Gah, social media can be a destructive beast can’t it? For all the good it does to connect with others, there are so many voices that erode your convictions and confidence (often through no fault of their own). It makes me very cautious about what I post online. I tweeted a picture of my favourite houseplant the other day and was concerned about giving my followers succulent-envy!
Anyway, an example. I’ve recently been prescribed the Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system – and it’s a game changer. Instead of random finger prick tests a few times a day, this bad boy records and stores your glucose levels all the time. You scan a little sensor that lives in your upper arm and can obtain a graph of what your blood glucose (well, interstitial glucose) levels have been playing at over the last few hours. It also tells you whether you’re heading up or down or riding steady so you can make better treatment options. It’s fab.
However, the downside of so much data is, well, reality. There’s no hiding from horrible blood sugar spikes and the little yellow box at the top of the app that declares “45% in target” (p.b. is 89%, worst is 8% over a 24 hour period).
If I’m honest, this lovely device has improved my diabetes control but increased my anxiety levels. One thing that has without a doubt contributed to that stress is seeing other people’s amazing flat lines on Twitter that declare “98% in target on 4 cream cakes”. Now, I’m not saying people shouldn’t share these images – I’m really happy for people who can get this level of control. If I got results like that I’d be shouting from the rooftops!
What needs to change is how much I take on these successes as goals to achieve. Because being frank, I’m unlikely to ever meet them.
I saw my (fantastic) consultant yesterday. I look forward to our appointments twice a year as I know she will fill me with hope. Looking at my roller coaster graphs together, she reassured me they can improve. “You just need to deal with the hypos at the moment, don’t worry about the highs. We’ll deal with them once we have the lows sorted.”
I left the hospital feeling clear on my goal, and confident that I could do it. Today, I was 35% in target. But I didn’t have any hypos, so it’s been a good day. I feel proud and much less anxious.
The moral here? Don’t take on other people’s goals or successes as something to aim for. Define what success is for you in a certain area and head for that. Health is an obvious one, but I can think of so many other areas of life that are influenced by seeing other people’s goals and thinking I ought to reach for them – parenting, my career, even my approach to down-time.
It’s time to be clear on my own goals and to do everything I can to achieve them.