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Woman holding a grocery basket is in the middle of an aisle of snack foods. Some of the boxes of treats have eyes that are staring at her.

The Self Blame Game

I have diabetes. Most of the time I feel somewhere between ok about it and positive. Other times, I feel very negative. I blame myself for having it. Why? Because I have to blame someone. I guess blaming myself is not unusual but it’s not always healthy either. Maybe it helps initially with coping, to get motivated to change what has gone wrong. After a while, it can work against you.

Guilt and self-blame for having diabetes

My internal voice is often harder on myself than others are. It becomes a real struggle with the blame I place on myself. It’s my fault. I had a warning when I was pregnant. I should have lost the weight after I was done breastfeeding. Many times over I have asked myself, “How did I let this happen?” Well, I have no answer to that question. I’m not really sure the answer would be helpful at this point anyway.

Although I try to remain positive, sometimes comments that are said to me might be taken in the wrong way. I might hear them as negative. Mostly because even after 14+ years, I still carry a lot of guilt about having diabetes, about how I did this to myself. The voice in my head doesn’t match what I portray to others. I portray the positive but my heart still feels the sadness and regret.

Each time I go to the grocery store alone, I wonder if the person in line behind me is analyzing what’s in my cart or on the conveyor belt. Probably, because I look at what others buy too. Here’s what goes through my mind. Do they see my sensor? Do they know I’m diabetic? Are they judging what I’m buying? Sometimes, there is crappy food in my cart. Most of the time, not. The majority of the time it is a combination of mostly healthy food and some crappy stuff. So why do I feel I’m being judged? Because of the guilt I still carry over being diabetic. I rarely have those same thoughts when I’m doing the groceries with my husband, it’s only when I’m alone.

Feel ashamed for having diabetes

Sometimes, I even feel ashamed. I know I shouldn’t. But I do. If I were talking to someone else who was telling me they felt ashamed, I’d be pumping them up, saying all the right things to them but for some reason, I can’t say those same things to myself. The longer I have diabetes, the harder it is to stay positive.

I don’t want anyone else in my family to have to live with diabetes. It terrifies me that my kids could be affected by it. I try my best not to lecture them about their lifestyle choices but it is so hard to let go of the guilt I feel. I just don’t want my path to be their path.

Care for mental health

I can really see how diabetes affects more than our physical body. It affects our mind too. Like our physical body, we have to take care of our minds, and I do. Meditation is my friend. At times, my best diabetes friend. I start my day with it. And it helps. But there are times, despite all I do to prevent it, my mind seems to hijack my positivity.

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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.

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