As humans, we have been conditioned to love labels. We like to give ourselves, others, and the things around us labels to help us make sense of the world. How do you label yourself? If you have a chronic illness, is that your label?
I have many labels. Ironically, a Type-A personality and Type One Diabetes are my two most life-impacting labels. My Type-A personality gives me a drive to win, to be great. I love organization (except for my room), thrive in fast paced environments, and love order. Control is my kryptonite. With Type One Diabetes, you always hear people talking about “good control” or “bad control.” Controlled diabetes is our goal, something we strive for, all day, every day. Living with a personality that thrives on control and order, and with a disease that is constantly throwing curveballs is an extremely stress-inducing phenomenon.
As with most type one diabetics, the teen years were rough. My life became a constant battle. Diabetes was controlling me, and I was not ok with it. Years of teetering back and forth between denial and extreme control left me defeated, mentally and physically. Looking back, those stressful times made diabetes management immensely more difficult, and my need for control was giving diabetes more control.
Letting stress and anxiety rule my life became my normal. My relationships suffered, I did not do as well in school, and struggles with food became my standard. At some point I realized the damage I was inflicting on myself and I said no more.
Mindset work and meditation are now a monumental part of my life. They make dealing with the unknown and unexpected a bit more manageable. If Diabetes has taught me one thing, it’s that everyone has stress. Everyone deals with unexpected annoyances. Even without Diabetes, I would still feel out of control sometimes. What matters most is how we handle our reaction to the unexpected.
I still struggle with control but meditation, journaling, and the following affirmations and mantras help me manage.
I have Diabetes, Diabetes does not have me.
I am not defined by my blood sugars.
I am more than Diabetes.
I do not need control over everything.
I choose calm.
Today, there is sunshine in my soul.
What angers me, controls me.
I can do anything, but not everything.
Without rain, nothing grows. I will learn to embrace the storms of my life.
I am too legit to quit. 😜
What are your favorite coping skills? Share below!