Is Diabetes A State of Mind?

Posted on June 2, 2011


When I first starting thinking about the idea of diabetes being a state of mind, I brushed it off.  No, diabetes is a physical disease that does affect our psyche, spirit, etc.  But is it a state of mind?  Hmmmmm… I had to think about that one. 

Obviously, the idea intrigued me because I could not let it go.  A state of mind.  I am what I feel?  What I think?  What I believe?  What am I? 

No seriously, I clearly am a type 1 diabetic of 38 years.  My body requires insulin to survive.  No doubt about that.  I test my blood sugars like a maniac 11 plus times a day, eat  healthy meals/snacks, and exercise, exercise, exercise. 

But what about my mind?  Can I control how I feel about my diabetes?  What I think about my diabetes?  How I respond to my diabetes?  How I treat my diabetes?  Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.  Is it necessarily always easy?  No. No. No. No.

However, living with diabetes is not suppose to be easy.  Diabetes is a disease.  Dis – ease.  Without ease.  I would say diabetes falls into the category.  But that does not make it bad or negative.  Easy is boring to me after awhile.  Diabetes  makes my life challenging, insightful, and even rewarding. 

Rewarding because I think it is rewarding.  Think about that.  Is diabetes rewarding?  Initially, it is easy to think that diabetes is terrible.  And don’t get me wrong.  I am not Mrs. Positive all the time.  I have moments where I hate my diabetes (hate being a very strong word). 

I try to make it positive.  What good does negativity do?  It only adds fuel to the fire.  If my blood sugar is really low or really high I already feel like crap.  So, instead of getting caught up in the negativity of the moment, I try to focus on fixing the scenario and the good stuff in my life.  I eat something high in carbs if my blood sugar is low and go and watch a show I like or get online (leaving the kitchen so I don’t pig out, and then doing something I enjoy to take my mind off the low).  Same with a high.  Distraction perhaps.   

But it works.  When I take my mind off the low or high blood sugar it seems like I start to feel better faster – physically and mentally. 

The same with my perception of diabetes.  If I went around all day long thinking and saying “why me”, that would be a pretty sad life.  When instead, I could put that energy towards creating a great life.  Living and loving whatever I choose to do even with diabetes.  Not letting diabetes stop me. 

By living my life with diabetes, I am creating happiness and joy.  Diabetes is always with me (24/7), but that is okay.  I do not have a choice.  Diabetes was given to me.   I can do it.  I can live my life.

Even on those days when it seems so unfair and miserable, I can survive.  Like when I woke up in the back of an ambulance.  I was pregnant at the time and keeping my blood sugars super tight.  Too tight.  I bottomed out so bad during the night that my husband had to call the paramedics.  I woke up enroute to the ER.  I was ashamed and felt guilty.  What if I had hurt the baby?  What did the neighbors t hink?  The baby was fine, the neighbors were cool, and I recovered.  But it was a low moment. 

Those moments will happen (even if you don’t have diabetes), and they will pass if we find the strength to forgive ourselves and our diabetes.  I have learned not to linger over the crazy moments of diabetes (and life in general).  Things are gonna happen.  And when they do, I have to remember it is a state of mind.  I create how I think, feel, respond, and treat my diabetes.  No one else is responsible.  Just me.  So why not make it positive.  Or at least try. 

Here’s to a positive diabetic Day!

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