I’ve had T1D for 25 years and always say that I’m grateful for it. I live a much healthier lifestyle that I would if I didn’t have it.
Being diagnosed at 15 is a bigger challenge, I would imagine. The partying years are potentially ahead of you and that’s going to be super difficult to keep your BG in a normal range. I know it’s easy for me to say pizza and party food isn’t worth it, since I have plenty of experience with the difficulty of managing my BG when consuming that stuff, but truly, adopting a you-first healthy lifestyle now will serve you better in the future (I sound like a parent, don’t I?).
The other thing is, you haven’t done anything wrong to have T1D! Many people these days associate ‘diabetes’ with being fat or overeating. Even for Type 2s, that’s not always the case. As you’ve no doubt learned, heredity has a lot to do with T1D. There’s no one in my family who has it, so my diagnosis was attributed to an auto immune response to a virus. It used to bug me that I didn’t know exactly why/how I got it, but it really doesn’t matter.
I’ve got a Type A personality (that’s probably a nice way of stating I’m a bit of a control freak!) so quite frankly, this disease fits my personality. I’ve always loved science, so this is kinda’ like a big science experiment in a way. Diabetes allows me to slow down a little here and there and actually put myself and my needs first sometimes. Taking care of our health is important, as we know, but with diabetes, it’s no longer something we can push aside.
My best advice would be to become as educated as you can with your situation, find mentors where you can, ask questions, and be thankful you were diagnosed in an age where we’ve got so many great tools at our disposal.
There’s truly nothing you can’t do or accomplish as a person with T1D. Look for those success stories: Olympic athletes, educators, doctors, actors, etc. T1D is a small part of who you are, it isn’t who you are. I always say I’m a person with diabetes, not a diabetic. I don’t let it define me. I often share with others because I like knowing that I’m a good example of someone living well with a chronic condition. Educating others about diabetes is important too, to clear up the myths and misunderstanding.
I know you’ll do great! If you’ve got any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org