Quick Self-Test: How is your resilience?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2012-11-18 22:23:42 -0600
Started 2012-09-18 19:16:44 -0500

Facing the challenges of a chronic condition like diabetes means keeping yourself going, one step at a time. That’s called being resilient. What’s your resilience like these days?

Here are a few questions to help you to answer that question:

1. Does your mind tend to focus on the possibilities or the limitations? In other words, is the cup half empty or half full?

2. Are you connected with a strong support network, or are you going it alone?

3. Are you taking care of yourself, including eating, sleeping, exercise, and staying compliant with your medication regimen?

4. Are you up to date on the latest information about your condition?

5. Are you keeping your problem-solving skills sharpened?

6. Life is always changing. Are you okay with that?

7. If you do need help, do you reach out and ask?

8. And, do you have a vision for what you want your future to look like?

If you answer no to any of these questions, then it might be the right time to get those resilience muscles toned up. Need some help? Check out my latest article in Living with Diabetes. Here's a link:


55 replies

TsalagiLenape 2012-11-18 22:23:42 -0600 Report

Well Gary as it happens I usually have those questions in my head as self check to keep myself focused motivated and working towards a better life. I already know what I need to do just have a few obstacles in the way, but hope they will be moved and things resolved to my satisfaction. For I have a high level most doctors let alone anyone else has. :) I will check out your article for you and I are like minded. Have a great day!:)

jaf76 2012-10-01 16:25:43 -0500 Report

Dr Gary, I just wanted to say that I read your link and thought it was very good and it gives us all things to think about. I do think that you are right, when you said that we have to believe in ourselves, and to have humor. If I questions can I come to you with them. I am new to being diabetic and my wife is border line. Thank you and God bless

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-11-18 21:44:20 -0600 Report

Hi jaf! Thank you very much. I really appreciate your kind words and encouragment. I am always around, and always happy to hear from you. So let's make sure we stay in touch. You came to the right place for support. And God bless you, too! Gary

MAYS 2012-09-20 17:30:58 -0500 Report

Hello Dr. Gary, I just look at the present day as a challenge, free from yesterday, with a slim attachment to tomorrow. I do whatever is necessary to stay healthy and alive.

Being both productive and proactive are key points that must be addressed daily so that one can keep moving forward at some sort of a pace, rather than backwards.
That not only applies to one's physical health but also to the spiritual, mental, and emotional as well as these can help promote healing, or harm to the individual also.

Your questions in this discussion are all very well thought out, and the attached article is also an excellent one.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-23 19:05:53 -0500 Report


It is always great to hear from you. As I always say, you are the resident philosopher here.

You're right, one day at a time, with a focus on this day! And keeping body, mind, and spirit healthy, as you said so well. So often, it seems that we get focused on physical self-care but neglect the emotional and spiritual sides, but they all work together and, I think wellness is about covering all the bases.

Thanks a lot. I hope you are doing well!


Nana_anna 2012-09-20 12:07:19 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary, to answer these questions related to myself, I try to go with the flow, on all of those questions. Some are hard, like #2, 5, 6, and 7. The rest just fall into place so easily. I am still working on #3, but doing better. I have lost 30 lbs this year, alone, since March. I still have a ways to go. I do use Tae Bo for strength and conditioning. I love it to. I also do light aerobics and cardio three times a week. I am also finding time for relationshiops, and spend time reading and playing with the cats, and watching t.v. with my husband at night.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-23 18:58:23 -0500 Report


It's been awhile. How you doing?

Sounds to me like you are doing pretty well on resilience! That is quite an impressive weight loss, congratulations. I have heard a little bit about Tae Bo, but don't know much about it. But it's excellent that you have found some ways to exercise that you enjoy. Looks like you have found a balance in your life -- relationships are also an important aspect of self care.

Thanks for checking in here!


Set apart
Set apart 2012-09-20 06:06:29 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary, living with D takes resilience which needs to be constant with us! For me I know that living with D for a year now has made me so much more resilient, I won't give up! My regimen is a must exercise, proper diet, listening to my music, taking naps when needed. I love candles and the aromas of fall make me strong. A person has to seek out resilience through their own lives while channeling out the why's in life. We have a choice we can ask why all day long or we can take action and live, I choose to live!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-23 18:52:04 -0500 Report

HI Set apart,

Great to hear from you on this. It sounds like you have a system in place that is uniquely tailored to meeting your needs, in a way that works for you. It's like having your own special toolkit. And yes, taking action is being empowered.

