|This past weekend, I participated in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, an amazing event that raised $1.3 million for T1D research. The gathering brought together 260 cyclists, supportive family members, dedicated volunteers, JDRF staff, and many others, all converging in Burlington, VT for this meaningful cause.
It was an awesome weekend in many ways. But in many ways, I was reminded how hidden many of us keep our emotional struggles with T1D.
Throughout the event, there was an abundance of friendly chatter revolving around insulin pump choice, personal connections to T1D, the number of miles biked, amazing research advancements coming down the pike, and the bond over the daily challenges of living with this condition.
But amid all the camaraderie, it became apparent to me, especially during conversations about my coaching, that talking openly about the emotional difficulties associated with T1D is still quite rare. This realization has been something that has troubled me since my childhood, and it ultimately drove me to become a life coach. When engaging in deeper conversations about my work, I noticed that people began to open up about their or their child’s struggles, acknowledging they, too, faced similar challenges or their loved ones did.
And it got me thinking about the shame that still surrounds our T1D mental health struggles.
While we can freely vent about the frustrations of dealing with insurance companies or the annoyance of experiencing low blood sugars, why is it so difficult to admit that we feel really overwhelmed, hopeless, or anxious coping with T1D?
Often, we tend to believe that we’re the only ones experiencing such emotions, assuming everyone else has it all figured out. We fear judgment for our feelings, and above all, we convince ourselves that our thoughts and emotions are undeniable truths.
I, too, kept my emotional struggles hidden for many years. When I first decided to become a life coach to help others living with T1D, I was genuinely terrified that I was the “only” one who struggled with T1D. I feared, what if I don’t get any clients because I’m the only one who struggled?
I quickly found out, this was not the case. This was another example of my brain creating a narrative that is simply not true.
If you’re struggling emotionally living with T1D, you are not alone.
I can’t tell you how many times I told someone my story, only to see their eyes light up as if to say “me too”.
Acknowledging and talking about our hardships can gradually chip away at any power shame holds over you. The more we vocalize our difficulties and share our vulnerability, the better we will feel.
Whatever you take from the above, know this:
🔹The first step is awareness, so you’re doing great!
🔹 You are not alone
🔹 You are not broken
🔹 Share your pain (with another person with T1D, parent, friend, me!)
🔹 I can help
Are you struggling to cope with living with T1D? Set up a free consultation to learn more about 1 on 1 coaching.