Diabetes burnout. It’s a real thing and all T1 diabetics go through it at times. Having T1 diabetes is like having a baby except this baby never grows up and becomes more independent, my “baby” requires 24/7 care for the rest of my life. There are no days off, no breaks, no one to hand the responsibility to for a little while. The occasional nights of interrupted sleep will never end. The weight of the responsibility feels really heavy at times. So as diabetics, we go through burn out.

I’ve been experiencing some burn out this week. There have been times my CGM has gone off that I’m high or low and I’ve ignored the alarms because I just don’t feel like dealing with it. Then I feel guilty that I’ve let myself run high for a while when if I’d just stopped and taken care of it, I wouldn’t feel so horrible. Or I went really low because despite the warning, I just didn’t feel like eating. It really doesn’t take long (maybe a minute or two) to take care of these issues but I’m just so tired of always having to take care of it that I chose to ignore it instead. And yesterday I just couldn’t time my insulin right no matter how hard I tried, so I gave up and let my BG do what it wanted.

Diabetes burnout can vary in length and intensity. Sometimes it lasts a couple of days, sometimes a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of months. It can be mild annoyance and resentment at having to take care of BG, sometimes it can lead to a complete state of denial of being diabetic and doing nothing to manage it. Sometimes it can lead to complications, it always leads to guilt knowing I’m not doing my best.

Grace. It’s the most important thing to remember during burnout. Does that mean that I should let myself make bad choices and just let myself off the hook? No. But it does mean that I remember I am human and I’m not perfect and sometimes doing my best is to let a few things slide because it’s just too much today. I should always be working to do my best but sometimes I need to give myself a little break from trying to be perfect. And maybe take a long hot bath!

As with every burnout I’ve been through before, I will just keep pushing through. I will reach out to my diabetic community for support. Even when I don’t feel like dealing with the constant demands, I will do my best not to ignore them too long. As I keep pushing through, I will make it through this burnout just like I have every one before. I will not give up or give in to this disease. With God’s help and strength, I will keep on keeping on!

3 Replies to “Burnout”

  1. The comparison between the exhaustion of the baby years reminds me of the best advice I received during those times: rest and relief does not come from “me time” but “God time” – meaning following the example of spending time in prayer and meditation especially on the most draining of days.

    1. Thanks so much for the reminder Susan ❤️. While I don’t think it’s wrong to try to use some self soothing technics to get through the stress, I should be focusing just as much on “God time”.

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