Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Depressed In The West

I get lots of emails from members of the DOC (diabetes on-line community) and I try my best to answer each one. On occasion, I paraphrase a letter (to protect the writers privacy and keep them totally anonymous) with other DOCers who might have some tips of the diabetes trade for a fellow PWD (person with diabetes) in need of some advice!!


Dear Kelly -

I'm a DOC lurker for over a year now. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 6 and I'm now 22.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what my life would be like if I hadn't been diagnosed and it depresses me.

I worry about my future and my family, I worry about finding and then losing a job with benefits.

Basically, I worry about EVERYTHING.

Do you ever think about never being diagnosed with diabetes? How do I get past the wondering & the worrying ? Depressed In The West

Dear Depressed in the West:

HANG IN THERE! I totally under stand the worry and I find "the what ifs" in life (diabetes or not) to be TOTALLY paralyzing.

What ifs can literally stop us in out tracks and keep us from living the life we want. There was a time in my life that I worried so much about life's what ifs, that I couldn't enjoy the now and it made it really difficult to move forward.

I found a person to talk to about my fear of the "what ifs" and she was a tremendous help!

As far as wondering what my life would be like with out diabetes, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about that. Not that I don't spend my time wondering about things, because I do. I wonder about my future; why people go crazy for the Kardashians,what it would be like to win the lottery, why green makes me happy, and what's the next chapter of this thing called life.

And yes, I worry about the good, the bad & the diabetesalicious of it all~

Honestly, I wonder about a hell of a lot of things!

But wondering what my life would be like without diabetes is like wondering what my life would be like if I was born a man instead of a woman, or a dolphin instead of a human. I can't go back in time and change it- Well, technically, I could change my gender, but I don't want to.

And I certainly can't change my species - Though I have to admit, being a dolphin would be kind of cool -And I'd totally be willing to try it, but just for 1 day ;)

Bottom line: This is my life - not a dress rehearsal, and diabetes is a part of it and it's a very important part of me.

I try and focus on what and where my life is now, as in today- and where I'd like to take it from here.

I know living with diabetes can be overwhelming & scary, but be proud of who you are and how far you've come - broken pancreas and all!

Find a person that you can talk with who can help you focus your efforts on living a great life, continue being an active participant in your diabetes and continue reaching out to your diabetes on-line community - Because you're not alone and we're all in this diabetes life together!

Thanks for emailing & hope this helps!

Sending you a big HUG over the net!


Does anyone else out in Diabetes Land have advice for our friend?


Penny said...

Hi D in the West,
I am glad you are thinking about it, cause thinking is the first step towards change. My daughter was diagnosed at age 6 and she will be 22 one day. What I hope she has learned upon her journey with diabetes is that every day is a gift. I hope that she learns that we can only look forward and not back and not wish for what was or what will never be. I hope she sees how diabetes has shaped her into a remarkable woman, full of kindness, empathy and will to keep on going when the journey is hard. I wish these things for you too.

I hope that you can turn the worry into something productive. My mother always told me when you get too concerned with yourself, get out there and help others and get your mind off yourself. Volunteer. See the other side of things. Sometimes doing that, hel, when I do that, it makes me value what I do have and not what I don't. I hope that the what ifs do not paralyze you from enjoying this one ride we get on this great big blue marble. One ride. One ticket. Enjoy it.

One of my favorite quotes is "Worry does not empty tomorrow of it's troubles, it empties today of it's strength.'

Getting past the worrying and what ifs means we move forward. We enjoy this life we have been given. I hope that others have words of wisdom for you too and that you find your way to incredible you.

Bennet said...

I'll jump in with the not particularly sage observation that Diabetes is in fact a rat bastard. It likes to play mind games with the goal of keeping PWD less than they can be.

All too often diabetes care is talked about in terms of numbers and compliance. Who the hell wants to be a number? As for the compliance bit I have seen enough science fiction to know that the robot overlords from outer space want us to be compliant.

Those robots are not the only ones. Yesterday I wrote about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I wish I had read this first because I would have cast the idea that diabetes care is about numbers and compliance as The Bad. (MTV's casting call would still be The Ugly.) The Bad doesn't see that living with diabetes takes an emotional toll. The Bad doesn't see the whole person with diabetes. It cuts out the emotions, well except the bad stuff like guilt and depression. I think emotional support is every bit as necessary as insulin and from what I hear around the DOC so do a lot of other people who are smarter than I am.

Don't let the the rat bastard focus on The Bad and The Ugly. You are entitled to have The Good too.

Bob Pedersen said...

I find that if I do -something- about what I'm worrying about, even if that something seems pathetic and tiny, it helps. Taking an action takes some of our control of our futures back from the Rat Bastard. (Not that I always manage to take such an action.)

Meri said...

I just want to send Depressed in the West a big (((HUG)))

I don't have diabetes, so I can't give too much advice, but I have three boys who have diabetes, and I worry about those things all the time too. But I have a saying that keeps me going, and that is, "You can't do better than your best."

You can't do more than take care or yourself the best way you can...the rest will work itself out. You aren't alone in all this! The DOC is here for you!

Unknown said...

I have a friend that is currently suffering from depression...she has on and off for years. She has a blog and wrote a revealing post on her struggles. I cannot help but think our challenges and struggles in life do help mold us into who we are in a way. I am not saying diabetes "defines" any one...however, I do think dealing with the day-in and out of the rigors of "D" management do in part play a role in the growth and development of a person.

When I responded to my depressed friend's blog post...I wrote about wondering if we would even be best friends if it weren't for her depression...because in essence it is a part of who she is today...something to ponder.

(((HUGS))) to Depressed in the West!!!

Lindsay said...

Hey! I know that "the west" is a very ambiguous location, but if she is in the Seattle area or Washington state, send her my way. I'm all for more D-buddies!

Anonymous said...

Love yourself. I have been type one for 20 yrs and have had a stroke. I am 32 now and I honestly can't remember not being a diabetic. I look at it as a blessing for me at least. Why you ask? Because it has made me who I am. I am a person who knows how to take care of myself, with healthy food choices and exercise and just healthy living in general. Its not always easy and I do have my breakdowns. but hold your head high and show diabetes who is in charge.

LaLa said...

First I would like to say to K2 - I think it is so wonderful that you respond to the people that take the time to write to you. I think that is so important. If someone is reaching out then they are looking for some help, advice or just a friend. Kudos to you!

Second - Dear DITW - - - I am sending you such big hugs right now. I do not have D but my 2 year old son does. As a mom I cannot help but think about his future and how d will affect him.

The best advice I can give was given to me by my mom --- Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.

Thinking about you and praying for you!