Living a positive, sanguine life with diabetes is not impossible. And by and large, I don’t spend most of my time thinking about the scary stuff and asking myself ‘what if?’. But it’s not always easy, even for those of us with a mostly Pollyanna-ish disposition. Whether it’s hearing difficult stories or seeing a crappy diabetes health promotion campaign, I find myself frequently triggered and start to think about how that very first introduction to diabetes that so many of us receive, sets us up to believing that there is nothing more than doom and gloom ahead of us.

But with all the worry about what diabetes could bring tomorrow, how much happiness and light are we sacrificing today? 

I worry about things and I know they may never happen; things that are not even hinted at today when I have my annual screening checks. But even as I breathe a deep sigh of relief after seeing my ophthalmologist, or receiving the results from my kidney check, I don’t stop worrying. The ‘All is good’ in this snapshot moment is reassuring, but somehow never enough.

Perhaps it’s because diabetes has a way of never just being about the here and now. The way it’s often spoken about means there is so much pressure to do right today in order to be right tomorrow. 

The ‘What if?’ questions that I seem to have on repeat cast a constant cloud, sometimes more thunderous than at other times, over so many of my days. 

Over the years, this has been one of the issues I’ve addressed with my psychologist. I have learnt to respond to ‘What if?’ questions with ‘What if it doesn’t happen?’, or to be practical rather than theoretical. This has been hugely helpful. As has saying ‘You are not at that bridge right now; you don’t need to know how to cross it.’

Just how much am I robbing myself in the here and now when I spend too much time thinking of hypotheticals of the future? How much happiness have I already lost to those hypotheticals? How much time and energy have I wasted being drawn into moments of doom, when the reality is that, in the moment – in my diabetes present – there are no clouds? No clouds at all…just blue skies.

Blue skies in New York when we last visited at the beginning of 2020.

More on this?

Random thoughts 

What if we started differently? 

The Worrier