I am currently studying clinical mental health counseling and have been learning so much about the mind-body connection and how it affects one’s mental health. All of this new knowledge has brought me back to the days of my T1D diagnosis and some education that I feel may be missing during those first few critical days and months following diagnosis.
When I was first diagnosed, the number one thing I remember the doctor and nurses continually telling me was that I could do everything anyone else does, it just takes a few extra steps. And while this is a very true statement, it minimizes the true day to day impact that Diabetes has on all our lives. Because sometimes those few extra steps feels like a steep mountain to climb. And when you are faced with climbing several of these mountains each day and even throughout the night, it can get burdensome, tiring, and just plain annoying real quick. And sometimes it is necessary to stop that climbing and feel that burden. Feel that sadness and let your body sit in it for a while. In our world’s culture, happiness often seems to be the only acceptable emotion to have. But all the emotions, whether that be sadness, anger, jealousy, fear, or happiness, are meant to be felt. And as T1D warriors we do not need to put on a brave face all the time.
It is ok to get sad, to get stuck in the mud that is life with Diabetes and lay there for a moment. It is ok to cry in the middle of the night during a low over the loss of that ‘simple’ life and wish things were different. It is ok to be scared to go to sleep at night with fear of not waking up. It is ok to get angry when your carb counting does not work out and you end up high and miserable. And it is darn ok to not be ok. Because Diabetes is hard. And the mountains will not stop. But we will not stop either. Because we are fighters, and we are brave, and we got this!So when you are having one of those days, let the sadness come and stay for just a little while. And then as the sadness begins to pass, surround yourself with those who lift you up. And continue to walk with them in this crazy journey that we call life.