Resilience - and diabetes
We just love reading Renza's blog post always. This one we had to share.
I’ve been thinking about resilience. Mostly because recently, I had a few days where mine had gone a little AWOL.
My resilience levels affect a lot of what is going on in my life. When I am feeling super hardy, I think clearly, I am logical and common sense prevails. When faced with a situation, I pause, reflect on different options, try harder to consider others’ points of view and make calculated and deliberate choices. I make less impulsive decisions; I regret less; I feel more buoyant and sure of myself, and confident in how I decide to solve what lies ahead.
When resilience slips, I act without considering all options or potential consequences. And I stop doing a lot of the self-care that usually I do without too much thought. I sleep less; I eat less well. I become less risk-averse, realising – often too late – that the way I acted was not the smartest way, or I do something that I may regret later. Sometimes I catch myself before it happens, sometimes I don’t.
And it spirals. Because then the worry and concern about the way I reacted starts to play on my mind. And I stop doing what is best for me. I read things into the situation that aren’t there. I second guess myself. Spiral, spiral, spiral…
In diabetes, that reduced resilience plays out in the same ways, just with a diabetes-specific bent. I become a little reckless in the way I bolus – leaving it too late, making guesstimates that I hope won’t cause too many problems, of just plain forget. I ignore alerts and alarms, or silence them by making a quick, but not necessarily smart move. I don’t stop and think and try to understand the situation – I just act. Or I don’t act…I do nothing.
And, of course, in the way of diabetes, that spirals too. Rollercoaster glucose levels prevail as I can do nothing more than chase the impulsive decisions I’ve been making. I stop thinking about the overall picture, instead dealing with the immediate situation at hand.
All of this because I don’t have the resilience stores – the energy, the clarity, the right state of mind – to help guide me through the necessary process, but I need or want to do something … just for the sake of doing something.
I have a wise friend who has provided me counsel during these periods – including this most recent one. As I was jumping in from every which way trying to resolve a situation, she listened, and then gently suggested I take a breath, take a pause and take a step back. ‘Let it marinate. Don’t do anything right now. Just wait a bit.’