Sunday Funday Friends!
Ever have one of those nights where diabetes just seems so… overwhelming?
Ever have that happen amidst a bunch of people?
Did it happen quickly?
One minute you were sipping your glass of champagne, enjoying a spontaneous dance party to a remix of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” that your friend had been trying to find all day, and diabetes was the last thing on your mind.
Until it wasn’t.
I’m not sure what the trigger was. It could have been realizing I hadn’t tested my blood sugar in hours. It might have been trying to remember if I had taken my medicine at all.
But, I think it was guilt.
There was so much food everywhere. It was spread out on my dining room table and covered the whole island. There were homemade chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins. Vanilla yogurt parfaits with granola and raspberries added a pop of red color to the spread. Tri-colored pasta salad mixed with grilled chicken and mozzarella provided a nice balance to the sweetness of other dishes. Pretty coral colored smoked salmon was beautifully displayed against a bright white serving platter, with capers and cream cheese accompanying it off to the side. Brie, Gouda and gruyere filled plates with an assortment of crackers and breads. Shortbread cookies in the shape of hearts were a cute reminder of the upcoming Hallmark holiday.
I have a pretty strict diet (except when it comes to chocolate). For the most part, I try not to eat over a certain amount of carbs in a day. I try to limit the amount of cookies I consume.
I do this for my diabetes. And, of course, in the larger picture I am doing it for myself. I am doing it because I want to look a certain way. Because I don’t want to throw away my lunch hour workouts (no, I am not in the camp that believes working out is a reason to eat more cookies) on a few more cookies or blueberry muffins.
Except I realistically know that indulging like that once in a while is ok.
For a person who doesn’t have to worry about diabetes, that is.
It was after my second cookie, half of a mini blueberry muffin, and a pretty good sized portion of pasta salad that the guilt set in.
“Oh no!” I thought to myself.
I got up and threw my plate away, but not before devouring that cookie and eating the rest of that blueberry muffin.
I knew my blood sugar was going to suffer.
That’s when the guilt set in.
Diabetics have a weird relationship with food. Anybody with diabetes will tell you that. The way we think about food is comparable to the way someone with anorexia thinks about food. It’s constant. We always want those foods we know we shouldn’t have.
And when we do have them, we feel guilty.
We worry about what it’s going to do to our bodies. How high our blood sugar is going to go. How bad we are going to feel when our blood sugar gets too high. How long it’s going to take before our blood sugar comes back down.
So, there I was, in the middle of a party feeling all of these emotions about my diabetes. I was feeling guilty, overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted.
“This is for the rest of my life,” I thought to myself.
It’s a thought that enters my mind and leaves just as quickly about once a day. If I think about it that way, it’s too overwhelming.
Luckily, I have great friends who are always there to listen to me. I have a wonderful boyfriend who has been supporting me since the very beginning of my diagnosis, which also coincided with the beginning of our relationship. He’s a tremendously good listener and he always knows what to say. He’s never ignored me or told me I need to get over the way I’m feeling. He’s never disvalued my feelings or thoughts, and for that I’m extremely thankful for.
It was A who I immediately called when these thoughts started consuming my head.
I stepped out of the party into the cool night air without a jacket, just breathing in the fresh smells and listening to the silence of the night for a minute.
I dialed his number. I heard his voice. I knew everything would be ok. And just to validate what I knew, A reassured me it would be ok.
And it is.