I have to say, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes I felt terrible. It doomed me to poor health, difficulties in my life and probably a shortened life. I went through stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Diabetes was a curse on my life. But over time my view has changed. And at a certain point I reached a view that diabetes was just a part of my life and that I accepted my condition even if it really has lots of downsides.
So how it diabetes the “gift that keeps on giving?” Certainly diabetes has had a real negative effect on my health, but it has also led me to make very positive changes in the way I take care of myself. And when I look at my life before diabetes, I didn’t visit the doctor regularly, I didn’t care about what I ate and I didn’t exercise much. And those “gifts” translate to my family as my wife eats healthy and both of my kids have picked up on all of these healthy practices.
|Diabetes Support Groups Make a Huge Difference|
Most importantly, what I didn’t realize after diagnosis is that diabetes would give a meaning to my life and bring me new and dear friends. Sometimes it is hardships that bring out the best in people.
Not too long after I was diagnosed I turned to local support groups and eventually found on-line groups. Initially it let me find others show shared my own journey, the pains, the difficulty and the challenges. I soon realized that while there was lots of technical things that could be discussed, most importantly being able to talk with other people with diabetes made a huge difference. We can really feel vulnerable talk about our diabetes and it is vital to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable talking with family or friends, let alone strangers. But others with diabetes, they could understand me and I could be safe. Eventually I also realized that I had reached a point of acceptance and comfort and that actually it was very valuable to “listen” to others who have diabetes and to share and validate feelings. This can make a huge difference. So for more than five years I have spent a lot of time on forums like TuDiabetes conversing with others as well as running a local support group. And being able to do this gave my life more meaning, it felt good to help others and in that way my diabetes was a “gift.”