Opening Yourself to the World With T1D

The founder of JuliainRed explains the importance of embracing the external world when living with a chronic illness.

As a person who has managed Type 1 diabetes for 14 years as of this January, I know as well as most long-term managers that being open to others and to the external world while caring for this chronic condition can be tough. Managing diabetes becomes the priority, while other life fillers and experiences assume second-rank. Because of its burdensome daily rituals, Type 1 diabetes can be very isolating, easily leading to depression, anxiety, or increased stress. Hence, people with diabetes must redouble their efforts to break out of their shells and experience people and the world.

If you are reading this and have Type 1 diabetes, you might already know that this is your “something.” Everyone has one. Everyone has that something that gets to them and makes them feel lesser. But we don’t have to let it. We can overcome the negative emotions. And when we do, our “somethings” lead us to believe and to become better, happier, more fulfilled versions of ourselves.

How exactly do we do this with Type 1 diabetes, though? By making efforts to change conscious thoughts from negative to positive. When we distribute positive energy, we receive it. So, we must be more kind and patient with ourselves. And we must know that Type 1 diabetes is part of us, but not all of us. It’s like a child that we must manage and constantly care for, but that need not control us.

Life is expansive and ever-changing. Not only is this realization extremely freeing, it may prove therapeutic in managing the condition. Extend your support system. Widen your network. Thrive with others. Love them. Embrace them. Let them embrace you. And embrace yourself and your condition.

Finally, don’t let your condition get to you. This is true whether you’ve managed Type 1 diabetes for 14 years, 14 months, 14 weeks, or 14 days. Let live, then let go. Feel your feelings, then move forward. Life’s too short to be anything but your happiest and healthiest. Do well. Be well.

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Julia Flaherty is an experienced writer, editor, digital marketer, social media specialist, promotions and events manager, and health advocate. She is especially passionate about contributing her voice to the T1D community and aspires to direct positive change through a meaningful career.