my diabetes but I am finding it very hard to do so. It has been a long 7 years of battling this. I do have friends and family that care about me, but they just don’t understand. I have come on this forum to ask you guys how you deal with the acceptance of diabetes and how some you have come to peace with it. I really need your help to overcome this as it is really affecting my daily life negatively. I would really really appreciate any advice!!

  • #122710
  • Hi,

    Good day!!

    I have read your above comments very carefully as usual, but this time, I have gone through it twice more than that, as to figure out what might be best possible remedial tips which may truly start working for you, despite I am not a healthcare professional rather a diabetic since 2002, but I feel comfortable when suggesting few tips carefully from life experiences & observations. as all of us here are sailing in the same ship, so I mean to tell that perhaps diabetics may help each other themselves more effectively.

    From your above extract, couple of things at the first place:

    1 – Start believing that you are TID without your own fault. Just try it!!!! (at least for few weeks please & see the result)
    2- Positive aspect based on your comments reflects that you have been doing well since 7 years, so you are quite determined & already have strong will power as well.
    3- Another favorable thing for you is, you have caring family members,close friends & love ones around you.

    Based on my assessment (may be wrong or partially incorrect please), I can see 2 things which have been causing you uncomfortable.

    1- Willingness to keep it secret.
    2- Sometime your close one’s / love ones do not understand you properly, in a way, you need to be.

    Interestingly both of the above, (if these are correct & valid), may be resolved by following below tips:

    1- If you have accepted it mentally & whole heartedly then, please not to be afraid of getting it knowing by others. Because millions of have it all alone in US only apart from other part of the globe. Believe me, things have been changed since past many years even for the last few decades, people around generally don’t take it as a disability, after getting knowing about T1D of someone. Even most of them will not think about much more beyond TID & not more than even for few seconds, that it is the disorder in which people have to take injections & relevant stuff & like that, it is really we are, who generally & most of us, just start thinking at our own, that, what will people thing about my TID? will they take it in this way or that way? while in reality, people around, will not be even interested or bothered to think about all of these stuff, really!!!
    As regards your pump wearing. Please take it immediately & don’t let it go please for the sake of others. You & your life are precious, regardless of the opinions of the others. I may suggest lightly (in a requesting note), that try to start it taking lightly without first thinking that, Oh, it has been disclosed to someone? if it is there then it is! so what?
    You may think about & consider that millions /billions have been wearing glasses/contact lenses for the eye-sight disorder since past so many decades, so what? should they get off glasses only for the reason that glasses/ lenses may be known to others? Similarly, millions wear hearing aid device for hearing disorder. Other examples may be cited please, but I think my objective have done.

    Unlike above examples,Only difference is that site of the pump located mostly there, where it is not visible easily, that’s why it catches the eyes of the others quickly & further it is relatively new in culture, which will take the time to become usual as like glasses & hearing aid devices & I am sure that after few years ahead, people will not ask you about it. Another possible remedy is to remain calm, when you have been again asked for the same, take a delay in react, just tell them, it is alike glasses for eye-sight correction or hearing aid device for hearing disorder & likewise, I am wearing it to correct my insulin disorder. Try not to be too short or too long in explaining it please. Gradually, you will see that frequency of asking will go down as the people around you to whom you have been seeing frequently / regularly will eventually know & will stop asking.

    As regards extending sympathies by others, just follow a simple rule, we can’t change everyone or many ones, but yes, we do modify our self to handle such situations more effectively. In my opinion, just think, that it is a formal cultural tradition & nothing serious in that, a way which have been in place for centuries, like, what to say to a close one/ friend? when you heard some unpleasant news about someone in his/her family? Surely, we have certain words/sentences to say in that scenario according to the situation. Same/similar have been applicable to TID as well. After all, no body can greet or say congrats to anyone after getting knowing of his/her T1D. For example,

    One thing is quite important, you feel sometime broken, yes, it is a reality, because everyone having TID have to take it burden around the clock without any break. There is no Sunday in the line of TID. So, it is like a feeling that someone get too tired after a day long hectic job & returned home in a mood, not to go again on tomorrow, but in reality it doesn’t happen in more than 99% cases. Similarly, these burdens make us tired, more tired, sometime to a level of frustration & up to an extent of giving it up, but we have to re-build our passion again & again. Best example is you as well, that, despite all happenings you have been doing well for last few years, which means, you have spirit, courage & passion all the time, only need to get it refreshed time & again to keep doing well & keep going!!!

