Taking Action for Wellness Living with Diabetes

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Know illness - know what wellness is worth. The single most important lesson diabetes has taught me is that self-care is a priority. The wisdom around living with Diabetes is hard won. The Taking Action program helps me to capture that learning and to build upon habits necessary to maintain my life. I think most people would consider having insulin, diet, and exercise in their diabetic wellness toolbox. However, the tools that make my action plans for wellness function are more complex and more subtle than the physicality of the illness.

After a recent conversation regarding the validity of the DSM V, I am reminded that often times we look at challenges as a collection of physical symptoms. Although Diabetes is a physical disease it is also very much a disease of the mind and spirit. Even when the illness is a biologically based disorder, focusing solely on the relief of physical symptoms is limiting. For instance, managing my depression regarding the factors that caused my disease and the causation of this disease directly influences my wellness practices.  Managing the what-ifs, blame, guilt, and shame of food and exercise choices constantly shades my self-esteem.

Finding a supportive workplace that lets me prioritize my diabetic care took some trial and error. Often physical symptoms are just the vehicle for a deeper problem or even a chance for healing. My mental health experiences with hearing voices has taught me that hearing voices was a viewed as negative symptom of schizoaffective disorder. However, when viewed through the lens of holistic spiritual healing this was a window to the workings of my soul which could be used to heal from traumatic life experiences. Copeland Center workshops on wellness has always provided us with a more organic worldview rather than a mechanistic machine comprised of individual components. Diabetes impacts my entire well-being and Taking Action helps me to not compartmentalize my care and view the complexity of the connection as a whole.