Click for the The Other Half of Diabetes - Tuesday 5/17 Link List.We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)How does diabetes affect me (and my loved ones) mentally or emotionally? How does it not affect us all? There is a reason I firmly believe people with diabetes should spend time with mental health professionals. It isn't people with diabetes are crazy, it is the fact diabetes is a crazy game and can change at the drop of a hat. Anything and everything impacts it. It is a lot of handle. And comprehend. And still be a well-adjusted adult.
A doctor once suggested I see a psychiatrist. I rolled my eyes but went. And it helped. It became a type of "safe place." I was able to vent and yell and cry if needed. I was able to complain about how much it stunk having to count every single gram of carbohydrates. The bonus for me was this psychiatrist specialized in people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. They may not completely understand my illness but they understand it and its nuances far better than most.
Mental health isn't an option for everyone though. In fact, it currently isn't an option for me because the doctor's office hours do not jive with my work schedule and he is über popular and it is extremely hard to get an appointment. You know what works just as well? Friends. Puppies. The diabetes online community (doc). I have met some incredible people through the DOC. Most only online but some in person. And just as I get them, they get me. I can shoot a quick note about the excitement of a device free shower and they get it. I can break down in tears from a horrific low blood sugar and they don't tell me to grow up. The best part is, I don't have to hide any aspect of my life from them because they get it. All of the components to my life as a person with diabetes can be overwhelming and exhausting and those without it can become tired and just want you to shut up if you go on and on and on. I have to be honest, usually I go on and on an on because I'm just sharing my normal life as others go on and on and on about their kids but also to continue to always attempt to educate others.
Those friends, whether they belong to the DOC or not, are crucial to survival. My puppy also helps me with the mental and emotional parts. Rocky isn't a puppy anymore -- he is eight years old but I still treat him as a puppy. And he is all about snuggling. He also seems to always know when I'm about to break from just being over all of this and refuses to leave my lap. Those few moments of curling up with him put me at peace and make everything seem perfect in the world. He is really the only living creature I release any tears to. He doesn't judge. He just loves me unconditionally. Everyone should have a Rocky in their life.