Thanks a lot!


Ms. DAT 2012-09-19 18:42:33 -0500 Report

Yes Dr. Gary I am in pursuit of an degree in Management/Supervision expecting to complete in 2013! Currently taking Business Law 1 online so you know I've got to get the cob webs out of my thoughts!!!!

Ms. DAT 2012-09-19 05:07:56 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary!

Yes my vision for the future is to Live Life To The Fullest Each Day while living with Diabetes because their is no need for denying the fact of I have Diabetes and it is up to me to do ALL I can for me!

I have spent many years providing care for others which I loved and blessed to do wholeheartedly! However, Life is changing for me and coming to the reality of not being able to run to do good things as much as I use to was very challenging for me. I am yet getting use to a new pace in Life and it is ALL GOOD for me to LIVE!!
I keep myself up.
I Look forward to completing my college education with the outcome of a new degree!!!
My sleeping habits haven't been the best due to insomnia but I am working on it. I used to take sleeping aides to help with relaxing but I had to give that up to avoid dependency. I like sleepy time tea!

Even on a bad day I still comb my hair, brush my teeth,etc. and put some clothes on cause I am not the only one in the house, so I don't need to look out of it all day, so I say, " Okay now,lets pull it togetha" haha!! Some days I didn't want to open the shades for the sun to come in but I had to overcome the blues of life such as death of Family members, career change, health change and personal change, friends change and so on.

Well I have seen a few 'diabetes who just didn't give a hoot about how they looked so I carry myself as an example!

Many times my resilience or my bounce back is challenged but giving up or giving out is not an option cause I want to be like the Bunny who takes a licking but keep on ticking!!! haha!
Most of ALL I hold on to Faith, Charity and Embrace Peace!!

This is a very good discussion!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-19 17:45:53 -0500 Report

Hello Ms. DAT, my friend!

Thanks for checking in with your excellent and inspiring reply!!!

You have an incredibly empowered attitude. It sounds like you have been a great blessing to many, many people. And now, maybe it is your turn to reach out for support, as well. I hope that you are getting a lot of support.

It is great to hear that you are getting your college degree. What this tells me is that not only are you NOT letting your diabetes hold you back, you are focusing on seeing the possibilities in life, and are springboarding yourself into the next exciting chapter of your life. Incredible.

Great example of the importance of day to day self-care. Just giving yourself that push to go through the important routines of life, to take the action to look and feel your best, even on those days when you don't look and feel your best! Life on life's terms.

It sounds like you have resilience to spare.

Thanks so much for sharing here. I really appreciate it. And I hope a lot of people read your post.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-19 11:31:42 -0500 Report

Excellent response. I know how you feel. Over the past 3 weeks I have lost 2 cousins but in the midst of it all, a new one was born and she is adorable.

Years ago I use to suffer from insomnia. My therapist gave me relaxation therapy and I bought a tape "Letting Go Of Stress" by Dr. Emmett Miller. Amazon.com sells it for $19.95 on CD and $8.99 to download to your MP3 player. Each segment is about 20 mins. I would darken the room, lay on the bed with pillows under my knees, pop in the tape, put on headphones and go into total relaxation. I would also fill the tub add lavender scented bubble bath and relax.
Lavender is very relaxing try lavender scented aroma in your bedroom it is very calming.

I do not get dressed unless I am leaving my house. After my morning routine I put on jammies (I cannot sleep in jammies)and a t-shirt. I use to not wear shoes around the house but I can't do that anymore because of diabetes. During the winter its flannel jammies or sweat pants.

I agree giving up or giving out is not an option. Once you do that, you are basically doomed. You have to live life to the fullest and solve problems as they arise. Life has obstacles and if one of those obstacles fall at your feet you have to deal with it or you get stuck. I have often wanted to not bounce back but that is because I am frustrated about something so I simply let it go to get rid of the frustration. You have to fight the fights you can win to keep going on a daily basis.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-23 15:32:29 -0500 Report

Hey Joyce, some great ideas to deal with stress. I will check out that tape.

Letting go, pushing beyond the frustration... that's being empowered.

I agree with MAYS, well said!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-23 16:47:09 -0500 Report

That tape (was before CD's) was my life line and I used it every day. With all that I have been through in my life, I never bothered with Motivational Speakers or Self Help books, I learned to empower and motivate myself. At the Flea Market a book dealer sells brand new books at deep discounts. I bought a lot of the Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes books.

