Tag Archives: Recovery

What are my standards of success?

How do I define success? By which standards do I judge my actions? I’m vexed.

Until recently, I wholeheartedly believed that I had overcome my perfectionistic tendencies. All too often, self-perception is self-deception.

For four long years I struggled valiantly to rid myself of perfectionism. Did I struggle in vain?

For four long years I struggled vainly to rid myself of perfectionism. Did my unskillful approach sabotage my valiant efforts?

My thought’s are a series of questions and question marks… Uncertainty abounds… Shards of glass encircle me.

Despite all of this, I feel at home. Peace. Serenity. Freedom. These three are my closest confidants.

Despite all of this, I don’t feel lost. Shock. Anxiety. Paralysis. These three know nothing of me.

Creative destruction. A certain self-perception has been destroyed. In its place, a blank piece of paper has appeared. Creativity can now blossom.

I thought I had overcome perfectionism. I had overcome perfectionism in the realm of thought alone, and my judgement was clouded.

My thinking was wishful, but clarity’s been restored.

While pondering a post that I’d written recently, I realized that my perfectionism had merely changed forms.

By objective standards, the lapse in adequate diabetes management that I wrote about in the aforementioned post was insignificant. The problem was subjective. It was due to my interpretation of events, and my projections of the future.

I interpreted this incident as being problematic because it disrupted the story I told myself about my recovery from diabetes burnout. It shattered the myth of a perfect recovery.

In my myth, I was perfectly strong and, therefore, able to effortlessly overcome any obstacle. I didn’t expect myself to stumble so early in the story. When I did stumble, frustration struck me.

I’m grateful for how things transpired…

Going forward, I need to be more realistic. I need to make a less inflated estimation of my own strength. I need to account for setbacks… I still need to reconcile with my fallibility.

Creative destruction. An old story has been destroyed. In its place, I can create a new, more realistic one.

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Strugglin’ to rebuild

This week hasn’t been the best…all thanks to Mr. D. To be less obscure, I had moments of laxity in how I managed my type 1 diabetes. My testing “pattern” became erratic, and I had a few high blood sugar readings that would have been caught earlier if I hadn’t been so lax.

Previously, the process of recovering from diabetes burnout went swimmingly. All this changed when I got my guitar restrung. In the days that followed, I spent an obsessive amount of time on it. Unfortunately, I became too distracted from diabetes. 

When I play/noodle on the guitar, all my thought’s melt away, and I become completely absorbed in a tumultuous sea of sound (I’m not the best guitar player). For me, this is a much needed stress reliever. Unfortunately, it’s equally adept at “relieving” me of my sense of time which, in turn, screws up how frequently I test.

Luckily, the intense interest in playing my guitar has lost its edge, and no longer poses a threat to my effort to rebuild my skillful diabetes management habits.

This incident was relatively minor. It only caused me to miss testing a handful of times. The period where I was unmindful of having a chronic condition only lasted a handful of days – not long enough to crystallize any unskillful management habits.

Those handful of days earlier this week were an aberration. The journey shall continue…

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.

Diabetes Burnout: The Psychological Challenges of Recovery

I want to write about diabetes burnout – in particular, my most recent bout with it. I want to find a way to incorporate the posts I made on tumblr a month ago, when my burnout was at its peak. As I attempt to achieve these goals, I’m continually falling short. I’ve hit a brick wall – and keep hitting it over and over again. Writers block has reared it’s ugly head.

After writing and re-writing this post repeatedly, I’ve decided to give writers block the finger, and write about writers block. I ain’t gonna let writers block slow me down…

If you can’t tell already, this post is essentially going to be a free write until I’m able to magically transition to the topic I had initially planned on writing about.

As a writer, beginnings are my archnemesis. I need to find my groove; after I’ve done so, it’s takeoff! If I don’t, my writing’s a train wreck.

Perhaps it’s because I try too hard. Rather than putting my trust in my own abilities, I try to force myself to write rather than allowing myself to write. Perhaps having a preplanned subject matter adds extra pressure. Perhaps, like a guitar player, I simply have to relax my mind and body, and then just write.

The part of this post that is actually about diabetes begins after this sentence.

Now my groove is coming back to me and, of course, now I’m starting to feel low…

I’m actually 123 (a nice number for more than one reason).

That unpleasant interruption brings us to today’s topic: the psychological challenges of overcoming diabetes burnout.

When your blood sugar is high all of the time, you adapt to it. Chronic hyperglycemia is miserable to live with, but I get accustomed to living miserably. It also tends to make me feel depressed after awhile, which means I…lack of motivation.

In other words, chronic hyperglycemia eliminates possible motivations to improve my blood sugars, while also making it more difficult to feel motivated in general.

To complicate matters further, I know that, as I improve my blood sugars, I will both experience more lows and start to feel low when I’m not. Psychologically, there is little difference between the two. Both of them make me feel the same, and this feeling isn’t one I desire.

Do you remember how I mentioned wanting to incorporate something I wrote on tumblr into this post? Well…I’m about to do just that.

Here’s something I wrote while I was experiencing burnout:

Didn't I exude positivity?
Didn’t I exude positivity?

The first sentence is the part of that post that’s relevant to this one.

Pulling yourself out of diabetes burnout involves making a decision between two shitty options. It’s not as black and white as it may seem.

If you’re stuck in a negative mindset, this taints your judgement. Both of them can appear to be equally bad if this is your mindset.

All of these things make diabetes burnout an incredibly difficult hole to climb out of.

What I have been describing is, of course, an extreme example. What I’m describing is a case where diabetes burnout and chronic hyperglycemia fed into each other.

It probably would have made more sense for me to organize the last three paragraphs into bullet points but what has been done has been done.

In conclusion, I don’t like writing conclusions, therefore this post will abruptly end here