Welcome to all of my Moms who have T1D kids!
Today’s question is: What does it take for you to get back up once you’ve been knocked down?
A quote that I found thought provoking, on this journey as a mom to a T1D son, is from Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.” I could relate since the plan of my life was altered on 2/21/07. Yes, it felt like I was punched in the face! What was the diagnosis like for you? What does it take for you to get back up once you’ve been knocked down? The easy thing to do is to stay down. I know, because that was my go to for years. I was in survival mode and thought that was all that was available to me. I thought that the way I was managing diabetes was the only way. However, the difficult thing to do is to process that pain, allow the negative emotion and all that comes with it.
There are four options to processing negative emotion that are available to us with our diagnosis of diabetes: Avoid, Resist, React, Process.
Avoiding, resisting and reacting are absolutely understandable. I went through the whole gamut of emotional options. None of them are right or wrong. They are temporary distractions and are ways of processing emotions you should be aware of…understanding what your “go to emotional processing theme” is…can have value.
Avoiding that negative emotion (how life sucks with diabetes – my negative thought) means that every time the thought comes up…you buffer. You exchange that negative thought for immediate gratification, which is called buffering. Buffering is going outside of yourself to seek pleasure. My clients buffer with wine, work, Netflix, food, shopping, etc. Your primitive brain believes that buffering is incredible since it gives you immediate pleasure. Who doesn’t like immediate pleasure? However, avoiding/buffering creates a net negative in your life since you still think “life sucks with diabetes.” The buffering also creates compounding negative results (if it’s food – it’s weight gain…it it’s shopping – it’s debt) that has a multiplier negative effect.
Resisting that negative emotion is using energy to push down that negative thought. It’s like holding a beach ball under the water, but eventually that beach ball is going to pop up. You use energy to resist your negative thoughts about diabetes. The negative thought is still there (keeps popping up) and all you do is continually resist it. Your underlying emotion (another one of mine was…it’s unfair) is so intricately tied to the negative thought it’s painful and you resist feeling it. The negative thought remains after continuous efforts to resist it.
Reacting to negative emotion is using physical energy to expel the anger. It is punching a wall, throwing things, yelling and arguing (to name just a few.) This also has a net negative effect on your life, since it brings negative results to all aspects of your life. Punching it out does not get rid of the intrinsic negative thought. That negative thought remains intact after all the reacting is over and the compound negative effect of altering your relationships comes with it.
Processing that negative emotion is the most difficult. It’s the option of getting back up after you’ve been knocked down. It’s difficult because getting knocked down means you lose your momentum. It means your world view is altered… and comes from where you now lie. It’s the one that will bring up fear, overwhelm, and confusion. It takes discipline and courage to process negative emotion. For now when that negative thought/emotion (life sucks with diabetes) comes up just notice it. That’s all…notice what your “go to” thought is!
Noticing your negative thought about diabetes is an important step! The thought triggers pain and this emotional pain can ravage your body. The feelings (vibrations in your body) caused by the thought are excruciating. Once you figure out what your go to negative thought is…notice your desire to avoid, resist and react. That’s it… don’t try and fix it. Part 2 is the next blog….Bring on the Pain.
Want help getting back up after getting punched in the face? Join me in a FREE 20 minute Exploration Coaching Session! It’s confidential one-on-one coaching. Click here to sign up for a free session.