Do you sometimes feel angry and confused about dealing with diabetes? Write your diabetes a letter and tell it how you feel! I know that might sound a bit absurd, but letter writing is a creative form of Narrative Therapy, which can help you organize your thoughts and develop a clear, healthy attitude toward a problem. I recently invited several people to write letters to their diabetes. They found the exercise surprisingly helpful. As one writer said, “It is weird; once you start writing, it all comes pouring out. Who knew?” Here are two samples of what they wrote:
We are at peace now, but it was not that way in the beginning. When I was five years old you invaded my body and damaged my pancreas. You caused me to lose weight and I stopped eating. When I was in school, you made my life miserable. The other kids knew I was different and they ignored me.
Now, many years after my diagnosis, I am very healthy and I have no serious complications. I feel I have won this battle. You are actually being rather cooperative. If I take good care of myself you do not bother me and I have wonderful days. If I am careless and stray from my path you remind me you are still there and you are very unkind. You keep me focused on my need to maintain good control by eating properly and by exercising. I believe that I am healthier now than I would have been if you had never come into my life. I thank you for that. I am very health conscious and I may not have been without you. We are no longer enemies. You were my evil twin but now you are my friend. We exist together and you are there to keep me going in the right direction. Let’s continue that friendship for many more years to come, shall we?
…I have 2 kids and have to be here for them. All I can do is make you comfortable and try to make you my friend. So, I will dry my tears, lay out the welcome mat and try and make you happy. It won’t be easy, because we will still go to battle some days, but maybe we can learn to fight side by side and not on opposing teams? I don’t love you but maybe I can learn to like you.
Ready to write your letter? Give it a try. Your grammar and spelling doesn’t need to be perfect. No one has to see the letter, so pour your heart out and let your diabetes know how you feel. Take this opportunity to share the strong feelings you have bottled up inside. Who knows – it could really help you come to grips with your diabetes.