Darkness to light

So, I have been seeing a counselor for numerous reasons over the past few months. I usually see her on Friday mornings before work, and at yesterday's appointment we talked about my terrible Thursday with diabetes. I wanted to share that burden with someone who could talk me off my emotional ledge about it and help me stay off it. It helped, because she actually made me feel normal, like what I was feeling was understandable and okay. One thing led to another and she decided that on my next visit (probably few visits) we will go over a list of some of the most difficult times in my life, the traumatic times. We started with any childhood experiences that I remember or had heard of in stories but didn't get any farther than about age 2 or 3 because there just wasn't enough time. She asked me to think of those difficult times with out judgment so we can talk about them next time.

The big question I have is probably a silly one, but I have to ask it anyway: was being diagnosed with diabetes traumatic? Of course it was to our family dynamic and to my body, but when I look at my emotions of that time, it doesn't feel traumatic. In fact, of all the difficult times in my life I would have to say that this is the one time where I felt completely safe and supported and that it wasn't the end of the world. I was nine when I was diagnosed, and I hope to be able to write a more eloquent diagnosis story, because I know its a good one, but am not quite there yet. Maybe I will be by the end of the month (cross my fingers).

Here is the thing, I can remember life before diabetes. It was fine, I was a typical kid with an older sibling. I liked school and reading a lot. And none of that changed, the only thing that changed for me was what I could eat and that I had to take shots and prick my finger. I was still Amber, just with out the root beer float treats or the sweets at holidays.

I think its a little silly of me to question if being diagnosed was traumatic or not because I know it is, its a time where everything changed. But I took it well. It wasn't until my late teens that I began to feel something negative about being a diabetic. It wasn't until I noticed that diabetes put more limits on me than I wanted to live with when things really began to conflict. Some of those conflicts led to rebellion towards diabetes. I didn't want to test my blood suagr, I didn't cover my foods as I should have, I ate whenever and whatever I wanted and justified it because I could cover it. I didn't think it could stop me.

This post is a little jumbled I realize, but I guess I am just wondering where was the trauma with diabetes because it didn't seem traumatic until later in life. Until I started paying for the medical bills and prescriptions, and counting the minutes that I couldn't work because I was treating a low knowing that I couldn't get paid for that time.

I really wanted to be positive on this post, so I guess I'll end it by saying that all those feelings about diabetes is starting to get my attention and thought which can only lead to healing and hopefully better management. If I make my December A1c under 7 I will have spent a full year with an A1c under 7 for...I can't even remember how long! But a long, long time. To say that I did it will be a great accomplishment.

Thats what I will keep in mind, that there are always things to strive for and fight for, even when its difficult managing this disease.

"Small moves ,Amber, small moves."


in search of balance said...

It's funny you should mention whether or not diagnosis was traumatic. My therapist asked me that question a few months ago, when a list of diabetes-related suckiness didn't include diagnosis.

I think, for me, diagnosis (at 23) was about coping. I just did what needed to be done, and I didn't have a lot of extra time or energy to be that traumatized. For me, the traumatic part of diabetes came later, when the days stacked up and into years and it became emotionally clear (not logically clear) that this was not going away, that this was the rest of my life, that I would struggle with it and worry about it and work at it every single day. It was knowing what diabetes really was.

Compared to that, diagnosis was cake.

Best of luck with your therapy. Take care :)


Scott K. Johnson said...

You are doing a fantastic job with those A1C's - way to go!

It makes a bit of sense too that you did not start feeling the trauma until you were older and dealing with the whole package. I think that I often feel the same way.

As a kid, we just deal and move on. As an adult we have the mental capacity to take a broader view of the whole picture.

I think that as we age more we will be able to come to peace with it all and move into all around healthy habits.