For me, these voices crop up whenever they want – disguised however as well, which makes it even more difficult to spot.
As times move on, mental struggles are much more widely accepted than it has been ever before. Which means, it is all moving in the right direction! From talking to numerous people, both in the diabetic world and not, everyone has these internal voices invalidating their feelings, achievements, you name it. It is vital that you do not dismiss these voices because acknowledgement is the first step to beating them.
From a diabetic sense, these voices can range from:
- Dismissing success on Time in Range, saying that it isn’t good enough, you haven’t tried hard enough
- Focusing on all the negatives that are occurring, stubborn blood sugars, an illness cause spike in insulin resistance, that you have been busy and haven’t given your diabetes a second thought
- When your blood sugars are low and your body is screaming, ‘I NEED SUGAR’ so you consume plenty causing a major rebound high, which ultimately leading to the thought pattern that you have failed
- The difficulties of daily life with diabetes, the strain of everyday life, even with the newest technologies
- When your sugars are sitting high for a long time so you rage bolus, knowing in 1 hours’ time – you will be hypoing
- The mental battle when your sugars are above range, but you physically do not have the energy or ability to correct it. You know you should, but you just physically cannot
- When diabetes gets in the way of your work or personal life, the feeling of why me, this is so unfair, life is so tough
- The largest thought for me is, knowing I will be a diabetic forever. I am 22, my skin is already very sore, covered in scars and sore from cannula changes – how am I going to be able to do this forever?
There are so many more thoughts and feelings like this that occur on a daily basis. You can have a positive thought but the second an alert comes through to say your blood sugars are out of range, that’s it, you feel like you have failed. We hold ourselves to a high standard, always aiming for 70+ in range. Which yes would be perfect but how unachievable is that. For me, that would mean I couldn’t enjoy any of my favourite foods, activities, have no nice treats, my mental health would just permanently suffer because of it. Even now as I write this, I have just eaten some lemon tart, its 11am on a Monday but we all need a treat! My sugars have since shot up to 17.0mmol/l and I have the thickest headache now, why did I eat the lemon tart? I have properly ruined my bloods for the rest of the day BUT why can’t I open the fridge and see some food I like and eat it! Admittedly I wish I waited until my pre-bolus had kicked in but worth it, it was yummy!
These types of voices won’t go away unfortunately and if you embrace them, like I have done for a good decade now, you will end up in a bad way. Not recommended! Here is a list of tips for you to help try and defeat those voices!
- Acknowledge them! I did this by noting the time and how I felt whenever these voices became louder in my head. This helped me to identify a pattern and now I understand why these voices are appearing which has showed me strength and resilience.
- Once you understand a pattern with them, try and complete something nice that you like doing when these voices occur. Such as yoga, a walk, going to have a cuddle with a pet or loved one. Try and keep your mind busy so you do not indulge these thoughts.
- Its all about practice! Even now I struggle and some days these thoughts are all encompassing but these days are less than before which means it is worth it.
- Know that it is not a quick fix, and this will take time, especially at the beginning. You will start to think that it isn’t worth it but trust me it does work!
- Maybe if you are confident enough, tell a loved one when the voices and thoughts are getting too much. I have always struggled with voicing my worries to others so have not done this, but I am aware some people find this the best way!
We all find different things that work for each of us, after all we are completely different. If you have any other tips for fighting the voices, please comment them below!
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