For the past five months, since my grandson began preparing for college, I began to feel stressed. Even though Jayden doesn’t live with me, he is my daughter’s first child and I’d helped raise him from a baby. I watched him grow into a tall, handsome young man, who had set certain goals as to what he wanted out of life. And now, I watched as he surmounted all the hurdles of graduating, meeting with coaches, pushing his body to the max, weeding through all the offers that came his way, and finally, selecting the college he felt best suited his aspirations.
And so, while he took all of this in stride, this grandmother was a bundle of nerves. Why was he going so far? Couldn’t he stay right here in Florida where he could come home more often or we could visit whenever we felt like it? Jayden is something of an introvert; how would he cope with living with strangers?
I was never one to be afraid of change. I had moved to a lot of different places in my lifetime and, as a therapist, I always encouraged my patients not to fear change. But as the time drew near for Jayden and his parents to leave for Iowa, I found myself praying more and more and looking to God to give us all the courage and strength to cope with this new reality. Along with prayer, I reminded myself of the following:
- Change is inevitable for all of us. We grow up, leave our childhood home, go away to college, or get married and begin a new life.
- Change is not always bad. Many times the change we dread is the very thing we sometimes need to propel us in the right direction. A new job, new neighborhood, and new friends can help us uncover certain traits and abilities we never knew we possessed.
- Change can be as stressful or as smooth as we make it. My perspective on Jayden moving to Iowa can determine my stress level or lack of it. And my stress level can also influence the way Jayden feels about what he was about to do, so if only for his sake, I had to look at this change in a positive light.
- Successful past changes. I had many successful changes in the past. Everything seemed overwhelming in the beginning, but once I got used to the change, I even enjoyed it.
- Change is a challenge, not a threat. It gives us the opportunity to get out of the same boring routine and grow and develop in ways we never imagined possible.
So far, this article has focused on change in general, but for someone with a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes, what does change mean to you? How do you cope with the new normal —taking medications, going to the doctor regularly, monitoring your glucose level, and just making lifestyle changes? One way you can cope with this type of change is to join my Type 2 Diabetes Network Group. There you will find the help and support you need through networking with other individuals like yourself.
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.