My Photo
Name:
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

But what good comes from that?

There are things in life that we don't have a choice about. Diabetes is, of course, one of those things. Gas prices and taxes are a couple others...

I don't like having diabetes. In fact, it quite honestly really sucks. We find a way to do what we have to do, and to lead mostly successful lives, one way or another. All the regular situations that life presents, and then some. Diabetes is most certainly an added burden, extra stuff we are forced to deal with during the course of an already hectic life. But one way or another, we survive, and then some.

It is very easy to be angry about diabetes. In fact, I think there are times where you have to be angry about diabetes. None of us signed up for it, no one asked us how we would feel about all the things that it would bring along with it. To be able to somehow harness that anger, using it to give you a charge towards something positive, that is where short periods of anger can actually be useful.

Sometimes I fall into periods of time where that's all I am is angry. For me, being angry is very draining. It sucks what little energy I have right down the tubes. It's a high maintenance emotion to live in. Not only that, but it taints every other aspect of my life. If I'm just angry, I am angry all around. Impacting my work, my friends, my family, my general health and my diabetes care. And I'm not using it to help me in any way. I'm just being angry.

What good comes from that?

Nothing.

I feel that I have a limited quantity of "mental energy". The stuff that helps keep me going. The stuff that gives me the ability to keep pushing on, through the knee high crap that we sometimes find ourselves in.

Just being angry can really drain that already limited mental energy. On the other hand, being positive can help boost that energy - or it can seem to preserve (and build on) what you've got.

I am a person who has some natural need to find the positives, where possible, in whatever the situation. It's built into me. I find it disruptive to not look for the positives.

So I do my best to find the positives. Sometimes it's not possible. But other times there are things, even if they are little things, that can be taken away, added to some building of character or something. If nothing else they are experiences. Experiences that have taught, or continue to teach.

What good comes from being angry at diabetes? I'm not going to be cured out of sheer anger. I'm not going to anger my way into acceptance (even though it is part of the grieving process), so I constantly look at what good will come from being angry? Nothing.

So is it worth my time & energy being angry at diabetes? Not really.

But sometimes it cannot be helped. You run into some situation, some discrimination, some extremely challenging scenario, some limit (perceived or otherwise), and you get pissed.

That is Ok. But it is self destructive to spend all of your time and energy with that anger. Be angry, do what you have to do to get over that "thing", then let it go. Being angry is not going to change anything to the good for you.

The next time you are out driving (or riding), and some idiot driver does something that really ticks you off - ask yourself "what good will come from being mad?". Often you will realize the answer to that question is "nothing". Then see how you feel if you just let it go. Feel that? Yep, that is the cool and calm wave of letting go of that self destructive behaviour. Liberating.

I am trying to choose my view of things. I am trying to spend my time and energy building myself somehow, making better my diabetes, my mind, my body or my spirit.

Diabetes is here to stay. I am trying to make the best of it. It's not that I can sit down and pound out a list of all the ways that diabetes has made me better - it's more abstract than that.

I can decide whether I let diabetes tear me down or not.

7 Comments:

Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Oh my, Scott. I guess the only thing I can say is that I was in such a high blood sugar fog for so many years, I mostly still don't have a clearcut definition of just what I am feeling. It's kind of a day by day distilling process, observing what floats to the surface and can be identified. One therapist told me that my depression was "anger turned inward" - maybe so. However.........I am pretty confident that I can spot joy, tranquility, fulfillment and even bliss, because their brilliance cannot be denied. Diabetes may have put up a big wall to keep them out, but, it's getting a bit rickety in places and some of the good stuff is jumpin' the fence.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott,
Thank you for a very thoughtful and thought provoking entry.
I have been lurking for some time and your blog is one of the ones I check regularly. I really appreciated your insights. You make me think about how I feel about diabetes.
Again, Thank you. Millie

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Caro said...

You are totally right. For a while I've been trying to apply the same thing to worry. Lately I've found myself worrying about things continually, until I realise that worrying that something will happen won't stop it happening, but channelling the energy used in worry elsewhere just might. (Am I making sense?!)

And as far as anger goes, I try to limit my diabetes to anger to specific things: anger at the bureaucracy surrounding pump provision in the UK, anger at the misinformed attitudes of some people towards diabetes. I feel at least there is a chance that something positive will come out of that anger, rather than just turning it in on myself and my own diabetes and control. (Still not sure if I'm making sense! ;-)

10:31 AM  
Blogger George said...

Right on, I am totally with you on always looking for the good or positive in every situation. The whole "every cloud has a silver lining" thing. It is difficult but if not, the world would be way too depressing.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Scott

Thanks for your comments. It's so easy on a day when things to go wrong to look on the gloomy side.

But there are worse conditions, and many days the testing and calculating fades into the background.

For me, the only thing that really bites is having to sort of plan in advance if I want to play with my children. Otherwise I know that even a half-hour with them cycling or kicking a ball around can send my readings down to the 50s. Now that does stink!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Wonderful post, Scott-- very inspirational.

4:39 PM  
Blogger sweet & sickly said...

Hi Scott!!!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really have this urge to read your entire blog. You're a good writer!!!

i'm ALWAYS angry at diabetes and it makes me angry that i'm angry at diabetes. ahhh it makes me want to scream so much.

*is in a cloud of anger*

love kacey x

4:49 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home