Wow, am I ever frustrated! Said this lately?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2011-05-26 12:54:10 -0500
Started 2011-05-23 22:43:41 -0500

When was the last time you were frustrated enough to _____________ (cry, scream, shout, over-eat, run and hide, or whatever your typical reaction to frustration is)?

It seems like life gives us a lot of reasons to feel frustrated. These days, daily life gives us any number of reasons for our frustration button to be pushed hard. You name it, the weather, the economy, our jobs, family… and facing the day-to-day challenges of a chronic condition.

I often read posts here on Diabetic Connect from members who talk about how frustrated they are. Family member may be unsupportive. Healthcare providers may be hard to communicate with. And then there are the ups and downs of managing blood sugar levels, and all that goes along with that job.

It is only human to feel frustrated when life seems to be throwing one curveball after another, to ask questions like “what is this happening to me?” Lingering frustration can be a “gift” that keeps on giving. It can bring up a lot of strong feelings that may be hard to sort out. It can make you wonder if there is anything you can do to fix things, and if you should even bother to try. Frustration can leave you with a pretty bleak view of your future.

Here are some ideas to consider the next time something pushes your frustration button.

Some venting may help. Sometimes it can help to just sit down with someone who can be a non-judgmental listening ear, and ask them to just let you vent about your feelings. It can be helpful to release those pent up emotions, to let them out in the air rather than keeping them bottled up inside. You might want to let your listening ear know that you just want to talk and aren’t asking them for advice, unless you want their advice.

Vent, but not too much. There is a very fine line between venting in a way that can give you some release, and venting that becomes unproductive. If you find that you can’t let go of what’s causing your frustration, if you find yourself going over and over it in your mind, or with other people, then you may be making yourself feel worse. This is called rumination. In the process of going over and over whatever is frustrating you, you may also feel more and more helpless and hopeless. This can affect your compliance with your medication regimen, your lifestyle, and your relationships, as well as increase your stress level.

Ask yourself: How much control do I have? Frustration is about control or, more like it, feeling that some part of your life is out of control. You might want to use some mindfulness here. Stand back and take a look at the situation as if you were an uninvolved observer. What’s going on with that person – you – and what’s happening in the situation that he/she is frustrated about? What is in that person’s control? What isn’t? This may help you to get a perspective on what’s going on.

And then ask yourself: What can I change and what can I fix? By taking a more objective look at what’s bothering you, you can begin to sort out what aspects of your problem you can actually do something about and which ones may be less in your control. Acceptance is the beginning of a more peaceful attitude. Knowing what you can change is the beginning of empowerment. Understanding both will help you to find your way out of your frustration.

Show yourself some compassion… and patience. Frustration can result in beating up on yourself which can, in turn, affect your self-image. Go easy on yourself, tell yourself that you are facing a lot and that you are doing the best you can under the circumstances, and that you will find a way to face his challenge, as you have faced others in the past. Turn your compassion outward. If you can stop blaming yourself you will also be less likely to blame others.

Get involved in activities you enjoy, and with people you enjoy them with. Take time for activities that give you pleasure and help to keep you calm. Get together with friends or family members that you enjoy. Basically, distract yourself from all that frustration. Reach out and celebrate what’s going well in your life.

Don’t neglect your spirit. If you have religious or spiritual practices that are part of your life, or that you want to make a part of your life, there is no time like the present.

Be patient. The world doesn’t run on our personal clock. Things take time. This includes managing medications, getting diet and lifestyle on track, and communicating with healthcare professionals and loved ones. Bumps along the road don’t have to mean that the road can’t be traveled with some work and a new strategy. In the meantime, don’t neglect your self-care – this is not a time to neglect yourself.

Strategize with someone who can help. Speaking of strategizing, it can be helpful to talk with someone who can help you to brainstorm on solutions to whatever situation is causing your frustration. This should be a person who can help you to look at things objectively, who can help you to consider things from various angles, and who might have some suggestions. It’s not this person’s job to solve your problem for you, just to help you to open up to what’s possible, to help you gain some perspective. Support groups can be helpful here.

