Diabetes Blog Week: May 15: Survival tools

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

I’m the queen of mantras. All right, maybe not the queen but close to it. I have an arsenal of mantras, sayings, quotes and real life inspirational stories, depending on the situation, to inspire me. My favorites are mentioned below.

When I’m afraid, usually when I’m about to make an important decision or take a major risk, or when I go for my quarterly A1c test or annual medical check, or when I ponder upon the complications that diabetes threatens to bring me, I find strength from one of my go-to mantras. It’s from Frank Herbert’s Dune. It’s called the Litany Against Fear.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

When things go wrong and I feel like just giving up, these few words from Samuel Beckett keep me going:

you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on

When I fall, stumble, am overcome by circumstances or fail, and feel like crawling under a boulder and withering away into nothingness, Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping buoys me back up:

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
[Repeat while singing and dancing]

Sure, the song is about drinking but these lyrics and the music rarely fail to put me in a good mood. The truth is, the song also fairly sums up what I sometimes do when I’m in the gutter so to speak. I end up pissing the night away.

When I get pissed, I usually do it with the best person to get pissed with, my husband. He keeps me sane, grounded and focused. He has coped with a lot of my crap, not all related to diabetes. But he’s there to set me straight when I start whining, usually starting with “Why …” Why me? (And why not? Why should it be someone else?) Why can’t I eat yaki soba? (Well, you can have a small portion, not the entire plate.) Why won’t the national health insurance cover test strips unless I use insulin? (What do you intend to do about it?) Why do I have diabetes? (Everyone has something to deal with. Life will be boring otherwise. If you have nothing to worry about, you’re bound to pick a fight, probably with me.) Why can’t I run faster? (Maybe you’re not training enough?) Why am I so tired this morning? (Because you slept past midnight.) How on earth does he put up with me? I don’t know but I’m so glad he’s here. We all have challenges to face. We don’t have to deal with these challenges alone. We shouldn’t.

When all else fails, I let out a long, guttural AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!

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