Making Friends for Life
I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 26 years, and like most T1Ds you hit a point where you burn out physically and emotionally. I thought I was the only person living with T1D who was filled with dread weeks leading up to each and every endo appointment, anticipating the usual “you’re doing a terrible job at this.” I wanted to do better, but I was stuck in the endless cycle of a falling back into old habits. It wasn’t until I met other people living with type 1 diabetes that I realized feeling burnt out was a completely valid feeling for a person living with a disease that required 24/7 monitoring.
About six years ago I had hit my all time low when a mutual friend introduced me to another type 1 named Samantha. Connecting with Samantha saved my life. Without her constant encouragement and push towards championing my own health and wellness I’m not sure where I would be today. I had finally met someone who understood my daily struggles, who shared my victories and who could fully relate to the highs and lows of living with diabetes. Fast forward five years, Samantha and I served at our local JDRF chapter for over a year together, raising awareness and connecting with local type 1s and their families. In some capacity or another, I have been connected with the diabetes community ever since.
With the encouragement from Samantha and a wonderful group of ladies in a local type 1 support group, I began to make big changes in my T1D management. I found an endocrinologist who was willing offer solutions rather than shame, got a Dexcom, switched to a t:Slim and attended monthly type 1 meetups. Most importantly I made an effort to reach out to a T1D friend if I saw old patterns start to resurface. However, I can say that the biggest component in my transformation has been engaging with the type 1 community, whether it was through in person meet ups, the online diabetes community or volunteering at events.
For those feeling burnt out and struggling with T1D, reach out to someone in the community. The FFL family is full of support and resources to help you in your journey. You are never alone—we are friends for life!
Sasha and Sam … friends for life. Sasha serves as CWD’s Creative Director.
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