Sometimes I Get Angry At My Body For Having Type 1 Diabetes

These pictures may be sunny looking but my life hasn’t been super sunny recently. I thought I’d feel a lot better about the move soon once we had a place lined up to live, and after we signed the lease for our new little house I was happy for a few days and less anxious, but then the anxiety just changed to the logistics of getting all of our stuff there and having to make all new routines/friends in a new city. I worry about how I am going to move all of my indoor and balcony plants without killing them, how tiring the moving process is going to be, how long it will take to feel like I’m “home” once we’re in the new house, if I’ll be able to make my little artist studio room as magical in real life as it is in my mind.

I’ve also been struggling a lot with my physical & mental health. On the physical side, I have been trying to take better control of my type 1 diabetes (which I’ve had since I was 2 years old), and that’s frustrating because no matter how hard I try I end up with high & low blood sugars some of the time, which physically and emotionally wear me down. I’d gotten so burnt out on it and so frustrated by it that, for a long time, I just let it slide – doing the bare minimum to keep myself functional without taking care of it nearly as well as I could or should have been doing. My diabetes is one of my big “triggers” – I am afraid of the damage it could someday do to my body, I hate talking to almost anyone about it, I hate going to endocrinologists because so often they treat me like a problem to be solved and not a person. It’s frustrating to be putting so much more effort into something than you were before and still not be getting it right most of the time. I’m severely burnt out on managing my diabetes. I get angry at my body sometimes for being diabetic. I get really frustrated when I have to stab my fingers with the needle three times to get enough blood out to test my blood sugar levels. I get frustrated when I want to eat food (from restaurants, for example) that doesn’t have the nutritional information on it and I know I am going to guess the amount of carbohydrates wrong and get a high or low blood sugar later.

I know I should love my body and just be able to accept my diabetes (especially after having it almost my entire life and not remembering a time before I had it) and manage it as well as anyone else can – and yet… I’m not one of those “inspirationally” ill or disabled people. I don’t feel like “oh, I’m used to it by now,” or “it’s just a part of my life” (yet at least), or “I’m not going to let this stop me from living my life in any way.” I’m not managing it well (though I am trying to do better). I get angry that I have it. I get frustrated with it and with my body, despite all of the ways in which it does work and serves me well. I complain about it. The inspirationally ill person doesn’t complain or cry or scream into a pillow because they are so frustrated with their illness or disability, they smile and go about their life and manage their disease and have a team of medical people they trust and feel confident in and want to educate others about their condition. I do not want to educate anyone about my type 1 diabetes because I am ashamed of it. Why am I ashamed? I know it isn’t my fault. It’s just that when I was 2 years old my immune system got overly enthusiastic and attacked my pancreas and killed my body’s ability to make insulin for itself. I know this. But I’m still ashamed of having a physical illness. Somehow, I’m more ashamed of my diabetes than my bipolar disorder even though mental illness carries much more of a stigma in our culture.

On the mental health end of things, I’ve been ok some of the time and depressed or intensely anxious some of the time. My doctor has now upped my anti-depressant (citalopram) by 100% (20mg to 40mg) over the past few weeks. I get anxious about going out in public. I get anxious about moving. I get anxious about all of the upcoming transitions. I get anxious that I’m not creating enough. I get anxious that I’ll never “reach my potential” – whatever that means. I get anxious about Edward & my relationship. I get anxious about my diabetes (and frustrated, as I’ve mentioned). I get anxious about money & medical bills. I get anxious that I’m not enough or that I’m too much. I get anxious about the past. I get anxious because I am so far now from the person I feel I should be. I get anxious about the present. I get anxious about the future. Sometimes I feel extremely anxious and I can’t even name why I am feeling anxious.

I haven’t given up my “art school” plan (see last post) – but I also haven’t been following through on it. I am going to start making more of an effort. So far all I’ve done is read 10 pages of Ways of Seeing by John Berger and watched some Art 21.

Today I’ve been sorting through submissions for Deer Heart Magazine. I have a dentist appointment then a therapy appointment – probably my last one with this therapist because we are moving soon. I woke up with my blood sugar too high but I felt less angry about it than I would have a week ago so maybe I’m getting a little better at this already.

I’m just so ready to be moved and in the new home so I can nest into it. Being in this liminal period is driving me crazy. I can’t pack yet, I can’t buy things for the new place yet – all I can do is donate things we don’t need anymore (or never needed) to charity to make moving ever so slightly less difficult.

I did order myself a beautiful (undated, since it’s almost May) planner on the internet yesterday and it should be here in a few days. I’m excited about it. I love planners. I’m hoping it’ll help me be more organized and productive and motivated to get my creative work and other life things done.

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