When Enough Is Enough: Diabetes Burnout

Since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my main goal was to be a help to other people. I tried to keep my life as healthy and active as possible, which was easier said than done. There are times that we forget that we are human and not perfect in any way. I was starting to feel like I was a project and not a person.

My daily routine was making healthy meals, exercising, walking, and getting plenty of rest. It got so bad that I monitored sleepovers, trips, and spending time with my family. My lifestyle had become a mundane, tiring chore for me. It was never-ending.

Diabetes management became a chore

My lifestyle started to feel like more of a strict duty over time. It wasn't fun or motivating anymore. My perspective shifted from having a healthy, active life to living a strict routine filled with pressure. I realized that I was beginning to experience diabetes burnout because I started looking at this lifestyle as a duty that I no longer wanted to do anymore.

Reaching peak burnout

I started looking at people without type 2 diabetes with awe, pitying myself for being stuck in this lifelong condition where I can't even eat or drink what I want. And then you have the chain reaction thoughts from friends and family with negative, self-pitying thoughts.

I lost my confidence and the energy to take care of my life. My social and physical activities shrunk to a level where I would not step out of my room on some days. I wouldn’t take calls from friends who tried to reach me.

I remember getting angry and frustrated with one of my friends one day. I shouted at her, "You don't know how it feels to change your whole lifestyle and quit eating your favorite meals to make sure your blood sugar is in the right range!"

Getting support from my husband and doctor

My attitude got worse, and my husband took notice of this. He contacted my doctor and told him about my attitude and that I had started eating whatever I wanted. My husband also mentioned that I had been skipping my doctors' appointments lately.

I just wanted to be left alone. I was so tired of all of the stress of managing type 2 diabetes and didn't feel a need to put so much effort into living a healthier lifestyle.

Feeling validated about burnout

After hearing about my situation, my doctor called me personally and requested me to visit his office immediately. Once I got in to see him, he explained to me that it's okay that I am feeling the way I am, and it's not unusual to feel burnt out or unmotivated when diagnosed with a chronic condition.

Changing my self-talk

My doctor recommended that I work to change how I talk to myself. My inner voice had become excessively negative, and this was not helping my motivation to make better choices for myself. Another thing he asked me to let go of was my "Miss Perfect Diabetic" goal.

My doctor helped me realize that I shouldn't strive for perfection, but I should focus on making small daily positive choices for my health. When we set goals too high, it's easier for us to give up altogether.

Committing to making small changes

Of course, we have to make lifestyle changes to manage type 2 diabetes. I was never a water drinker, but I had to start making this my primary beverage. Walking for 20 minutes a day was a goal that I felt was achievable for me. Food was a big one for me. I love food, and it felt like giving up my carb intake and quitting smoking almost killed me, but I knew I had to do it.

These simple changes brought relief to my life, and I saw my numbers improve. Just remember that, after all, life is all about making those small choices that will lead you in a positive direction.

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