Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Smile like it doesn't matter

For those who struggle with any kind of chronic condition, it is probably safe to say that they have struggled with the emotional side of dealing with it.

For the most part, I carry on like everyone else. Diabetes is a fact of my life, and I just deal with it. But sometimes things do get me down. It happens to many people at one time or another, and because diabetes is such an in-your-face, frustrating and annoying condition (or disease if you rather), it is often front and centre of the issues. I can tell you at a high level what gets to me about this. Here, let me list it out for you:
  1. Helplessness
  2. Dependence
And luckily (for me), a couple of things seem to work:
  1. Smile like it doesn't matter
  2. Distraction

I can deal with a lot of other crap pretty much head on. I get frustrated, I rant, rave, and sometimes even throw a hissy fit about things. And then I either do something about it, or move on. Often both. 

But when something leads me to feeling like there's absolutely nothing I can do about something, complicated by a feeling of dependence, then that brings me to a dark place. It is a flat place, where laughing and even being civil can be a challenge. 

What are these things that can lead to this all-pervasive feeling? It can be any number of things, but it is often headed up by bureaucratic nonsense that one can do nothing about it, but ride things out. 

I admit that sometimes this feeling may or may not even be of my own making. For all I know it could live solely in my mind. But when I'm in that helpless place - there's nothing to do but to ride it out. My husband hears a lot about it, but I'm the type of person that let's things fester,  and it often plays out in less than-nice ways. But he is amazingly supportive nonetheless, and that's just what I need when I get in those dark places. 

Then as time goes on, things either become normal or a new normal starts to become more comfortable, and I start to see the brighter side of things. Often it is just the realization that things are not so bad, and that I'm surrounded by supportive family and friends, who help me to heal, even if they don't realize that they are helping. I think sometimes, if I just start acting like things are normal - that I am normal - starting with my family and friends, that I will one day be just that. 

But for me, I look at it if you start smiling, you actually start to feel happy. That, and a little distraction, like that of getting through life, going to work, remodelling the kitchen, painting the family room and playing chase the kibble with the cats. That helps too. 

I'm not suggesting that what works for me, might work for others. I understand that a lot of people struggle with very serious depression, and need to seek out help from their doctors and other support networks. 

But this is me. And maybe it could work for you too. 

Yeah, all that, and then I eat ice cream. Because I can, and ice cream makes me feel happy. 

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