Hi, I am Nancy. I was told over the phone I have diabetes type 2 on Friday, and this afternoon it’s sunk in and all I’ve done is cried. I want to share my story on the off chance that someone understands.

I’ve had bad mental health for a long time. I have CPTSD, mixed anxiety and depressive disorder and binge eating disorder. I’ve been overweight all of my life. I had a family who had no idea of healthy boundaries and attitudes to food, and subsequently I began to use food as a crutch as a child, and it’s never stopped. I’ve been a fairly heavy smoker over the years, having smoked since I was 13 or so.

Firstly, the shame I feel is unbearable. I’m under no illusion really that this is my fault (I try and tell myself it’s something else, but really deep down I know). I have spent a lot of my life being bullied and I feel like this was the final straw for my self-esteem. I can’t really hate myself more than I already do, and now I’ve got something else to feel ashamed about – not that I think diabetes as a whole is shameful, but I’m acutely aware I’ve done this to myself.

Eating is pretty much the only thing that gives me any physical feelings of happiness, smoking was the only thing that gave me any relief from the anxiety and I’m so scared that those have to go now. I don’t trust myself to successfully stop either of those massive habits and I’m afraid I am going to write myself an even worse future.

Mental health services are under funded and under pressure, as I’m sure you know. I’ve had no therapy or help for my mental health since I was diagnosed age 20.

I don’t mean to sound defeatist because I’m really not. I’ve booked myself onto stop smoking NHS courses and I am going to make every attempt to try and fix this – but I know what I’m like. These problems have plagued my life for so many years and I’m beyond terrified to go to my diabetic appointments, knowing that these issues are so bad and (maybe wrongly) assuming they won’t be able to help me.

I just needed to vent, because I’m so full of shame and fear and no one around me understands.