Wise Teacher (Continued)
He looks like an old man, though I don't know his real age. While he is in very good shape, you can tell that he has weathered many storms over the years.
He walks over and takes a seat next to me, sitting sideways in the chair so he's facing me. He reaches over and gives my hand a firm squeeze. I look up at him and see the sparkle in his eye.
"This is a long road we are on, Scott. You will face many more challenges like this one. There will be many perceived failures. Seemingly predictable scenarios will bring utterly illogical results, there will be many harsh and undeserved punishments, and just when you think you can't bear the burden, you will be given even more weight to carry."
As he says this to me I examine his face. I can almost see the same experiences in his eyes. He has been there too.
"You will want with all your being to give up. You will want to give in and crumble under the pressure, knowing it will be bad but at least hoping it will be relatively quick."
"You will feel like that is the only answer left that you won't get wrong."
Do we all go through this type of thing? How did he find the strength to outright refuse the pull and temptation of negativity that affects diabetes management?
The sparkle in his eyes is very intense now, and I am completely drawn into the information and experience that he is sharing with me. Different than simple facts and equations, he is sharing a part of himself.
"That path is full of nothing but deceit, pain, suffering, remorse, and loss. No challenge you face, whether you succeed or fail, will ever be as bad as giving up. The one thing you most desperately need is an undeniable resolve to keep going, no matter what."
But how do I do that? Where do I find the energy? Some days simply drain me of everything. He has been where I am now, and now has his arm stretched out for me to latch onto from the other side.
"What may surprise you is that you have that inside you already. As long as you keep your chin up and keep coming back to a positive attitude, there is nothing that will stop you. Just keep taking small steps in the right direction. Small decisions and corresponding actions will take you where you need to be."
I am learning the hard way that my attitude towards my diabetes makes a big difference in my daily decisions, especially in my diabetes management efforts. This thing that we live with is not an easy problem to solve, and it is a very complicated equation with an often changing solution. While we don't have a literal University of Diabetes (yet), we do often have a group of people we can call on for help. Whether that is your care team, your friends and family, online resources, or organizations like dLife, the key component of that group is you.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...