For The Struggling Diabetic
How does it help to always see success stories of other diabetics when you might always feel like a failure no matter how hard you try?
How does it help to always be told to open up about your disease when It’s just not that easy?
How does it help to be told you have to CONSTANTLY monitor your blood sugars if you’re supposed to be living a “normal” life?
Sometimes being positive all the time only makes things worse.
Sometimes it’s hearing about other people’s struggles that becomes the real motivation.
And that’s okay… because now you are finally able to relate to someone else and it feels good to be understood.
Well guess what? You relate to me. I have struggles, I have failed, and I have NOT always been positive.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE, we are all struggling diabetics.
Concerned parents would often come up to me after hearing my story and ask me my least favorite questions:
Are you ever mad that you have this disease?
Do you struggle?
What are some of your failures?
I hated being asked these questions because I didn’t and still don’t like others seeing the vulnerable side of me. I always wondered why these parents wouldn’t just take the positive aspects of my story and let it inspire them and their kids who have type one diabetes. As I started to think about it, it made sense. These individuals didn’t want to hear about only the positives; they would have rather heard about every little struggle I endured than any of the positives. Because look where it got me. I struggled just like EVERY SINGLE other diabetic out there and still was able to overcome and learn from these hard times.
I truly think that’s what other diabetics need. They don’t need to hear others boasting about what they can do or how impressive their A1C is. They need to hear about how hard it is, so that they too can take those hardships, learn from them, and turn them into something amazing.
So for the first time ever, I will answer those three questions completely honestly
1. Are you ever mad that you have this disease?
Being a type one diabetic has made me into who I am today and I would never want to change the past 12 years of my life. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, but I can honestly say that from time to time I have been frustrated. There are days I just can’t control my blood sugar spikes and drops and during those moments I wish I didn’t have to deal with it anymore. I wish there was a cure.
2. Do you struggle?
YES, I’ve struggled just as much as any other diabetic. I have not found a perfect solution to preventing highs and lows and my A1C is not as good as it could be. I am still and always will be finding my way with this disease and I will never not struggle.
3. What are some of your failures?
I used to go through periods of time before I started wearing a CGM where I would barely check my blood sugar. This was around the time I first started to become independent (had my license, taking college classes as a high schooler) and it was overwhelming for me to juggle so many things while also having diabetes. My excuse was that I knew my body and I knew that my blood sugars were okay. And although this was/is mostly true, it’s not an okay excuse for jeopardizing my health. And the truth is, when I’m not wearing a CGM I still don’t check as much as I could.
For me, being a type one diabetic doesn’t mean checking my blood sugars 15 times a day and keeping an exact record of how many carbs I ate in every single meal so I can get the lowest and most impressive A1C. If I focused on that along with my training, competitions, school, and job then I would be completely overwhelmed all of the time. For me diabetes means taking things one day at a time, making changes to one thing at a time, and learning from my struggles and failures. I never will and never have let diabetes control who I am. Every day I will try to be the best that I can be, but I will always realize that it doesn’t come without hardships and imperfection.
Because I am not perfect, you are not perfect and we are all struggling diabetics. And most importantly, THAT’S OKAY.