My hope for people with T1D in the New Year

While on my lunch break the other day at work, I thought to myself about how differently I would feel about myself if I didn’t have type 1 diabetes. I know - light thoughts for the lunch hour, right? I have always been one to be too deep in thought and overthinking everything, but, after having type 1 diabetes for 14 years as of Jan. 5, 2018, I can’t help but involve myself in these wondering moments.

How much freer would I feel? How much less of a burden would I feel like? How much more open would I feel? Is it really the type 1 diabetes, or other things? Are these moments fleeting as they have always been, or is there an underlying foundation that sometimes poisons the surface when I feed the bad feelings? The answer is simple – it’s everything, and it’s exactly what I think.

Let it go.

Learning to let go sooner rather than later in life will enable your freeness and acceptance of yourself. It will encourage your happiness and overall health. Breathe in. Breathe out. Everything is okay. You are okay, whatever you have, whatever you’re going through, at any point in time.

People with type 1 diabetes have to do a good job of listening to and helping control their own bodies. For me, I have often fallen into the habit of trying to do the same in other aspects of my life. People who know me well often call me a perfectionist. While type 1 diabetes has put a lot of difficulty in my life, it has also made me stronger and more responsible. It has made me more aware of my health, nutrition and fitness habits as well, but, I have learned, I mustn’t be as harsh on myself to try and be perfect. Trying to be perfect will always be a losing battle, because perfection isn’t reality. Perfection doesn’t exist.

No one is perfect. We are all human. We are all our own version of “normal,” type 1 diabetes or not.

These are the things I must repeat to myself in order to believe them more genuinely. Loving and accepting my whole self has not come easily to me, but it has been worth the process of self-development. Invest the time in yourself, as I have, to face yourself, your condition, and your past in order to live a more fulfilling, happy now. The future is now. You are now. You deserve a good right now with your T1D.

As you grow within your type 1 diabetes, you come to find that caring for your emotional wellbeing is just as important as caring for your physical wellbeing. Showing yourself honest kindness, patience, nurture and care is crucial as a person with type 1 diabetes. I would like to argue that it’s important for any person regardless of the condition. Be good to yourself. Be well.

You show others how to treat you by the way you treat yourself. Therefore, you cannot see yourself as a burden or someone who is isolated because of their condition. Open yourself to the world. You will be pleased with the response when you show them you are limitless and happy with your being.

Emotional wellbeing is a crisis among society today, especially among the millennial generation that was taught perfection and going above and beyond at all times is the normal they should strive for. My generation has a hard time finding value in what is actually normal and identifying it at its source.

Honestly, the only thing you should want from yourself and others is to be happy and healthy. It may sound simple and underachieving, but it is so much more valuable than our social networks or media outlets lead on ...

It is inherently valuable to be whole within oneself, and fully accepting. Lack of judgment within oneself leads to inner-peace, something we should all strive to have at any age in our lives, with any condition.

We are all part of one similar condition – the human condition. It is normal to struggle. It is normal to not feel at peace, at some level, but not everything is an existential crisis. Learn to laugh at yourself. Enjoy the small things. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously – ever.

We cannot let our anxieties, pasts or conditions dictate who we are. They are a part of us, but they are not all of us. We are better than our pasts and our conditions. We are better than we let ourselves believe we are in our worst moments. We have the strength to find peace. We have the confidence to believe in loving ourselves.

You have the strength. You are the person you need most. Focus on you first.

Remember, it is normal to go through hard times. Without the bad, we would not appreciate or realize this good as well. It is normal to be happy. It is normal to feel excitement. We earn our intrinsic rewards through self-development. Make that effort. You deserve it. You deserve to face yourself, to work on yourself, to love yourself wholly and without question.

That said, I hope, for anyone with type 1 diabetes, or anyone reading this in general, you discover your own inner-peace and acceptance this new year. And why wait until then? Start now.

There’s never a wrong time to. Anytime is a good time. There is no right and wrong in this life, but good and bad that keeps our morality, humanity and peace in check. Mold yours to the bright side. You will be so happy you did. Create your own happiness. Encourage your own health. Embrace the love you have for yourself. Believe in it every day. Believe in you. Love you every day.

Happy New Year and (actual) new you.

Read more about diabetes distress and mental wellbeing with Beyond Type 1.


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