Learn to understand and accept your feelings, and live well.
A diabetes diagnosis can turn your life upside down. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Here are some common feelings:
Diabetes doesn’t go away.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve had enough! After 10 years with diabetes, I just want a break. I need a vacation from diabetes!”
Diabetes is demanding.
I have to check my sugar and count my carbohydrates before every meal. I always need to have my meter and wear identification. I have so many doctors’ appointments, it’s ridiculous. It’s like having another job.”
Diabetes is frightening.
Even though I try my best to do all the things I’m supposed to do, I know there’s no guarantee. I might still have complications. That worry is always in the back of my mind.”
So here I am at a job interview. It’s a great job at a great company. I’m trying to focus and make a good impression. Then I had a low and started sweating. It was awful.”
Diabetes is frustrating.
What irks me the most is that after all that work, my numbers still don’t make sense! Should I even bother?”
Diabetes affects friends and family.
I see his anger and frustration and I don’t know how to help him.”
Diabetes is discouraging.
I know what I should do, but I just can’t seem to do it. Maybe I don’t have the energy; maybe I don’t care.”
Diabetes is exasperating.
First it takes 20 minutes before I finally get transferred to the right person. It took another 2 months before I got an appointment with the doctor. Then all the doctor did was look at my logbook and tell me my numbers were too high. I felt lousy.”
Assemble your team. Learn about your disease. Understand your feelings.
Here are some ways to cope:
Never stop learning
Your diabetes management may change as your body changes over time. Treatment for diabetes may also need adjusting. Stay current. Attend a diabetes class. Research treatment developments via the Internet. Talk to your health care team. Ask them for a recommendation.
Share with loved ones
Friends and family care and want to help. But they often don’t know how. Maybe they can make the appointment, or join in at the appointment, or pick up medications. Let them know specifically how to help. Communication is key.
Don’t overcommit. Diabetes demands time and effort.
Learn life management skills
Life in the 21st century is challenging. Learning how to control your own response to life stressors is a valuable skill. Local hospitals and community organizations may offer a myriad of classes, such as stress management, time management, anger management and behavioral change classes.
Support one another
There is something very powerful in interacting with others who have diabetes. The connection is instant. Low blood sugars, high blood sugars and “holes” in the finger are understood without explanations. Being with other people who have diabetes can offer a sense of comfort. Whether it is at your local hospital, diabetes camp or through the Internet, support groups are worth checking out.
Diabetes advocacy improves health care and bolsters research to find a cure. Being a part of this endeavor not only helps to achieve these goals, it makes you feel good about yourself. And when you feel better about yourself, you are more motivated to take better care of yourself.
Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Coping with Your Emotions, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information.