Tag Archives: Perspective

I’ve got 99 problems and insomnia’s one

“To me, success is the ongoing process of striving to become more. It is the opportunity to continually grow….while contributing in some positive way to others. The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached.” – Anthony Robins, ‘Unlimited Power’

Insomnia has reared its ugly head. I’m feeling tired…oh so tired.

My mind is enveloped by a thick blanket of fog, but my eyes are as dry as a crisp winter day.

I hate insomnia. It’s an obstacle to that which I hold dear. Like diabetes, it makes everything more difficult.

Writing no longer comes with ease. It has become an arduous task. I had intended to update this dblog on Monday, but my tiredness sabotaged my attempts to write.

My intellect has been hit by insomnia as well. I love to think. I love intellectual stimulation, and seek it out. I love to ponder the mysteries of life, and dream about the possibilities of the future. Insomnia is an intruder. It gets in the way of these things.

Socially, I feel inept. Like my energy, my sociality has melted away. Face to face social interaction has become a chore. Conversations have become impossible to follow. Manners have disappeared.

I’d be a dishonest SOB if I plastered on a smile and claimed everything was going well. Insomnia’s making life less than ideal; however, things could be worse.

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, having to deal with blood sugar problems in addition to insomnia’s much worse. Remarkably, my blood sugars remain at an acceptable level. This is atypical.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found…

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, it isn’t causing me any dire problems. It isn’t getting in the way of my day to day life. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a big deal.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found…

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, there are worse afflictions. Impoverishment, oppression, harassment, HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc. are all more extreme afflictions. Insomnia doesn’t prevent me from actualizing my self to the same extent as those other afflictions. Eudemonia is still possible. I can still flourish.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found… How we interpret our circumstances is a matter of perspective. Our mood, our standards of judgement, etc. all mould our interpretation. The mind is not passive.

I’ve dealt with insomnia for years, but my approach hasn’t been fruitful. This has been a common theme in my life. More often that not, I’ve taken a pessimistic view of things. I’ve always had a knack for criticism, but a lack in my ability to see the bright side of life. My perspective on my life has often lacked balance.

For the past 4-5 years I’ve been rectifying this…

This post is but one component of a greater process that has been going on for years, and will continue to go on indefinitely.

Self-improvement has been my telos and moving beyond pessimism is a necessary goal if I’m going to accomplish my purpose.

I have a choice in how I will accomplish my goal.

My strategy is this: to focus on developing new habits rather than fighting old ones.

In effect, this means that I’m going to allow myself to continue looking at the negative side of things. Rather than expending my finite energy on fighting this habit, I’m going to focus on getting into the habit of looking for positives after I’ve looked at the negatives. I’m going to cultivate a balanced perspective.

By moving beyond optimism and pessimism, I’ll be able to take a more realistic view of life. By taking this perspective, I’ll, hopefully, allow myself to flourish.

Not all things are created equal

Got meters?
Got meters?

A month ago I was testing 2-3 time a day. On most days, my numbers remained above 200 all day, and I’d often see at least 1 number over 300. Numbers in the 400s – which had formerly been rare – happened almost every week.

Fast forward to this month. I’ve been testing 6-10 times a day. On most days, my numbers remain above 200 for most of the days, but I’m starting to see due some decent numbers. Numbers in the 400s – which been all too common a month ago – are now non-existent. Improvements have been made.

Being a pessimist, I’m adept at seeing the negative aspects of any situation. In my present situation, I could easily choose to focus on the fact that my blood sugars still remain, on average, higher than what I’d like to see.

Although I could choose to see my present situation through tinted glasses, I have decided not to. To interpret my situation in a negative manner would do me no good.

It’s essential that I keep things in perspective. Although my blood glucose readings are important, they’re not what’s most important to me. Of far greater significance to me is  the fact that I’m testing my blood sugar frequently.

My current blood glucose readings are irrelevant to me, so long as I’m in the habit of frequently testing my blood sugar. Although, by itself, it won’t have a major impact on the extent to which I have my diabetes under control, it will form a firm foundation for me as I continue to recover from diabetes burnout.

Discernment is essential.

As free as a bird

untitled Since posting “Holiday Confession Time” yesterday, I’ve felt liberated. The ghosts of my past no long hold sway over me. A weight has been lifted from my chest. I’m as free as a bird.

Lately, my past has been haunting me. I’ve been keenly aware that the years of terrible control could only have done harm to my body. Looking at how I inadequately I had dealt with my type 1 diabetes evoked fear in me. Thoughts of all the horrific tales of diabetes complications began creeping into my mind.

The fear that my past evoked in me was acting as a smokescreen. My fearful view of the past was something I had to move beyond. It wasn’t doing me any good.

I need to clarify something. I’m not saying that fear is bad per se, and needs to be suppressed. What I am saying is that there comes a point when fear becomes detrimental to our own good, and it’s at this point that we should find a way around it. The question then becomes how to find such a way around it.

Writing provided me with a way to begin to do just that.

Having aired my dirty diabetes laundry in my previous blog post, I’m now in a position where I can look at my past from a higher perspective.

My thoughts are now free to move in more fruitful directions. The past has been transformed from an object of fear into a resource for the future.

I’ve only taken the first step. A long road remains up ahead. This journey will continue – this journey shall never end.

One Lucky Mofo

I’m lucky. Yes, type 1 diabetes sucks, but I’m still lucky… Lucky to be alive… Lucky to have the treatment options I have available to me… In a word, lucky to have been born and diagnosed when I was. Lately I’ve become profoundly greatful for the gifts I have received.

As type 1 diabetics, perhaps it’d be beneficial for us to put the daily grind of living with this chronic disease in perspective. It is all too easy to get caught up in the daily routine of pricks & pokes, boluses & corrections. Perhaps it’d be beneficial to rise above our current (limited) perspective, and see the big picture. Stepping back and looking at what our fellow type 1 diabetics had to go through can help us do just that.

I’m profoundly grateful to have been born after 1922. From at least 1500 BCE – when type 1 diabetes was first mentioned by the Ancient Egyptians – until the discovery of insulin by Charles Best and Frederic Banting, type 1 diabetes was a cruel death sentence. In the words of one ancient doctor, “life (with diabetes) is short, disgusting and painful.” For avoiding this fate, I am profoundly grateful.

I’m profoundly grateful to have been born in the era of the disposable syringe – something we take for granted. Prior to it’s invention, the only was a person with type 1 diabetes could receive insulin was through painful glass syringes. For avoiding having to use these medieval contraptions, I am profoundly grateful.

I’m profoundly grateful for having been born in the era of blood glucose testing kits – even though my actions have often betrayed a lack of gratitude. I take for granted being able to know almost exactly what my blood sugar is. For not having to piss on a strip or be a bathroom chemist, I am profoundly grateful.

All of these things are gifts – gifts that have been given to us solely because we happen to live at the right moment in history. Although it doesn’t change the fact that type 1 diabetes sucks, let us stop and be grateful for the gifts we have received. To do so is essential for our mental health.

When you begin to see your insulin, glucometer and all your other diabetes supplies as gifts, something changes – at least for me. A burden is lifted. This simple act of changing your perspective on these things can be a powerful means to lift oneself out of the darkness of diabetes burnout.