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The Diabetic Spirit

The diabetic spirit is a critical part of living well with diabetes. Unfortunately, it’s too often overlooked as we plow thru this challenge of managing our blood sugars.

One of the most important things that diabetes has taught me is how to manage that spirit and I want to tell you about that.

For the moment, let’s describe the “diabetic spirit” as the part of you that can get motivated to tackle challenges. It’s also the part of you that responds to fear for your own health. It’s the part of you that refuses to accept “no” for an answer. “Diabetic spirit” is the guts in your own personality. It’s the part of you that keeps getting up when you feel like you’re failing. It’s also the most important part of regaining your physical health.

Many of us have done what we’ve been told by our doctors. You initially start out taking whatever anti-diabetic drug your doctor prescribes. You start cutting down on breads and pasta and many of your favorite foods. Your blood sugar may come down a bit but then you plateau or hit a wall altogether. You get frustrated PLUS you’re not enjoying your food anymore. You go back to your doctor, feeling like a shamed child and he or she adds another drug. Now, you’re depressed along with feeling sick, ashamed and deprived. So, what happens to your diabetic spirit now?

Given all of the above, one of the very first things that I recommend to diabetics is to protect their spirits. Diabetes is often a roller coaster ride especially in the beginning, post diagnosis. Diabetes can become the headbanger in your life if you don’t guard that spirit. So, don’t try and go it alone. Don’t struggle in isolation. You have to learn to look out to protect your good spirit and maintain a positive attitude, an attitude that allows you to keep meeting the challenges of dealing with diabetes.

How do you do that? Join a diabetes support group or if there isn’t one in your area, start a Meetup group to try and find people who “live diabetes” day in and day out, just like you do. Look on the internet to find some of the many great diabetes forums available to us today. You could also get a buddy with diabetes to give you support when the struggle gets to you. Or you could find a couple of buddies and decide to share reading current diabetes books to help one another. Diabetes Sisters is a good example of those groups.

However you do it, just make sure that you not only have other diabetics to support you but also try and seek out new understandings and knowledge about managing this disease. Give yourself the help and support that you need to keep your “diabetic spirit” working in good order. It may just be your greatest asset.

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