When the Villain Returns
Christmas and New Year came and went, and on the toll of 2022, I found myself facing off with my arch-nemesis and villain...ME!
Face to face with depression
I found myself in a mental struggle with depression because I felt I couldn't handle being diabetic. After all the gift-giving, champagne toasting, and visiting family had ended, I looked in the mirror, facing my reflection. I had realized that the evil villain of doubt had slipped through the cracks. We were fighting in a dark place.
My motivation was gone
All the high-fives and congratulatory surroundings didn't positively affect me for some strange reason. I just couldn't shake it. So I hid from it all for 3 months. It was like standing at a bus stop and watching all the cars driving by. Nothing mattered anymore.
I felt unworthy of happiness. I felt unmotivated to write and cover sporting events. My glucose numbers were all over the place, and I was binging on sugary foods like crazy. I lost a few good friends due to COVID-19. The pandemic had some devastating effects on people, and I realized it FINALLY got to me.
Being stuck on auto-pilot
Although on the outside, I seemed fine, mentally, I was just on auto-pilot. January and February whizzed right on by, and March was on my heels. My wife asked me what we were doing with Braxton (my 2-year-old son) for spring break, and I had no clue.
The way I responded made her "antennas" go off because she said to me, "you have been very quiet and not yourself lately, and I noticed I haven't seen you check your glucose levels as much as I normally do." I just shrugged and played it off to avoid the conversation.
A sad day with Braxton
The Friday before the official spring break week, I took Braxton to the park. He's playing and having a good time, and I'm just observing. He comes up to me as I'm watching, grabs my face, and begins to sign and say, "Daddy sad?"
I couldn't do anything but cry because as I was "hiding" my mental traffic jam, here he was, noticing that something was wrong. At the tender age of 2, he is like a sponge, and I don't want him to mimic my bad mood and negative attitude.
Flipping the switch on negativity
I don't know what it was by him signing and asking me that question that made me "wake up," but it slowly kicked the switch back into the positive direction. So, as the week of spring break began, I focused on him.
Meanwhile, I grabbed my camera and photographed him just being a toddler that whole week. It made me see that all that depression and negative mindset had made me miss the positive things. It was the grab of the face I needed to recharge my thought process.
The realization I had about diabetes and depression
Every day is a blessing. Above all, no new day is guaranteed. While being a diabetic can be stressful, annoying, and tiresome, it helps to remember that mental check-ups are just as important as blood sugar check-ups.
Yes, we all have bad days, but we have to ensure we don't get STUCK there. It's all too easy to get overwhelmed by life and its challenges. When you learn how to recognize these periods, you can be more prepared for when the villain returns. There are also many mental health resources available to support you.
Did you know that diabetes is a risk factor for developing chronic kidney disease?