I read a lot of blog and forum posts, almost every day, of people who share their experiences with diabetes. Whether it’s the auto-immune variety, the lifestyle variety or one of the more obscure varieties, the message generally start the same: it came as a shock, I was in denial, my entire life changed dramatically overnight.
I don’t recall ever feeling this way and I often try to think of why. When I was warned of being prediabetic I paid it little mind, not because I was in denial, but because I was dealing with the worst long-term episode of chronic depression since my teenage years. There simply was no space in my life to worry about diabetes at the time. When it came to being diagnosed type LADA, I’d already gone through so many changes and adjustments it didn’t even really matter anymore, it just happened and that was it.
Maybe I’ve always just been very accepting of the things that happen to me. Due to my depression and anxiety, I was forced to learn that I have little to no control over what happens in life. The only thing I do control is how I respond to it. In the past I did worry and fuss and panic over every little potential thing to happen, but as of 3-4 years ago, that mostly stopped. Herniated disc? Better adjust and deal with it. Busted kneecaps? Better adjust and deal with it. Diabetes? Better adjust and deal with it. Gotta spend the next 3-5 years on a super tight budget so you’ll be debt free? Better adjust and deal with it. It is what it is, let’s work with it instead of against it.
None of it legitimately feels like a burden to me. Yes, it’s annoying as hell. Yes, it’s obnoxious to have to adjust all the time. Yes, I would really prefer to do without all of it. But this is how things are. Can I change them? No. If I could, I would have years ago. So my only option left is to deal with it to the best of my ability. If I can’t deal with it on my own, I ask for help until I got it figured out. The end result is that I’m kicking ass, preserving my independence, dealing with my illnesses in a healthy way with good results and not expending energy when I can’t spare it.
I gotta say, it’s working out super well for me. I don’t beat myself up over my conditions. I don’t ask questions which answers are meaningless – there’s no point in asking “Why me?”, the only question worth asking is “Am I doing okay and can I do better?”. It’s hard for me to read messages from people who do ask things like ‘why me’ because it feels like wasted energy. Does the answer help you manage your condition in any way? Does it control your values? Does it make your condition go away? If you’re going to ask questions, ask the ones that help you in a tangible way or don’t ask any at all.
Life fucks everyone over one way or another. That’s just how it is. One person gets diabetes, another gets cancer, another gets hit by a car, and if you drew the short stick then all three happen one after another. If you believe in a higher power, then you can say your deity works in mysterious ways and be content. For me, I just accept that life is this way. We get dealt shitty cards. We get dealt amazing cards. We have some minor influences over things, but at the end of the day it boils down to opportunity and sheer luck for most things to happen. We should always be trying, but when shit happens, it happens. Your moaning and crying and shock won’t change that it happened. But you can choose to fight it, to deal with it, to manage it, to overcome it.
This is what brings peace of mind to me. It took a while to figure it out and to learn, but it’s worth it all the way.