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With any new changes that happen in life, there’ll always be an adjustment period. We acknowledge the rollercoaster of emotions that will come from this, particularly reactions of fear, disbelief or self-blame. It can be beneficial to remember that it’s normal to have these reactions when you don’t know much about diabetes or life with diabetes upon getting diagnosed. Feeling like your whole life will change and is about to step into an unknown chapter will elicit a feeling of fear, which we hope the following general steps may help you gain the clarity and comfort you need to move forward.
1. Be mindful and aware of your emotional wellbeing - Adjustment is an ongoing journey, so it’s important to look out for yourself so you can best support yourself through the different stages of the journey.
2. Be informed - Knowing the basics of diabetes can help give you the clarity you need to decrease any feelings of fear and feeling like you have no control over your lifestyle changes. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself the space and time to gather your information. A good starting place is to talk to your health professionals.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - Information overload can happen during your research and search journey phase, particularly around learning new skills to manage your diabetes. We would suggest that writing down a list of questions and concerns as you start to receive information can help you dump out your confusion and worries. Not only can this help you connect the dots, but you can always take those questions to a health professional or a trusted fellow diabetes community member and get some perspective! This will help both you and your health care team provide the best support for you!
4. Connect with your diabetes community and learn from them - Sometimes, learning from those who are also living with diabetes can offer you practical support as they also understand what it truly is like to live and manage diabetes. Oftentimes, the beauty of connecting and finding support from a community is the reassurance that others also face similar challenges in their own journey. This can assist you to feel less isolated and can be beneficial to share personal ideas and experiences.
5. Don’t be afraid to include your family and friends - If you feel comfortable sharing, let your closest family and friends know how you feel so that they can offer the support you may be after. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey! Your family and friends may react in a way that is not to your liking. That is ok! Don’t let it stop you from sharing your feelings. Opening up is an act that is meant to focus on allowing you the space to express yourself.