Hiding from the Truth: The Story of My Struggle to Accept Diabetes

This article was written exclusively for BattleDiabetes.com by Gershelda Harman. She discusses her shocking diabetes diagnosis as a teenager, her continued struggle with her condition in her adult years and what she finally found to be helpful.

I remember the day I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was sitting at the breakfast bar, eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes and was so dizzy I was falling off the bar stool. My Mother, who was a diabetic, checked my blood sugar. It was over 300! She called my doctor and we were seen immediately. I was 16 years old.

Teenage Rebellion

The doctor told me that if I ate right, exercised, and lost 30 pounds, I'd be okay. As a teenager, I wanted to be just like all the other teenagers, do and eat whatever I wanted. Thus began my life long battle with diabetes.

I choose to keep my secret. I didn’t even tell my best friend. I continued on being a typical teenager, eating anything I wanted. I never checked my blood sugar or went to any of my doctor appointments. Looking back, I think I felt that if I ignored it, it would go away. In the back of my mind, I knew it would not go away. I was mad and angry.

Feeling Desperate

Why was this happening to ME? I never hurt anyone. I never did anything to deserve this! I wanted to scream, shout and hit something, anything! However, I kept it all inside. I pushed it deep within my conscience so no one could ever know. I became depressed and turned to food for comfort.

Even though my Mother was a diabetic, I didn’t feel that I could talk to her about how I felt or what I was going through. In my mind, she wouldn’t understand. Yes, she had diabetes, but she didn’t have it as a teenager. She would never know how I was feeling.

Trying to Change

As a young adult, my condition would attempt to resurface, but by this time, I was great at pushing back my true feelings. Diabetes became a major problem in my life again when I became pregnant with my first child, at the age of 23.

I went on insulin and had to give myself shots 2-4 times a day. Yet, I was still in denial. I was still unable to accept that I had diabetes, and I was still angry and depressed. After I had my daughter, I, again, pushed my feelings as deep inside as I could and ate whatever I wanted.

In Part II of this article Gershelda Harman discusses her continued struggle to accept her condition, how the death of her mother, due to diabetes complications, changed her outlook on life and how she has changed her life to accommodate her diabetes.

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