Updated: Mar 6, 2022
Shame seems to be an almost universal feeling after a diabetes diagnosis.
Shame also keeps us incredibly stuck. It can feel like a motivator, but what's produced from shame is "bad fruit." Not sustainable, not helpful, not in line with our values.
When it comes to diabetes, the amount of shame we feel about diabetes is often inversely correlated with how much action we can take toward taking care of our diabetes. If we're feeling loads and loads of shame about diabetes, we're more likely to ignore it, pretend it's not there, wish/wait for it to go away.
Conversely (the inverse!), if we're feeling less or even no shame about diabetes, we are able to do a lot more to care for our diabetes. We might be able to check blood sugar, plan meals ahead of time, schedule an appointment for our next A1c, etc.
OK. So. How do we decrease shame in order to make room for self-care?
So glad you asked! (This is in no way comprehensive, but gives you some ideas for moving forward.)
Coping with shame might include:
- identify the shame (we can't cope with it if we don't know it's there)
- self-compassion ("how would I treat a friend?")
- connecting with others and sharing our story (sharing your diagnosis with a safe friend? diabetes support group?)
- speaking the shame (counseling/therapy!)
What helps you cope with shame?