    As regards the problem of caring /understanding by friends/love ones, it is quite normal please. Actually no one can have the same or good frame of mind all the times. So, it does happens. Try not to think about these things again & again, and try to make you believe that all these are normal & nothing wrong in that, provided if you are going well with your numbers.
    Yes, off-course, you may choose to keep posting here, sharing here & giving feedbacks here which may help you a lot!!
    Since, I have seen that this forum is superb to discuss anything about T1D & its associated things.

    GOOD LUCK & STAY BLESSED!!!

    Kind regards,
    Munir Nara.
    (Lahore 33C, 1322 Hours)

  • #122714
  • Hi Good day there!!!

    Couple of few more thoughts for you, specifically referring to your question regarding people asking & inquired too much.
    One of the possible solution is that, first you need to be pre-determined that I wouldn’t mind that, then take a delay to respond, and tell them softly, it is AP. If someone ask more & go on, then you just need to tell them, “well fine, if you are interested in knowing more details about it, then I will send you informative article on it which will make you understand it much better than I could do”

    Probable outcomes might be different, but in anyway it will help you to get rid of it these situations. People, who are curious to know about it really, will don’t mine to share their email ID or any other contact source & people who are just over curious & just moving the things here & there will understand automatically that their too much questions really bothering you.

    I may guess, that sometime you get flare up (it is a guess only, pardon me please, if I am wrong), if this is the case, then let me assure you that you just need to be more strong mentally. After regular trials despite few failures in between, you will surely & 100% be able to develop the habit of taking delay in responding/reacting to anything which make you feel irritating & getting on your nerves. This will help you to do better with your close ones/love ones & eventually you will start feeling that your love ones understand you better than before. Further, you may participate here actively & when you get lot of good words/advises/suggestions then few things out of those will truly work for you & you will get better for sure.

    I am sure, that key of getting your life easy, lies in the fact, that let people come to know about your T1D. As soon as & as early it happens then eventually your life will get easy automatically. It will give you some benefit as well, like, if few of them around you, valued you due to the fact they are not aware of T1D & will take another way as soon as they know it, then it is better for you, though painful for a time being, but in a longer run, it is good for you. By virtue of this, at least you can be sure that whosoever valued you even after knowing about T1d, are your true & sincere friends so others would be filtered out.

    Giving examples of myself are not good to me, but in an effort to re-compose/ boost up your broken spirit, let me tell you that I am living in a third world country where life is miserable for a diabetic (applicable to majority exceptions are those who are well off).We can’t even think of good quality medications rather pump/CGM are dreams only. Treatments are too costly to afford. So, consider yourself one of the lucky person that you have all the relevant stuff before hand. Therefore, it is my humble request to you please, that kindly don’t take off your pump in any case. Please take it immediately to stay healthy!!!
    Life is precious & good health can make it more enjoyable. Keep your hopes alive.
    Days are not far away when there will a cure someday. Considering your age bracket, you might be one of the most beneficiaries, if cure is supposed to happen in next 5 -7 years then you will still have much more to cheer!!!

    Stay Blessed!!!

    Kind Regards,
    Munir Nara
    (Lahore 38C, sunset here, 1912 Hours)

  • #122717
  • hi @hotdog93, this post probably has a doctorate thesis in it somewhere. I spent many years depressed and it took my life and my world practically falling apart before I could come to some kind of acceptance.

    @munirnara has given some fine information. all I want to add is this: since you were about 16 when you experienced severe trauma, the feelings you hold on to will kind of stay that age forever. There isn’t anything you can really do about that except recognize it. It took me 10+ years of therapy (group and individual) for me to reach an understanding of my thinking, my feelings, and to extend a kind of forgiveness to myself of (what I believed to be at the time) the utter failure and total embarrassment of my loss of good health. This is a real loss, and like the loss of a loved one, grieving and acceptance can be very difficult to achieve, and maintain.

    I do not strive for perfection anymore. I try to go easy on myself, and I have good and bad days. Pump holidays are a good idea, if only to change things up once in a while. There are days I hide my pump in my pocket, there are days when I don’t try to hide it. The battle ends when you put down your guns. The battle loses importance when you realize you are just fighting with yourself (guess who always loses that battle?)

    Some key things for me on this journey: I am human and basically flawed, in in these flaws there is understanding, empathy, and growth for me. When I help others, it helps me more. Everybody has some kind of boat anchor to drag, or conversely, I remind myself daily of all the things I am grateful for.

    hope you are doing ok.

  • #122718
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