Anger and Fear

August 23rd, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I had a Facebook conversation the other day at Diabetes Outside’s page about anger and diabetes.  I understand anger is a big emotion many feel toward the disease.

I rarely do.

Sure, I get frustrated at my numbers, I watch others eat food without thinking, I check my blood in line at the grocery store, I run 5 miles carrying 6 things in my hands.  I know these things make me different than most everyone around me.  I know my life has different challenges and that I need to work harder all the time than nearly everyone I see every day.

But I just am not angry about it.

This conversation the other day included a very solid question: “Amy, do you mean you aren’t angry at diabetes?!”

Well, shoot. 

No, I’m not really angry. 

And me being me, I immediately wanted to know WHY NOT?  I see many people online writing and commenting about their diabetes and I can’t say many of them aren’t angry.  So why aren’t I angrier at having diabetes than I am

Now, the simple answer is true and somewhat superficial: being angry takes a heck of a lot of energy.  I choose to spend that energy producing positive changes in my life and hopefully in the lives of others.

But, of course, I continued to think about it.  And I kept flashing back to a picture my therapist told me to draw when I was in high school.  She asked me to draw my diabetes.

Now, this is when I was about 15 or 16 and had had diabetes for 5 or 6 years.  I was still in a lot of denial.  A ton of it, in fact.  I remember drawing the picture, and I remember showing it to her and crying.

I'm the one in purple; my diabetes is black; circa 1993.

I’m kind of nervous to post my re-created picture, but I’m doing it to kind of show you who I am and why I think Diabetes Outside is so important.  I think it’s critical for everyone to acknowledge how frightening it is to learn about having this crazy disease, to learn we are in charge of it every day forever, and to know that despite our best efforts we’ll never get it “right”.  I think when we are diagnosed with diabetes it comes without warning and the disease has so many facets it is overwhelming.  For each and every one of us.  So for me, anger is only beneficial when we can use it to help us figure out a way to make our lives as great as they can be.  As I never was able to benefit from being angry, I have let go of much of the anger in favor of tools that I can use.

So you can probably see my answer to the question a little differently now:

No; I was never very angry about being diagnosed with diabetes. 

I was too busy being scared.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Peggy says:

    OK. Now I’m crying and scared.

  2. That’s not the point!! ;) It’s just another more private perspective that may not get out as often as I think maybe it should.

  3. Neelster says:

    I never got anger when I was told that I was a type 1…15 years ago. In fact, I wasn’t even scared. I wasn’t in denial either. I just did what I was supposed to do to survive, and honestly didn’t allow myself to feel anything. It became like a job that I don’t get paid to do other than the benefit of doing it all again tomorrow. I still have that relationship with it really. I walked into diabetes like this thing isn’t going to beat me. However, now I’m having a delayed response. Now, I do get mad, but honestly I think that I needed too.. Everyone was like your taking this just so well and think that I’m so strong by my actions. I still have a fighter spirit, but not as much as I used to 15 years ago. I am tired and am not getting the results of checking my sugar 15 times a day and more at times. Mine is not under control and honestly feeling angry about zero results is a normal response to have unlike my lack of response before. I have doctors that make me feel like they aren’t on my team and bully me into their way and not my way with my disease. It isn’t about negativity at all. It is about feeling what you feel about everything is incorporated into your disease. Some people have wonderful insurance, doctors, nurses, and dietians, and there are others that do not. I am one of the most positive people that I know…my friends will vow to this, however there are just days that you wish that your diabetes could be like it use to be. I am angry about that…I should be. Not everyone has the same experience. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on yours. :) I use to be the person that you are discribing in a way, but nowdays it wears on me.

  4. Neelster says:


Leave a Reply