ARRGH!!! Diabetes can make you seriously furious. Whether it’s caused by inexplicable high blood sugar, all the management you have to do, or painfully high medication prices, there are plenty of reasons to want to shake your first at the sky and demand justice.
In fact, here are just a few of those reasons:
- People blaming you (openly or passive-aggressively) for having diabetes.
- The fact that you have to pack 100 pounds of stuff just for an overnight trip.
- Type 1 and type 2 always being confused.
- The 101 possible complications of not managing your blood sugar every second of every day.
- Complications despite managing your blood sugar every second of every day.
- The cost. Oh, for heaven’s sake, the cost!
Are you angry now? You probably don’t want to feel angry, but it would be strange if you didn’t get riled up now and then.
Pros and Cons of Uncontrolled Anger
Constant anger can contribute to diabetes burnout, which can compromise healthy management, and it can be destructive to your mental and physical health. But anger isn’t all negative. It can drive you to endure help you cope. Getting mad about something can help you push through rather than break down.
The key is to deal with your anger in ways that help you, not hurt you. Here are 10 ways for dealing with diabetes-related anger:
1. Keep an Anger Diary
The American Diabetes Association recommends tracking your anger in a diary to better understand how it affects you. For a few weeks, write down things that made you angry, times of day that you were angry, and your responses to anger. Keeping the diary may be cathartic in and of itself, but reflecting on your data can also help you see what situations, people, and environmental factors contribute to your anger. Understanding how your anger works can help you can gain control of it.
2. Check in with your body
Anger often causes a physical response. Note those responses in your journal. Do your fists clench? Do your teeth grind? Can you feel your heart beating faster?
Your mind and body are connected. Try breathing deeply and telling to your body to relax. If you can get your body to physically relax, your mind will more easily follow. You may try clenching your fists even tighter, and then gently relaxing as if physically letting your anger drop from your hands.
3. Harness the fury
Some folks get angry and clean the whole house or clear out their inbox. If your anger needs an outlet, try using your energy to lay into a task that takes a lot of effort. You may feel calmer after ripping all the weeds out of your garden or finally dusting your baseboards, but even if you don’t, at least you’ll have gotten some use out of your anger. You may even want to save a specific task to tackle for times when you’re feeling a righteous fury. Take that, you stinking baseboards!
“NEXT” for more ways to deal with anger
Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.