Recently I had a client write this message to me:
“Thank you for being there. I don’t open up to anyone really about how I truly feel. Always trying to show how strong I am when in reality, I’m not always. Don’t want to appear weak to my family.”
Does this surprise you? Or do you feel the same way?
The truth is, it’s not uncommon for me to hear this. I know that many people living with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes have similar experiences, and when asked about it they will say things like:
"I don’t want to appear weak in front of my family" "I don’t want to burden my friends with details about my health" "I don’t want my diabetes to be the center of attention" "I don’t want people to judge me" "I don’t want people to criticize what I eat"
It saddens me a lot to hear this… I truly wish people didn’t feel this way. So I’m writing this email today in hopes that my message will help anyone who has similar thoughts.
First off, I’ll start by stating the obvious:
NO ONE should have to feel shame or guilt for being diagnosed with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
If YOU are someone who struggles with these feelings of shame/guilt/weakness, here are a few steps I’d recommend to help you get rid of those negative thoughts:
Stop blaming yourself. There are many factors that contribute to T2D and you can’t control all of them. However, you CAN improve your lifestyle habits to lead a healthier life going forward.
Change the way you talk to yourself. When we screw up, there’s often a voice in our head that says “you suck” or “you’re such an idiot”. However, we would never say that to someone we love and respect. Which is why we should also be talking to ourselves from a place of self-love and self-compassion. When things get tough, replace your brain’s automatic thoughts of “you failed again” with “you will do better next time”.
Talk about your health issues. Start by finding at least one person you trust and talk about your struggles. There is no weakness in doing so. In the words of Brenee Brown, one of my favorite authors: “Vulnerability is not weakness, it’s our greatest measure of courage”.
Consider connecting with new people and groups that support and lift each other. Don’t underestimate the power of community support to help you navigate the ups and downs of life with diabetes!
Educate yourself about all things diabetes. Understanding the what/how/why of prediabetes or T2 diabetes will empower you to make better choices around your health.
Which is why myself and the healthcare team at Kasana Health are proud to offer a free educational course in a 100% judgement-free zone: 👉 Outsmarting Type II diabetes
Sign-up today and browse through the courses on your own time. You’ll find plenty of useful information, tips, recipes and tools that will empower you to live a healthier life, and possibly take fewer pills! 😉
Much love 💙 Sara