Mental Health

NO relationship, I repeat… NO relationship is without its trials and tribulations.
✧NO relationship is perfect
✧NO relationship just works without putting in serious work!
✧NO relationship is all 🌈’s & 🦋’s

I always believed myself to be a patient person, but life with THIS ⤵️ type 1 diabetic has taught me a different kind of patience. Just like any human it is hard not to take things personally. I had to learn how to pick up on the cues of low and high blood sugar and know that none of the mood swings were directed at me and to give the gift of grace while he gets through whatever he may be going through internally.

The different stages of a type 1 diabetic…

1: I am fine and happy and my blood sugar is a perfect 100.
2: Blood sugar is low. Eat everything possible to raise it. Ice cream and cookies? Yes!
3: Blood sugar is high. Feeling lethargic. Nap time.

I don’t live with diabetes affecting my mood and body all day, but I do live with a diabetic and I can see the toll it takes on his body and mental health. According to the CDC diabetics are 2-3 times more likely to have depression than those without diabetes. This depression can start at a young age and less than half of those affected seek any type of treatment. The stress and anxiety of having to constantly worry about keeping yourself alive can be overwhelming. People without diabetes (like myself) have a fully functioning pancreas, which allows us luxuries I never thought about until dating a person with diabetes. Other than the never ending pricks, carb counting, answering questions, changing insulin, arguing with insurance, making doctors appointments, getting blood drawn, taking other medications and vitamins, changing insulin sites and working through brain fog, you also have to deal with the anxiety this all brings.

Just this morning we had a breakdown in communication and you would have thought the world was ending. One of our dogs was sick, the breaker box kept tripping which meant no power in part of the house, Christopher realized he was getting low on insulin with no prescription, the clip on his pump broke, and he’s still working with Medtronic to get more sensors so his pump can monitor his blood sugar. All these things compiling at once made me realize how Diabetes may double the issues he is dealing with compared to me!

Finding ways to cope with the added stress of Diabetes is new to me but Christopher has been working on this for much longer than I have. Now we have the added stress of COVID just to make things a little more interesting. Avoiding any type of exposure to COVID has been a huge focus for us because of how vulnerable he can be to any type of virus. Staying organized and prepared, eating healthy, being active and making sure we save time for family and friends helps us cope with all of the added anxiety. We’ve found that its important for us to diligently work on the things that help make life a little easier so we can avoid as many of life’s unwanted surprises as possible.

In the end, communication is key in any relationship and being there for the other person when they are experiencing a low (blood sugar or mental health) day can make the difference in their day turning around. I would love to hear what kind of practices you may have to help cope with your stress and relationships!

For more resources on mental health and diabetes, see links below.
ADA – Mental Health: Living with Type 1
CDC- Diabetes and Mental Health
Mental Health America- Diabetes and Mental Health

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