You have to be able to help yourself, motivate yourself and empower yourself. This is why I have a strong support system. I don't call them unless I can't find the answer myself. As Ms. DAT said, giving up is not an option.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-23 20:56:29 -0500 Report

Hey Joyce,

Must be an amazing tape. I am definitely going to check it out.

And I agree, we really need to learn how to be our own best motivators. Personal responsibility. But having a strong support group can be a good backup. Yes, Ms. DAT is right on that one.

Hope your Monday is a good one!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-23 21:03:16 -0500 Report

My Monday is going to be horrible but hopefully the rest of the week will be a breeze. I wish I could simply disappear at midnight.

Thanks for your kind comments.

Hope you have a fantastic week.

Ms. DAT 2012-09-24 12:15:27 -0500 Report

Hi Joyce!You to can bounce back from that monkey wrench that came to your doorstep and don't let it hang around you. At times you have to reach beyond your normal surroundings and connect to Faith that will empower you as well.

There are situations when it feels like you can't catch your breath.

Ms. DAT 2012-09-19 14:32:55 -0500 Report

Thank You for the suggestion and reminder about Lavender aroma therapy as well as Eucalyptus aroma is candles and body washes cause some of aromas I have reactions to them. Yes I have to blow the dust of the nature Meditation tapes. That works too!
For the many years I worked night shifts, rotating shifts is a big cause to insomnia.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-19 20:27:12 -0500 Report

Try fresh lavender plants as they have no chemicals in them because they have not been processed.

Rotating shifts are hard on the body. I worked them for 5 years until I got a permanent 3-11 shift. I hated it when I started working at the hospital but it never caused insomnia. When I worked 12-8am, on my last day, I would stay up all day and go to bed around midnight. On 4-12 I slept later in the morning and when I got off work I did what a person does working 9-5. I got a snack, watched tv or read and went to bed 2 hours later unless it was Thur-Sunday. Those were party nights.

Ms. DAT 2012-09-20 01:58:07 -0500 Report

Thanks I will look into the fresh lavender plants.
I love the work that I do and have done whenever the time. I don't let it get me side tracked.
Well everybody has different affects being diabetics so I learned to adjust my personal schedules to do what I have to do even with insomnia.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-20 13:17:41 -0500 Report

Ms. Dat I think we all do what we have to do to stay healthy. My problem is community meetings. I had one last night, two tonight and two next week. I have a bad cold but I must go to one of the meetings tonight. Because many of the meetings start around dinner time, I either have to eat early, eat later or take a snack to hold me till I can eat.

I can get sidetracked based on what is happening in the community. It seems as though as soon as I get everything I need to do on track something throws a wrench in it. So today I am regrouping everything once again.

I hope you enjoy the fresh lavender.

Ms. DAT 2012-09-20 15:32:28 -0500 Report

Hello Joyce! I hope you feel better real soon because having a bad cold it tough on your diabetes and it affects your appetite as well. If it can help, consider adding Vitamin C cough drops in herbal green tea with lemon and honey to take with you when you go to the community meetings. It can help boost your immune system. Take the tea with you on the go. If it a must ask your Dr. if it's good for you and will not cause no counter reaction.

I certainly understand about adjusting to a thrown monkey wrench when dealing with diabetes and the community because those who around me know that I will bring or buy my own food!!!

Until next time Have The Greatest Day possible!! Again I hope you feel better real soon. Keep in touch!!!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-23 21:22:13 -0500 Report

Thanks Ms. DAT. For some reason tea doesn't taste as good as it did prior to my having diabetes. I drink it but it just isn't as enjoyable. I have to find out about vitamin C. I have to look at the list my doctor gave me of things to avoid.

Someone threw a wrench in my life Thursday and ruined my life as I know it for now. I have been numb since then. You can slow me down but you cannot break me. What happens tomorrow will determine if it is the end or if I must continue with the madness that appeared at my doorstep Thursday morning and again Thursday night. Thankfully, I have some support to make it easier. I need to go into hiding.

Added to that, one of my friends father's cancer has returned and I have not been able to visit him because of the cold. I then learned that another friends wife has cancer and as he was caring for her, he went to the doctors only to find his has returned. This is very hard on them. Today I learned another friend lost her stepfather a few days ago.

When it rains it pours. Have a good week. Will see you soon here.

Ms. DAT 2012-09-24 11:34:58 -0500 Report

Yes Joyce! You know what works best for you but I do know that Vitamin C is safe when taken in as recommended. Of course I do not want to suggest anything that will harm you. This tea combination does not have the sweetest taste because it is bitter due to lemon and honey, even cough drops come sugar free. I hope you feel better what ever you decide to do!!!