Consult the experts. Talk to people who can offer you professional advice. This might mean a conversation with your physician or a diabetes educator, or another medical professional.

Consider reaching out to a mental health professional. If you are feeling overwhelmed by frustration, if it is affecting your attitude, causing self-doubt, or conflict with loved ones or other people in your life, or interfering with your self-care in any way, this may be a good time to consult with a mental health professional. Don’t go through this alone.

How do you handle the frustrations of life and keep your wellness on track? It would be great to hear from you!

13 replies

Pynetree 2011-05-25 09:48:10 -0500 Report

Your words are so wise…and I almost feel like you are directing them at me - right at this particular time. I have been letting frustration pile up…resulting in lousy sleep, junk eating and this constant feeling of anxiety. But today I'll be writting them out. Had a talk with my husband just now and we're going to go out today and hopefully I'll feel better…and sleep better! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-25 18:21:55 -0500 Report

Hi Pynetree, thanks so much for your kindness.

Glad you found something of value here. Sounds like you are aware of your own personal alarms that let you know that you have reached the limits of your frustration tolerance. When you are aware of these signs, then you can take that step back, look at what's going on, and reach out for support. I great idea to get out for awhile, get a change of scene, spend some time with someone you care about.

And thanks for sharing your perspective.

Hope you had a great day!


PetiePal 2011-05-25 08:42:00 -0500 Report

Great post.

I broke up with my gf of nearly 3 years in April. Just wasn't working out, she was treating me badly and I couldn't see myself spending my life with her or having her mother my children etc. That was a rough point, but getting out and spending time with my friends (even having to drag myself out to do it) always made me feel better. After a nearly 2 months I've gotten back into my "single swing of things" and I'm happy just to be me and do the things I like.

For me I handle stress by:

-Constantly listening to music. It really does regulate mood
-Trying to keep active. A little fun volley game of tennis here, work softball there, walking the dog, the gym etc
-Keeping positive
-Remembering the things I have to be grateful about
-Rewarding yourself sometimes and not always being the "bad cop"
-Talking with friends/family
-Games, they help to relieve stress

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-25 18:16:04 -0500 Report

Hey PetiePal,

It's been awhile since we have been in touch. Thanks a lot for replying. I am glad this was helpful to you. And some really good ideas for maintaining your frustration tolerance. Having a positive attitude can go a long way toward keeping frustration in check. And glad to see that Diabetic Connect is on your list.

Thanks again, and have a great rest of the week!


PetiePal 2011-05-25 18:24:24 -0500 Report

If you remember some frustrations I had at work the past year due to an unnamed coworker who was a real PAIN in the butt lol, he's actually been fired back in February. Hence I've been running everything my own and it's kept me supeeeeeeeer busy. I try to get on in spurts when I can or evenings when I'm not exhausted :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-26 12:48:31 -0500 Report

Glad to hear that the interpersonal tension at work has been reduced, that is very good news. But it sounds like you are pushing yourself hard. I hope you are working in some downtime and, as you say, working in some of your stress reducers. Take care of yourself!

PetiePal 2011-05-26 12:54:10 -0500 Report

Ugh not lately! It's so busy at work that I'm working more than 40 hours a week and it's been pretty stressful. I'm hoping that I get a contractor soon to help out with the "bitch work" but with an office-move in July things are breakneck speed.

We'll see though, hopefully mid summer things will slow down. I've got all my vacation days lol

