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Type 1 Why can’t I look after myself, when everyone else can?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Alex_B, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. Alex_B

    Alex_B Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had diabetes for 3 years, I’ve never had any control, I don’t look after my health or my mental health. Everyone I’ve met seems to have better control and can look after their health.

    I’ve also got EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) and had that 11 months and been on enzymes for a few months, but I don’t take them either when everyone else seems to be able to take their enzymes with food and snacks.

    I feel like such a failure and feel like I’ve let down everyone. I just want to know why I can’t look after myself? I don’t know if it’s just inside me and subconsciously don’t want to get better cause I’d rather just die. I don’t know anymore. No one seems to know the answer.

    Anyone got any info into why I can’t look after my health? No lectures please or people having a go.
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  2. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex
    No lectures I promise! We all have days when we don't look after ourselves and this kind of thing is so common in type 1s it has a name (diabetic burnout). No condition puts such an onus on you to manage lots of daily tasks. When we don't look after ourselves we feel guilty then we feel angry or depressed. You sound as if you've got plenty of self hatred but maybe a little at the world too that doesn't seem to care.
    Have you talked to a psychologist about your self destructive behaviours? Nobody else has the answer but a good therapist should help you work it out for yourself. I had bulimia for years which was pretty harmful for a diabetic but at least the fact of my type 1 gained me help via my diabetes clinic as my underlying depression was having a bad impact on my health.
    One thing you could work on in the short term is constantly telling yourself how bad you are at all this as if you were really bad then you would already be dead! If you keep telling yourself this it will sadly become self fulfilling. Could you focus on what you are doing right and try and do a little more of it on a daily basis.
    We are all here to listen to rants and send virtual hugs so let us know how you get on!
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  3. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex, I'm just not sure there are any answers really but I suspect it may be down to your mental health as you say, if that's not right then how can you be expected to cope? Is it possible you could see a Professional about it all, it's hard enough coping with a condition that requires constant monitoring to stay alive as well as healthy never mind having problems on top of that. I just wanted to say please don't count yourself as a failure, you're a human being and need support. Mental health needs attending to, would we tell a person with a broken leg 'stick a plaster on it'? x
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  4. poemagraphic

    poemagraphic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    See your private messages
  5. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi Alex,

    Be kind to yourself- you don't really know how others are going. Some of us put on a better face than others. Don't beat yourself up. Just resolve to do the best you can do on any day- That is all any of us can do.

    There are many of us on here who struggle- If you read my posts I've posted self pitying ones more often than I would like to admit to.

    You know what- we are only human- none of us are perfect- none of us have walked a mile in your shoes so we can't judge you.

    Forgive yourself for any slip ups and just resolve to start each new day fresh. Post on here- vent, seek ideas or support. That is what helps me.

    And a secret- I don't have it all under control
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  6. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi @Alex_B your not a failure.

    Living with type 1 is challenging for many, some may not express it as well as others and we all cope differently, I call mine work in progress as it changes all the time. It's very much like walking a tightrope, except the challenges we face are not just food, it's exercise, stress, hormones, heat etc and all these things can upset the balance. When the balance is off then we suffer mentally too, swinging high/low affects mood and running high all the time causes low mood too.

    Keeping it in check means regular blood glucose testing, knowing what your levels are to start with impacts on how much insulin/carbs we need to stay in range, if high then applying the right correction, if low then taking glucose, it's making sure that as well as using the right carb/insulin ratio that we are also taking the right basal dose too. There's a lot to think about.

    I don't think anyone can tell you why your not managing this as well as you'd like, that's the part you need to understand, there is so much more to the psychology of living with diabetes than any of can understand, however something that really helped me was when I finally came to the point of accepting it, once I'd learned to accept type 1 as part of my life then I learned to manage better and that was when I stopped fighting it.
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  7. Rusty_Sweetbread

    Rusty_Sweetbread LADA · Active Member

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    Alex B,
    Sorry to hear you're having a rough time.
    I’d suggest Bill Polonsky's book 'Diabetes Burnout'.
    (Your situation is common enough for people to write books about)
    Luckily, Amazon says it's free if you try Audible books.
    There is also this outfit: behavioraldiabetes dot org

    Good luck

    Edited by moderator
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    #7 Rusty_Sweetbread, Oct 30, 2019 at 5:34 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2019
  8. porl69

    porl69 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Alex_B I have been diabetic for coming up 49 years and feel like this a LOT. Its called Diabetes Burnout. I would say every T1D here has had it in the past. You are definitely NOT a failure. Onlu us type 1s know what it is like to be able to give yourself medication which, if given incorrectly, could kill you OR see you seriously ill in hospital. No one will be able to tell you why you are not managing it very well at the moment. I guess it is up to you to take small steps to start to get yourself back on track......good luck
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  9. Manfer87

    Manfer87 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hey @Alex_B

    You're really not alone! I've spent years wondering why I just couldn't get my self together when it looked like everyone else had it easy!
    I've also thought there was something wrong with me for not being able to just naturally be healthy & look after myself.
    But in the past year I came to realise most people are the same & are struggling too, I just needed to be more consistent with my efforts & then it would become my routine.
    I can cope much better when I am in a routine.

    But please don't feel like you're a failure! You're not, you just need to find what works for you & forget everyone else. They don't have it all together as much as you think, I promise you that!
    • Winner Winner x 1
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