What you speak , is what will happen, your words have power to them. Change your words for today from defeat and take LIFE one day at a time and choose to let no body determine the outcome of your God-Given Day!

Yes giving up is not an option nor giving out however, there are times when you have to take time pull yourself together, cry if you must and then throw that monkey wrench away and I am careful not to say throw it back at whoever threw it at you (haha) because people that is closest to you can hurt you the most. I really do understand and not to only rely on self empowerment but connect into the Almigthy One Power Source above to Empower You.
I can not Live Life on my own terms and have a Peace of mind so I must connect to the Almighty One! Real Talk!

Yes we have our Pop who lives in another state and he always encourages my Family, well I got a mind to call over this past weekend only to find out that he has been in the hospital all last week undergoing therapy. He always speak with a strong tone but yesterday I heard some weakness in his voice who is a Believer. God put on my heart to play a gospel song to hear and we prayed and he was highly encouraged. I heard him laugh joyfully and said," girl you know what to do" we hung up.

I know that is DC is a wonderful support for each one of us who are Diabetics so here is some Spiritual support Joyce if you don't mind!
Thank you for your hope for my day so I Hope the same for your day as well and week.

CJ55 2012-09-24 12:02:37 -0500 Report

Wow Joyce.. It seems like you are a bit overloaded. I do not know about your life situation, however, my thoughts & prayers are with you sweetie. Try to stay positive and strong for yourself. Know that there are people here on DC who care a great deal about you. Hugz & Prayers
God Bless

Ms. DAT 2012-09-20 15:16:16 -0500 Report

Hello Joyce! I gave an example as to a reason why I suffer with insomnia which may not be the next persons reason and I do certainly understand what it means to care for oneself in regards to outside activities in the community with a bad cold.

I agree with you that you have to adjust your schedule around the community meetings and it takes regrouping especially when a monkey wrench is thrown your way. haha!! I had one thrown my way this past last weekend and I' m still adjusting and yet

I hope you feel better real soon!! Are you including Vitamin C to your dietary regimen?

I have bronchitis at times and herbal tea with the Vitamin C cough drop included helps with soothing the cough as well as boost immune system to fight infection in the lungs and again it helps me and some other family/friends who are diabetics/ non-diabetics who live active lives. No it is not a one cure al but it is an supplement to take on the go. Check it out at your local drug store for the Vitamin C cough drops to see if it can help you feel better or if you need to ask you Dr if it is good for you.

Until the next time Have A Great Day and time at the community meetings!!!

CJ55 2012-09-18 21:42:35 -0500 Report

Very nicely said Joyce. You seem to have a good gripe on all things. Hugz… I do love bunnies & rainbows!!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-19 11:08:31 -0500 Report

Thanks CJ. I have to keep a good gripe on things. I have so many things going on at times that I have to step back and put things in order of importance. Between our two businesses and community work, sometimes I am ready to just go up on the roof and scream. When I crashed around Labor Day it was a break my mind and body needed. The Wednesday after Labor Day the first two calls I got was from our District Commander and our Community Relations Sgt. wanting to know if I was okay. Our Sgt. always wants to take me to the ER and promises me I can play with the lights and sirens all the way to the door of the ER…lol.

I borrowed bunnies and rainbows from my sister. She calls them her "Happy Place" I think we all need a happy place to go to from time to time.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-18 20:44:09 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary,
I must say my resilience wanes at times. Several weeks ago my cup was half full of possibilities an half full of limitations. It seemed nothing was going right in my life. I could not focus on any one thing, I had a hard time reading my books and I simply couldn't think clearly. Everything bothered me from music, tv, my games and even the sunshine. I realized I was simply exhausted. I needed what I refer to as a "Brain Break". I contacted people in the community and the police department and told them unless the city is burning to the ground, do not contact me for five days, I needed a break. Not one person bothered me and it was pure bliss. When the body sends messages, it is wise to listen.

For me diabetes is routine. I try to stay abreast of new information. However, being diabetic isn't my main focus in life. I find that if I stay focused on being diabetic, it would consume too much of my time. I have a support system in place but I rarely need it. My friends and family with diabetes, are there for me should I need them. As much as we communicate, being diabetic is rarely if ever a topic of our discussions.

