Diabetes got you down? How do you bring more meaning into your life?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2013-07-29 18:56:42 -0500
Started 2013-07-24 21:24:04 -0500

Living with a chronic condition often causes us to ask a lot of questions that we haven’t really thought about before. The most obvious one is: “Why me?” Others might include “What’s really important in my life?” and “How do I find a greater sense of purpose beyond what I am experiencing day to day?”

Life is a journey. Ups and downs, twists and turns. Each day gives us a new opportunity to have a more meaningful life. To find meaning. To create meaning.

Here is an article about meaning that I recently posted:


To be honest with you, one of the most meaningful parts of my life is spending time right here! What about you?

How do you bring meaning into your life? Through spirituality and religion? Spending time with people you care about? Giving of your time? Taking walks in nature? Doing things you enjoy? Your work?

I would love to love to hear about your experiences. And who knows, you may pick up some new ideas about bring more meaning into your life.

24 replies

Set apart
Set apart 2013-07-28 07:58:30 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary, it's been a while. In August it will be 2 years since I was diagnosed with T1. To say I have been on a rough journey would be an understatement. I visited my doctor 2 weeks ago, and she said, "your numbers are great, you do so well in taking care of yourself.". I told her that she sees the one number, but it comes from a daily fight to be in control of my D! She said shed never thought of it this way. I continue to follow a strict diet, there are foods which haven't met this mouth in so ling, I exercise, I read, I meditate, and so on… It's a fight.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-29 12:52:26 -0500 Report

Hey Set Apart,

It has been awhile since we have been in touch. Glad to see you!

I understand, believe me. One day at a time, but every day another day to keep your guard up and take the best care of yourself. Sounds like you are really doing it. Congratulations.

Thanks a lot for getting back in touch. You are an inspiration!


Scarlet03 2013-07-27 19:24:45 -0500 Report

In the 2 years I've been on insulin. This is the best I've felt in a very long time. Diabetes hasn't stopped my life at all. It's other ailments like with my spine that slowed me down but, it's a road bump at the moment. I'm looking forward to recovering and getting back to a better state of being.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-27 22:33:34 -0500 Report

Hey Scarlet,

What a great attitude! One day at a time. I hope you get beyond that bump in the road soon. Stay in touch with us, okay?


Hart4Him 2013-07-27 09:12:20 -0500 Report

I read the One Year Bible, and enjoy Left Behind for adults and for kids (I love the kids better).
I love Beverly Lewis' books, poetry- Helen Steiner
Rice, and thrillers written by Dekker.
How about you?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-27 22:31:48 -0500 Report

Hi Hart4Him,

Those are some powerful books you are reading, starting with, of course, the Bible.

I like thrillers, too. I haven't read any books by Dekker, but I will check his books out.

I enjoy walking, and try to get out for a walk about every day, even in the winter. Since I don't have a car, that is not such a hard thing to do. I do a lot of reading. And I make sure I have some quiet time every day.


-->Type1Diabetic<-- 2013-07-27 00:07:13 -0500 Report

I listen to R&B music and music that makes me think or zones me out into my own world to calm my soul and myself. I also love reading books and doing word puzzle books. I'm pretty much a conservative person but I like going out w/close friends and enjoying myself. I love laughing! Comedy movies I like to watch, including action and suspense. Researching things on diabetes too so I have even more knowledge I do on my spare time.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-27 22:25:54 -0500 Report

Hey Type1,

Music is an excellent escape route from the stressors and pressures of daily life. And so is reading, my personal favorite. I am always reminding people to have a good laugh once in awhile, and try to do it myself. A good idea. And knowledge is power!


-->Type1Diabetic<-- 2013-07-29 12:24:43 -0500 Report

I love laughing but I'm also too serious at times. I switch moods quicker than I think and I don't know if I used to be like this before I was a Diabetic. However, when I laugh, I feel at ease and not tensed. Lastly, you are right when you "Knowledge is power"! Ignorance is not fundamental. Knowledge is power…power that is within yourself. Knowledge, education and a degree will take you far.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-29 12:50:01 -0500 Report

As they say in Reader's Digest, laughter is the best medicine. Glad to hear you are exercising your sense of humor, and keep your knowledge up to date!

eristar 2013-07-26 05:51:01 -0500 Report

Working at our local Humane Society is really a boost for me. The pay is lousy, but it is something I am proud to do. Of late, I have been volunteering for a program designed to draw attention to isolation and subsequent depression - something I am all too familiar with! And after work, I take some deep breaths and walk through our local nature center to refresh my soul before heading home to my family and collection of rescued pets and one of the 4-5 books I always have going at any given time!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-27 22:22:55 -0500 Report

