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Challenging T2D stigma: Amy's emotional challenges

by IBD Medical on September 05, 2023

As part of Diabetes Week, providing a platform to share different stories on emotional wellbeing and how stigma plays a role in that journey can be a great way to address public assumptions (which are often not too accurate).

We believe it can can be beneficial for everyone to get to see these stories in a public forum and to start conversations around these micro habits/events that shape how stigma can affect our diabetes journey and mental health.

Today's topic is all about raising more conversations around the implications of stigma but with an added lens:

  • What has also been your biggest lesson learnt to pass on to others and help them in their journey?

Amy's Story - T2D:

Diabetes T2D Story

First off I would love to say Happy Diabetes Week!!

Secondly I must say that the theme of the week is important for everyone, whether they are diabetic or not. Emotional wellbeing is so important in everyday life but, as a diabetic, it can help us through our toughest days.

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes back in 2015 I was frustrated and upset about it. I wasn’t sure why or how I ended up becoming diabetic. After my appointment with the doctor I cried. I sat in my car going over everything in my life wondering if maybe I caused it myself. I know I am curvy and to some they would call me overweight. Was that my doing as well? There were so many questions that I had on how I came to be diabetic. But there was no simple answer.

After weeks of sitting at home and beating myself up thinking I was the main reason that I had caused my diabetes, I decided I need to take this as a sign and change my way of life. I needed to take this diagnosis as a positive thing and not make it negative. At that moment I knew it was the only way to make a difference and help myself live with being a diabetic.

With a new look on my diagnosis I took that as the opportunity to research everything I could find about diabetes and different ways of managing my sugars as well as the food I was eating.  I used this as the time to be resilient in my change and even take the time to educate those that were close to me.

From my diagnosis until now I have grown a lot in developing and working on my emotional well-being. I still catch myself at times, when I look at how my sugars trend throughout the day and see the trends; I start getting frustrated and beat myself up for not sticking to what I know. After I calm down from the moments I know I need to not focus on the daily numbers and focus more on how I feel.

I know how hard it is to keep with positive emotions and thoughts and how easy it is just to think about all the negatives, but you have to realise the more you stay in the negative the more it will affect your everyday life.

I know you’re probably thinking or saying out loud that you can’t change overnight and I know. But the first step is trying. Reflect on everything around you and try to see the positive of what is happening to you. Look how I turned my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and turned it into a chance to change my life and took the steps to realizing I can make this a positive thing. One key foundation of emotional well-being that I have found is being resilient in the challenges that life has in store for you.

So go out there and start making the steps to maintaining a positive emotional well-being. Help those around you understand how emotional well-being is important for EVERYONE - including people living with diabetes.


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