Diabetes can be a lonely disease. No one really knows how you feel. Even your family and friends, the people that you interact with every day, don’t know what it is like to have to always wonder what your blood sugar is doing, or when and what you will need to eat in order to just keep blood sugars stable. It is a heavy burden that doesn’t go away and some days are worse by no fault of your own. And some days are good and you think “yes, this is something that I can do.”
It is hard to explain your emotional roller coaster to those that you may have hurt during a crazy mood swing because your blood sugars were off. It seems that no one else has to pass on a delicious slice of double chocolate layer cake because they know that they will be dealing with the effects of it for days to come . . . or at least they don’t have to deal with the mental battle every time you should pass on dessert and don’t. They don’t have to have the fear of a low blood sugar with nothing to bring it up always lingering in the back of their mind.
There are so many things that someone with diabetes deals with that just can’t be explained logically, but yet they are still present and only those that live with the disease really know.
Helping Carry the Burden
Even though no one else can take action in your life for you own health, they can help you carry the burden. And it is very important for you to allow others to help you and to share your feelings so that you aren’t alone in this journey. It is nearly impossible to have really good diabetes control unless you have people supporting you. It is just too much to do alone.
The best thing that you can do for your diabetes is to surround yourself with people on whom you feel comfortable sharing about your diabetes. You need to know that you know will respond by supporting you and your diet and health decisions that you make for your diabetes management. You also need someone to hold you accountable when you don’t make the best decisions for your diabetes.
Including the Right People in Your Support System
A strong support system needs to include individuals that can help in many different areas of your life. Your doctor and CDE or dietician should be included in your support team. Even though you may not be close to them, they can help when no one else in your support system can with medication and diet changes. You should also include one or more people that you work with that you are also friends with. If your support system is made up of only family or only friends or only your doctor then you yourself will be weaker in the environment that you feel the most alone.
Make sure to reach out to your family and close friends and share with them how you are feeling. Tell them what you need from them in order to keep the best control. If you don’t tell them how they can help you, they may try to help you in a way that you feel is nagging or lacking in understanding of your situation. You may become more frustrated and push them away. You don’t need to distance yourself, you need support. And if the people in your life love you they will want to help you stay healthy.
Just remember that even though you make the decisions for your life, others can help you once you have made the decision to be healthy and take care of yourself. You can’t do it alone. And you owe it to your loved ones to take care of yourself so that you can be there for them in the future. So let them be there for you now.