Let It Go
Accentuating the positive in your life with diabetes
"Let it go, let it go. Can't hold it back anymore."
Recently, "Let it Go," a song featured in Disney's animated film, Frozen, received the Academy Award for best original song. Have you heard it? It has a powerful message that resonates with individuals, young and old, around the world. It's performed by Elsa, whose parents forced her to hide her ability to freeze things around her – "conceal, don't feel. Don't let them know." She sings this tune during a dramatic moment when she chooses not to keep her secret any longer.
Several years ago, I met with a group of adults who, while growing up, were forced by their parents to keep their diabetes a secret. Their parents felt ashamed and wanted to hide their children's disease from the world. They kept their lives with diabetes hidden from friends, family, and even the staff at school. As a result, these individuals grew up feeling embarrassed and defective.
How do you feel about your diabetes? Do you feel damaged? Is it possible to change how you feel about this area of your life?
Change your story.
You are the main character in your personal story. The way you define yourself has a lot to do with situations you encountered and things you heard. If others called you a scaredy-cat, you might go through your life with diabetes being afraid to try new things. Because of your fear if you experienced any difficulty when you finally tried something new, that experience would reinforce the fearful belief you had about yourself. The good news is that you can change your story. You wrote the initial story, so you have the power to rewrite it.
Make a list.
Take out a sheet of paper and list ways diabetes has enhanced your life. This may be hard to do at first, so take your time. I asked several people to do this. Here are a few of the "positives" they listed:
• Diabetes prompts me to make a greater effort to eat healthy foods.
• Diabetes encourages me to be more physically active.
• Having diabetes has made me even more sensitive to the needs of others.
• Because I have diabetes, I am a more generous donor to medical causes.
• I have met many wonderful people in the online diabetes community. I count several as very good friends.
Diabetes is not an easy disease to live with, but having it can enhance your life in numerous ways. In the film, Frozen, Elsa had the power to freeze everything around her. It seemed like a horrible power that she wanted to hide from everyone. By letting go and embracing it, she discovered that she could use this power to make stunning ice structures and beautiful landscapes. Let go of the negative feelings you have about your life with diabetes and try to adopt a kinder, more generous attitude toward it. See how having diabetes enhances you and how you interact with the world. Let it go!
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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