Hey eristar,

You are doing some really positive things for yourself. Giving to your community, and de-stressing before you go home. That nature walk must be a good buffer zone between home and work. I also do a lot of reading, nice to meet a fellow reader.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-07-25 20:49:17 -0500 Report

What brings meaning to my life. Dr. Gary you know better than to ask me that…lol. I give my time to the community and the police department. I have found that to be very fulfilling. When you have helped someone who is in dire need of help regardless if they need food or power turned on and you are able to tell them where to go for help you can almost see the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders. I do a lot of community work with the police department. Because of being President of our police districts community relations council, I often talk to the officers to find out what they need to make their jobs better and can bring this to the table during our meetings with the Police Commissioner.

I also love reading, being near or on the water. It is so relaxing walking across the parking lot to our local Wal-Mart because it is on a point and has water on both sides. One side faces the river that feeds our Inner Harbor. Regardless of what the time of day or night, the season or whether it is a full moon or a cloudy night, the view is spectacular and beautiful.

Other than that I am not addicted to Candy Crush Saga, Words with Friends and a few other Facebook Games as well as Pogo games and I do those to relax.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-25 21:56:14 -0500 Report

Hi Joyce!

I thought I might hear from you on this one! Glad you checked in. It must be an amazing experience to help people in these crisis situations, and it's good to know the police department has you involved in thier work. I am sure you are a lifesaver. And that is quite a scene you described with the water. I suspect those walks, and the games, are a good way to release some of the emotions that must come up in the work you do.


GabbyPA 2013-07-25 08:03:01 -0500 Report

I guess I never thought about how to bring meaning to my life. I know I am here to touch other people in some way.

One thing I do is strive to live without regrets. So I try to watch what I say and do, so that it doesn't come back on me one day. I design homes for a living and it's nice to see a family happily living in something that I had a hand in. Being here and helping people out is another way I like to add meaning I guess. Just being me, not someone I'm not, and still being able to be there for others is the way I feel best.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-25 21:51:28 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,

Well, you certainly touch a lot of people here, and in a powerful way! And treating people with care and compassion comes back to you like a boomerang.

I didn't know you designed homes. That's pretty interesting!


GabbyPA 2013-07-28 08:41:12 -0500 Report

I am full of surprises. LOL I often tell people I get paid to color pictures. I do enjoy my job, specially more now that it's starting to pick up after years of decline.

Angie Type 1
Angie Type 1 2013-07-25 07:39:42 -0500 Report

I agree with what you wrote here that "Each day gives us a new opportunity…" I try to get at least one thing accomplished each day and it doesn't have to be a big thing either. I enjoy going to dinner with my sons and their girlfriends..they are 28 and 22. I also try to get together for dinner with a friend at least once a week. Also enjoy scrapbooking, trying new recipes and exercising. And on those days when my diabetes is out of control and I can't figure it out, I try very hard to encourage myself that tomorrow will be a better day and it usually is! :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-25 21:47:30 -0500 Report

Hey Angie,

You have a great attitude, supported by some really positive activities. Social interaction with people you care about, hobbies you enjoy, diet and exercise, and positive self-talk. That's an excellent strategy. Thanks for sharing this.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-07-25 20:52:59 -0500 Report

Angie I agree with you, when you have a bad day due to diabetes, when looking to tomorrow always believe that tomorrow will be better.

Hart4Him 2013-07-24 23:52:14 -0500 Report

Well, I love to read, take my mind off things. I also like getting away with just my husband and daughter, away from all the noise. I love peace and solitude, but rarely get it, even out here in the country, living with other family members.

Suzi-Q 2013-07-27 16:36:07 -0500 Report

My bright, beautiful, charming 6-year-old God-daughter, Ari, was diagnosed Type 1 1.5 years ago on Christmas night. She goes about her "business" everyday with rarely a complaint. Ari even sticks her own fingers for testing and is interested in learning to inject her insulin herself (with supervision, of course). She brings meaning into my life. She is so young and so brave. No way can I let my diabetes get me down. She is my inspiration! Plus, my father always said on not-so-great days that, "no matter what, the sun will shine again." In addition to Ari and my father, I also have many young people with whom I spend my days. You see, I am a middle school teacher with barely enough time to think about me during the day. My students keep me and/or my mind occupied before, during, and after school ~ a teacher's job certainly does not begin nor end at the ringing of a bell. :D As you can see, people (family, friends, strangers . . . ) are a very important part of my life, directly and indirectly.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-25 21:41:21 -0500 Report

HI! Good for you! I am a big reader, too. I try to read every day, even if only for a few minutes. A great escape!

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