My sister is angry about being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Do you remember being angry when you were diagnosed?
I assume it’s a common reaction. Assumptions – although necessary at times – are often incorrect. Therefore, I’m testing that assumption of mine.
As for myself, I don’t recall being angry – not initially. I do remember being in denial a week after being discharged from the hospital. That didn’t last.
Stone cold reality refuted my delusion of having complete pancreatic functionality. I soon accepted the circumstances I found myself in, and went with the flow.
At some point I began fighting against the current.
Loneliness. Alienation. That’s what I remember feeling early on. Perhaps those emotions morphed into anger. That’s just speculation though.
I am certain that I did go through a period where I was extremely angry. Most of this anger was due to school though – at least, that is what I attributed it to.
Having spent the majority of my school career with undiagnosed ADHD, I chronically fell (woefully) short of my own expectations – in addition to the expectations of others. My potential remained untapped. Teachers constantly reminded me of that fact. In a word, I struggled.
Naturally, I was angry.
Why was I struggling in school?! What was wrong with me? Why had I fallen through the cracks of the system for so long?! Why don’t administrators and teachers care about helping students who are in the greatest need of help? These were my thoughts…
In retrospect, I can see how these thoughts catalyzed my anger. I can also see how my type 1 diabetes might have aggravated the situation I found myself in. Again, this is speculation.
I communicated my emotions only on rare occasions. These instances were the exception, not the rule.
The causes of my lack of communication were numerous, not the least of which being the inherent difficulty of expressing one’s emotions. Perhaps diabetes compounded this difficulty.
As I mentioned earlier, diabetes made me feel alienated. Describing what it’s like living with this chronic disease is futile. The communication gap cannot be bridged completely.
You are marooned on a barren island. Whether you survive is – at least in part – in your hands. Will you adapt to your environment or will you let your environment destroy you? The answer is in your hands.
Amidst a sea of uncertainty, one thing’s for sure: you are alone in your struggles.
Nobody else understands what it is like having to go through life with diabetes. Nobody else can understand.
This is how I felt. I feel this way no more.
Anger, left unchecked, will destroy you. This realization – although seemingly insignificant at the time – was a turning point. It led me to seek change.
In order to mitigate my anger (and other counterproductive emotions) I began:
practicing mindfulness meditation;
exercising (there were other reasons as well);
writing as a form of therapy;
absorbing myself in music
This is what I can think of off the top of my head.
These practices have enriched my life.
My anger has subsided.
I have come to learn that negative circumstances are transitory.
I have realized that there are positives and negatives to all situations. The world doesn’t exist in black and white.