From T1D burnout & denial to empowered acceptance: How I went from giving up to showing up

Featured Podcast Episode
July 16, 2024

Inspiration and motivation can come from anywhere. For me, it is being able to see real women rising above their diabetes and showing up in their lives with strength, determination, and integrity.  

My name is Cecily, I live in Florida and have had T1D for 17 years. When I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 24, it felt like my entire world came crashing down. I felt scared, alone and angry. I had just graduated college, backpacked around Europe, worked overseas and fallen in love for the first time. Spending 10 days in the hospital with DKA and leaving with a T1D diagnosis was not how I had envisioned my adult beginning. 

For years and years, I went through many phases of feeling all of the feelings that can come with the realization of living with this for the rest of my life: anger, fear, denial, sadness and shame. Not knowing anyone else who had T1D, I felt isolated and tended to keep my true feelings hidden from the important people in my life. I wanted to pretend it wasn't real

After a long time of being in auto-pilot mode and not prioritizing my diabetes management, I finally gained the courage to ask for help and seek a community for support. Becoming a mother to my son drastically shifted my perspective and gave me the clarity on WHY I needed support that I didn’t have before. I wanted to be the mother, wife, friend and sister that my close circle could be inspired by. I didn't want to give up, I wanted to show up. In order to be the person I wanted to, I knew I needed to fill my own cup first and prioritize myself.  

When I joined the Risely Health Decide and Conquer Group Coaching program in 2020, I felt vulnerable and embarrassed about sharing my struggles and asking for help. Within 15 minutes of talking to Lauren during my application screening call, I had broken down in tears, spoken my truth and felt truly seen. It is so strange to have never met the women in the DCB, but in sharing the journey of coming back to ourselves, we’ve formed the strong connection and friendship that I was yearning for. 

Hearing other women's stories of their experience with navigating a life with T1D was so important in my healing process. In the DCB program and within the Alumni group afterwards, women just like me are openly and honestly sharing their struggles in a safe, supportive place. The space we hold to provide unwavering support and encouragement that we give to one another is beautiful and comforting. 

On the days that I need to vent about my struggles of never having a day off from diabetes management, complaining about the cost of medicine/supplies or the effects T1D has on my mental health, they hear me and see me in a way that only other T1Ds can. Celebrating each other's wins can have so much meaning and importance to each one of us because we know how much it takes to make even one small step towards better diabetes management.

I am so grateful to live in a time where technology provides me with the ability to see, know and connect with these women living their lives with honesty and vulnerability. Women who are not afraid to live out loud and show the world that we are more than our diagnosis.

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