Life is ever changing and one must roll with it or life can leave you behind. Obstacles can pop up at any time and you have to deal with it. I would rather face a problem head on then put it off till I am ready to deal with it. This keeps problem solving skills sharp. If the problem can't be solved immediately, I step away, clear my head and return to it a few days later or I call someone who can be objective and together we work out a solution.

I have no idea what my future will look like as of right now. I am hoping I get a job before my former boss calls me and ask me to come back to work for her. I simply cannot work for her any longer. She is fun to work for but hard to work with when her ADHD is acting up.

I have to keep a positive out look other wise it could lead to depression and I don't need to add that to the top of my pile of things to deal with. To that end I keep myself busy with community projects, working on restoring our house one room at a time and jewelry making.

Life isn't always bunnies and rainbows. You can have Grizzly Bears and clouds but no matter what you still have to live and be as healthy as possible.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-09-22 07:47:04 -0500 Report

Hi Joyce, I am glad you're feeling better. I just got over a cold with the ending result a fever blister which was the last outlet of the virus, hate this things! I've been a bit tired lately and some I know now is low iron again, and crazy thyroid! I just went on a retreat with work, massage, great food choices thanks to my boss who made sure the chef knew I was there! I am a bt down today, had a message from Endo, who can't figure out why I am dropping protein into my urine, since I have neither high blood pressure, or high blood sugar levels. They're sending me to a nephrologist, to check my kidneys! Talk about going from relaxed to stressed, instantly! I keep telling myself it could be nothing, but then I ask well why would he send me? Resilience has to continue!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-22 18:22:05 -0500 Report

Hi Set glad you are better but sorry to hear of your other problems. I have always had low iron but no problems with thyroid. Low iron can cause you to feel tired at times. I hate taking Iron pills, I had a nasty reaction from one when I was in the hospital 10 years ago. The reaction caused me to lose most of my equilibrium. Horrible feeling.

It is good your boss was thoughtful and notified the chef that you needed a different diet and he prepared it. This way you had meals you could enjoy.

Resilience is good to have. The stress isn't. I had to teach myself not to stress out over impending test or waiting for test results. My doctor said I have no idea what the test will say so think positive thoughts. Easier said then done but somehow I did it. Take care of yourself and get some rest.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-19 17:37:42 -0500 Report

Hey Joyce,

Thank you SO much for your excellent post. So filled with honesty and insight, and so well written.

What I read in your words is someone who is living life on life's terms, who works on having balance in life. It sounds like you are taking excellent care of yourself, and that you have a lot going on in your life, many interests, ways of giving to others. Staying optimistic, seeing the possibilities in life, not focusing on the limitations.

Reading your words was so inspring. I hope your reply gets a lot of eyes. We can all benefit from your wise words!

Thanks again!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-20 20:50:21 -0500 Report

Thanks Dr. Gary,

When you live in an under-served community, you see people suffering from all kinds of illnesses. Many are doing what they can just to survive while others are out having the time of their lives. Some belong to clubs, others travel but the main thing they are not doing is letting their health problems hold them down. Life is never what it is, it is what you make of it.

Yes I am diabetic but when I encounter people who are diabetic, have heart problems, high blood pressure etc…they are not sitting at home moaning and groaning about having a disease or disorder, they are out living life to the fullest.

If you choose to sit in your house day after day and complain about your disorder or constantly talk about it, you drive away your support system. They get tired of hearing it. They also get tired of constantly being needed. If you are able bodied get up, get out and get active. Live life don't let life live you.

I have a friend whose father's cancer returned and his mother is caring for him. I call them just to see how they are. Today I learned another friend had prostrate cancer and now it has returned and even his wife is now suffering from cancer. Neither of them are complaining. They have good and bad days but on the good days they do what they always do and enjoy life.

We all go through trials and tribulations yet it is how we go through them that is important. Sure you can get bogged down and feel as though you can't dig your way out. You have to learn to ask for help when you need it and not ask for help simply because it is available. I am a firm believer in facing life. I get out as much as possible and I do as much as possible. More importantly I always find a way to have fun.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-09-21 14:47:10 -0500 Report

Hey Joyce,

Thanks a lot for the great response.

You have a great attitude. I totally agree that we have an opportunity to make the best out of our lives. Reality but also possibility.

I love your comment about living life and not letting life live you. Excellent.

And some really good points about getting out. I encourage clients to give themselves a push, to live their lives even when they don't feel like pushing themselves, even when they feel like they are going through the motions of life.

I always say take action, and let the feelings catch up. If you want until you are "feeling it," you might be sitting for a long time.

Thanks again! Very inspiring, as always,