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Feeling You’ve Painted Yourself Into a Corner?

A few years ago my husband and I shot a video for my website titled “Feeling Painted Into a Corner By Diabetes.” We actually laid down some old floor tile and literally painted me into a corner – reality TV, I suppose. I think about that video often, and not because of the laughs we had setting up the shoot. Rather, the message of the video is something I sense with my type 2 diabetes patients fairly often.

Falling off the wagon with diabetes management

The phrase “painted me into a corner” suggests putting yourself into a place with no escape – trapped – by being careless, distracted or failing to follow a plan. That is, in fact, a story I hear often. It’s a story of how my clients got wrapped up in the competing responsibilities of work and family and didn’t prioritize their long-term health. They feel that they painted themselves into a corner by ignoring the warnings from lab reports and doctor’s visits, always intending to eat healthier and exercise more but never quite following through. Worse, they feel guilty or ashamed or foolish, and these feelings somehow keep them stuck in that corner – trapped by diabetes.

However, as I point out in that old video I’m only trapped in my corner because I don’t want to mess up what I’ve already created by walking through the wet paint to get out. I’m happy with the result of my painting. If I was disappointed with my painted floor I could just walk straight out and start again with a better plan and a different focus.

Start over with diabetes management

And so it is with diabetes. It’s never too late to start again. You can stand up straight, walk right through the wet paint, wash off your shoes and create a new lifestyle. I don’t mean to make this sound easy. The truth is that feelings of guilt or shame can be overwhelming, and I often encourage my patients to seek professional help to get beyond that. The important message is to start now, and forget what’s gone before.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.