So many emotions accompany living with type 1 diabetes: occasional sadness, some anger, a bit of bitterness, flares of acceptance, and a whole lot of frustration.
But another emotion that comes with it that I recently found myself thinking about (and feeling) is guilt. Not guilt over the fact that I have diabetes, per se – because my diagnosis was out of my control – but guilt over the ways that it affects those around me.
I feel guilty for all the times my devices’ alerts and alarms disrupt my partner’s sleep.
I feel guilty for complaining to family and friends about my diabetes because they don’t deserve to be burdened by it.
I feel guilty when I have to leave a social event early because I forgot to bring back-up supplies with me or because I experienced a device failure.
I feel guilty when a high blood sugar makes me lash out at my loved ones…and when a low blood sugar causes them to be worried about me.
This guilt weighs heavy on my shoulders, and when coupled with the guilt I carry around when I have a bad diabetes day or let my emotions about diabetes get to the best of me, it can sometimes feel like I’ll collapse at any second because I’m simply not strong enough to handle it. Of course, I don’t feel crushed by the weight of guilt all the time; in fact, it’s only occasional. But when it does rear its ugly head, it’s not fun, and it makes it that much harder to deal with the day-to-day of diabetes.
The reason why I chose to write this blog post about guilt and diabetes is to bring awareness that living with diabetes is so much more than daily insulin injections and blood sugar checks. It also means coming to terms with the fact that it’ll cause a lot of discomfort, both physically and emotionally – and finding out ways to overcome that discomfort, and the emotions of diabetes (guilt included), is what makes people who live with diabetes absolute warriors in my eyes.