Managing diabetes and life's traumatic events

Surviving Through Diabetes and Life Trauma

My life is a little different, these days. I am no longer married, and I now live alone. For years, and years, I’ve had a pretty isolated marriage. Few friends, few outings, and few positive people in my everyday life to constitute an ever present support system. It’s been a very challenging, transitional period.

I’ve always been sort of a loner – but I had not been alone in around 10 years. My ex-husband was seldom employed, so he spent much of his time at home, or with me.

The trauma of life makes diabetes management incredibly difficult. And we often just don’t want anyone prying into any of that. We don’t want people telling us we’re not taking care of ourselves, or that we need to take our pills, or take tests, or that we need to even pick up after ourselves in our everyday lives. There is a strong desire to just let go of everything, and fade away into nothingness; into the deep pit of our pain.

We may stop monitoring altogether, give in to comfort foods (or even no foods at all), and we may completely isolate from others, as a deep desire for privacy.

How to Cope?

But as painful as life is… the best way to survive through these traumatic periods is to face them, and take baby steps into facing them:

  • Make a list of some basic things you can live with, some basic goals, such as: showering once a day, eating at least one meal a day, going for one simple walk around the block every day, etc.
  • Visit with your medical team; discuss the issues you are going through. Talk about the challenges of keeping up with medication, with treatment, or perhaps about a need to add an anti-depressant and behavioral therapy. Sometimes having someone to talk to, who is not related personally to us, makes it easier for us to process through the trauma
  • Take chores such as cleaning, one baby step at a time. Perhaps clean for 15 minutes, or take out one bag of garbage a day
  • Consider joining social support groups which might help discuss the specific trauma you might be going through. Once we become open about something, many people come out of the woodwork to say “Yes, I went through that. I understand you. You are not alone.”

Do not stay at home isolated, or in shame, thinking no one will understand you. Yes, you have the right to grieve in private, but persistently neglecting your need for self-care via isolation, will only worsen your grief, because your body will go through precious mood swings from uncontrolled blood sugars, and healing will be much more challenging.

Pursuing a temporary change of environment – an outing with friends, time off visiting family, etc., eating healthful foods, being kind to ourselves and the things which will sooth worn feelings and distract us, these are things which will further our healing.

Now, more than ever, managing the sudden trauma of life changes and depression, will ensure we manage our diabetes… and managing our diabetes will ensure we manage our depression.

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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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