crazygirl777 2011-05-24 12:49:32 -0500 Report

Wow, that is a lot to think about there! I guess the ways I handle my stress kind of differs from day to day. Some days I hold it in (which I know isn't good for me) because there are too many other issues going on with my kids and I need to handle those. Sometimes I find that just being needed by my children lessens my frustrations a little. It may not solve the problem, but it gives me a break from having to work on it and later on I can deal with it more clearheadedly. Other times I talk to my husband, who is the only person who really has taken the time to try and understand what is happening to me and has gone to many of my appointments with me to get a handle on what I need to do and what I need from him in the way of support and help in an emergency. Then there are the times when I need to just write it all out which I do in the form of either songs or poetry, which seems to help the most. I get lost in my own world when I write and then I can always find a solution to what is stressing me out and figure out what I need to do. Most of the time I end up stressing out over things I have no control over. I HATE not having control and find it very hard to handle. I also have been helped a lot by coming here to this site and talking to people (for the very first time) who have the same or similar troubles that I have. I am so glad this site is here and I find it so useful and friendly and supportive!! I've met some great people here!! It's a lot easier to stay on track when you have multiple ways to get out your frustrations. Sometimes though, we all just need to scream…cuz it truly just isn't fair at all. No one should have to live with this condition, and I can only hope that they find a cure quickly!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-24 14:56:15 -0500 Report


I really appreciate your honesty. I know you are dealing with a lot.

I think that the best way to managing stress and frustration is to find your own personal pathway. Having someone in life like your husband is really a blessing. Having a creative outlet is fantastic, being to write out your feelings, and even turn your frustrations into art, is a great way to release the feelings, and to sort out what's making you feel that way.

And giving to others who count on us for care and support can also lessen our own burden in the process. When we give, we are also given.

You are not alone in wanting to have complete control over your life. In fact, you are probably joined with every human on the planet. It is the human condition. One lesson we learn from chronic conditions, as with other things that we see happening to us and around us, is that life is random. The greatest lesson any of us can learn is to face life on life's terms.

And yes, giving out a good old holler once in awhile can help to let out some of that steam that builds up.

It's great to be in touch again. I hope you are having a good week.


crazygirl777 2011-05-24 17:57:53 -0500 Report

My week's been filled with busy, busy and more busy!! But, overall, minus one bad pain filled day, it's been awesome! Thanks mostly to the people here that is. I really needed a lot of extra support and sure found it here. There's been a lot of medical problems with our children & it's been hard. My sugar's have risen due to the stress, but talking with people here has enabled me to relax & let go for long enough to allow my body to slow down & relax. This site is truly a blessing & I wish I would have known about it earlier! Thanks to you also for taking the time to make such thoughtful posts &also for taking the time to read my response & answer me too. I am learning bit by bit how to deal with this condition & every piece of information helps me. I also love helping others whenever I can, with whatever I can. I also believe when I help others, I am in turn helping myself. I would so much rather give than receive!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-25 08:48:11 -0500 Report

Good morning!

Thank you for your kind words. Anything you can do to keep yourself centered, to keep the stress under control, is all for the good. Have you tried breathing exercises? You might find that helpful if you aren't doing that already. Just sitting in a quiet place and counting your breaths can help.

We all give and receive here on Diabetic Connect. It is really a miracle what happens here with people connecting with each other and offering support, information, encouragement.

Always great to be in touch!

I hope you have a good day,


majikinfl 2011-05-24 09:49:04 -0500 Report

You gave lots of food for thought. For me living alone and without family…I can shout and cry or scream pretty much without anyone hearing. I write in my Journal after "counting to 10" used to be a plate or box of oreos or chocolate chip cookies and a big glass of milk. Now I try to have none but sometimes cannot help myself but I give in and have one or 2 cookies and a small glass of milk. I try to distract my craving by reading the Bible or doing my Sunday school lesson and Now I have Diabetic Connect and a few other sites to go to and read until the cravings go away. I find scribbling my feelings on paper helps…I can burn them later or I can put some of the thoughts in my journal for later help. Electronic logs/diary don't work for me, has to be paper and pen/pencil.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-24 11:57:18 -0500 Report


Great to hear from you. Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply to my post.

Journaling is a great way to deal with frustrations. Write all about them, work them out on paper. There is a lot to be said for good old paper and pen.

I you have some supports in your life, people you can call upon, even by phone, to touch base with, and to provide you with an anchor from time to time. And I am real glad that you are in touch with us here on Diabetic Connect, glad to have you among us.

Stay in touch!

Take care,