Living with type 1 diabetes (t1d) can take a toll on one’s self-confidence and comfort in their body. Along with the physical inconveniences like having low blood sugar or administering medication on a daily basis, there is an invisible social shame that can be felt from uneducated people when the words “I have diabetes” come out of someone’s mouth. Unfortunately, there will always be uninformed people who have no idea what diabetes is or why people get it.
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Both forms of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) come with different kinds of preconceived, ignorant assumptions regarding the disease which can lead those who have it to feeling shameful, sad, and with low self-esteem. Having confidence with type 1 diabetes can take a lot of time and personal effort to achieve, but it is necessary for having a positive association with the disease and not letting it get in the way of other goals in life!
Thankfully, it is completely possible to live confidently. I personally have had type 1 diabetes for almost 10 years and I am more confident in my type 1 diabetes than I ever have been. I also know a lot of other diabetics living extremely beautiful, vibrant lives, who don’t let this disease hold them back in any way. Read on to learn about some of the best things you can do to boost your confidence with type 1 diabetes.
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Give Yourself Time
Acceptance is key. If you are newly diagnosed or haven’t ever emotionally dealt with the diagnosis, now is the time to do so. Give yourself time to grieve, be angry, and question things. Diabetes is an extremely life-altering diagnosis. It’s normal and okay to feel like you’ve lost all control. The reality is there will always be hard days, even once the initial grief has gone. Just like losing a loved one, you’ve lost a sense of your old self and the mourning with come and go throughout your life.
Once you’ve taken the time to fully accept your diagnosis, you can move on to the confidence aspect. Know that living with type 1 diabetes makes you superhuman. You go on with your daily life — work, exercise, meals and also deal with this complex disease. That is amazing. It makes you strong, extremely capable, empathetic towards others, and shows how hardworking you are. Remind yourself of these things on a daily basis. You can do so by posting sticky notes around the house, reminders in your phone, or even learn mantras. Confidence comes from deep within and the first step in being outwardly confident in public should be to feel great in your own skin when you are alone.