Tips for Staying Motivated

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One issue that I face on a regular basis is finding myself weary of dealing with diabetes. I just feel burnt out and not up to the task of staying on top of things. I’ll check a couple times during the day, but will find myself getting lazy with accurate bolusing, and eventually with how frequently I monitor. It’s normal to go through waves, but it can develop into a really bad habit that leads to poor care. I’ve been thinking of the ways that I get myself out of these “diabetes ruts” and compiled them into what I hope will be a motivational blog post (both for you and for me!).

First and foremost, friends! I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping in touch with someone who also has Type 1. Whether it’s someone you met at a conference, someone from school, or simply someone you meet online through a diabetes forum, find a way to talk to someone else. I guarantee that it is impossible to be living happily with diabetes if you don’t have at least one other person to relate to. It’s basic human nature; we like to connect with others. Family and close friends are wonderful, but if they don’t have Type 1, they will never get it 100%. So if you find yourself really miserable living with Type 1, make the effort to meet someone else with it.

Another way that I get myself motivated is by thinking about the fact that I eventually have an appointment coming up. In a sense, it’s a way for me to hold myself accountable. Yes, staying healthy is very important, and first and foremost you need to take care of your body for yourself, but at times it’s easy to forget that. You think “Oh it’s just one day of bad sugars,” or “I’ll just do better tomorrow.” It might sound terrible, but it’s really a lot easier to fall into this type of mentality than it seems. Because dealing with Type 1 is a daily struggle, it’s easy to forget that poor control can have some serious negative long-term effects. (Granted, the technology we’re blessed with today has exponentially decreased those risks!)

Perhaps the most effective way I motivate myself is by reminding myself that there are so many people around the world that are desperate to receive the care that I’m quick to throw away. There are children who would give anything to be able to check their blood glucose an extra two or three times a day, who are desperate to receive insulin, who can’t even dream of wearing an insulin pump.

It’s so humbling, and in all honesty it makes me feel like a spoiled brat. Don’t get me wrong, diabetes is tough, but when you remember that there are quite literally people dying from this disease, and we sit here moping about because we just don’t feel like dealing with it, you can’t help but snap out of it. It’s one thing to have a bad day and just curse diabetes for sucking so much, but when you seriously stop caring for yourself it’s another story.

I’m sure not everyone shares this view, or even cares to, but from my perspective, it’s just disrespectful to those who aren’t privileged enough to receive the care we take for granted. Maybe it’s not our fault that we don’t realize how lucky we are, but then again the burden of ignorance is ours to carry. If we are not willing to look into diabetes around the rest of the world, then I don’t think we should be acquitted of feeling guilty. Rather, I often times feel double the guilt; first for succumbing to the woe-is-me-I-hate-diabetes routine, and second, for failing to recognize the adversity that others around the world face regarding Type 1 and my lack of action or understanding.

What I’m trying to say is this: Bad days happen to all of us. It’s impossible to live a life with diabetes and not get frustrated every once in a while. At the same time, keep it in check. If you’re miserable all the time, maybe it’s time you did a reality check. Are you actually trying to take care of yourself? Are you monitoring? Counting carbs? Bolusing?

Is it fair that we got diagnosed with diabetes? No. But at the same time, it’s the cards we were dealt. The sooner you accept your hand, the more strategic a game you’ll play, and the better outcome you’ll end up with!

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