When you live with a chronic health condition like type 2 diabetes, it can be overwhelming. Then add in the opinions of your friends and family, and it can feel like everyone has something to say about how you should manage it.
These opinions can often lead to feelings of pressure, dejection, shame, guilt, and so many other negative emotions, which is not what we’re about at Defeat Diabetes.
We want you to feel confident in managing your type 2 diabetes, and even more confident that you can put it into remission – because it absolutely can!
And when research shows these feelings of guilt can cause people living with type 2 diabetes to feel less able to seek out support, we want to give you some actionable steps to dealing with unsolicited opinions (because we know how tough they can be).
1. Trust yourself
You know yourself better than anyone else. If something feels right for you, then trust your gut and follow your intuition.
If other people disagree with your choice, sometimes it’s a matter of educating them about your condition. Education can lead to a better sense of understanding on their behalf, and they may be able to see why you made the choice you did.
2. Choose your support system wisely
Having said that education is key to understanding, we’ve all experienced someone who just won’t see another side to the story.
If you come up against impossible opposition, it just means they’re not your person. Find people who will support your journey to better health. This will make you more likely to open up when things get hard and stay the course in putting your type 2 diabetes into remission.
3. Know your boundaries
This is key. Although we have zero control over what other people say and do, we do have control over how we react.
If you feel your limitations are being constantly pushed by someone, or a few people, don’t ignore it. Speak up. Letting people know their actions are having a detrimental impact on your health journey is so important to keeping on track.
You’ll be thanking yourself for speaking up when your type 2 diabetes is in remission.
4. There is no shame
People don’t see any shame in living with coeliac disease, or heart disease, just like there is no shame in living with type 2 diabetes.
You haven’t asked for this condition, and you’re doing your best to manage it – and that’s enough.
If you do experience feelings of shame when you talk about your condition, it’s likely those people you’re taking to aren’t the right support system (remember tip 2?).
5. Focus on the future
Concentrate on your success and focus on the bigger picture.
It’s important to learn from the past, but dwelling on where you’ve been is no way to get where you’re going! And where you’re going is a place of better health and a type 2 diabetes free life.
Don’t forget that your life is what you make it, so try not to be too hard on yourself, and think of a brighter future.
We hope these tips will be helpful for you when you’re inner voice is competing with the sometimes louder voices of others.
Because at the end of the day, no one knows you better than you, and when it comes to your health, sometimes you have to be your own advocate.