When Perfectionism and Diabetes Collide

I’m a perfectionist… who has diabetes.

Sometimes it’s helpful to let my perfectionism take over my diabetes management. If I weren’t the way I am (ie a control freak, over achiever, perfectionist, compulsive worrier), I wouldn’t have the tight control influence on my diabetes that I do.

Unfortunately, I’m not always a strong enough influence on my diabetes and my little d-monster takes control making me feel like a failure.

Have I mentioned that I’m a perfectionist? When I wake up with a blood sugar of 49, I wonder how I could have let myself go to bed so low (I never go to sleep at 100 or lower). When I have bruises at my pod site, or from an injection, I think that I have the worst aim (and blood vessels) ever.

But the truth is, I can’t always be that perfect 100. Diabetes isn’t going to give me an A every day (the perpetual student in me sees the 100 and a 100% A+). When I hit low blood sugars, I have to accept that my body isn’t on autopilot and dosing insulin isn’t an exact science… and that I need juice. When I test above 200, I need to accept that my body hates me I might have misjudged carb contents or I might be getting sick and I need to correct and move on.

Like most things in my life, perfectionism helps me succeed in certain areas. It helps me stay sane and create a pattern of normalcy.

But also like other things in my life, perfectionism makes me feel like crap when things don’t work out the way they’re supposed to I want them to.

The more time I spend reading the stories of other diabetics, the better I feel. The perfectionist in me says that I should know what I’m doing by now, but people who have been dealing with this much longer than I have still feel like they don’t know what they’re doing at times.


2 thoughts on “When Perfectionism and Diabetes Collide

  1. Rachel, thanks for this post. I am compusive about my diabetes, as well. This was not always the case. I agree so much with your statement that the more you read about other diabetics the better you feel. I feel the same way and am so glad to have found the DOC and your blog.

  2. Rachel,
    I can relate! I have lived with diabetes for 30 years and have struggled with the impossible goal of perfect blood sugars on and off for years. I am writing an article for Diabetes Self-Management about perfectionism and diabetes and would love to talk with you if you are willing.

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