Dr. Beverly S. Adler is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified diabetes educator, speaker and author, and has had type 1 diabetes for 37 years. Known as ‘Dr. Bev’ to her patients, she specializes in treating the emotional issues of patients with diabetes. Dr. Bev’s first book, My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes, was published last year and features stories written by 24 women who have thrived with diabetes. One of those women, Diabetes Social Media Advocacy founder Cherise Shockley, recently sat down with Dr. Bev to discuss her newly published book, My Sweet Life: Successful Men with Diabetes.
Here are some highlights of Dr. Bev and Cherise’s conversation.
Dr. Bev on the common characteristics shared by the women and men who contributed their stories to her books:
“Both the women’s book and the men’s book, all of those authors do believe that diabetes is a blessing. It has helped them to be healthier in life, stronger, have more conviction, have more resilience. It gives us our…determination. We become very determined to succeed.”
Dr. Bev and Cherise discuss the importance of a positive attitude for a successful life with diabetes:
Dr. Bev: “They (the authors) hardly let their diabetes limit their lives. Initially, it is hard to accept the diagnosis. It can hold you back if you feel that diabetes is such a negative. How you perceive it makes the difference if you let it hold you back or if you don’t. This is the thing about attitude. Once people get to the point of accepting their diabetes…and some had to hit a real low before they got to the idea that “I’m going to take charge and I’m not going to let diabetes limit my life.” Once they get to that level of acceptance, then diabetes can no longer hold them back. It’s really a matter of attitude. Having a positive attitude makes the biggest, biggest difference from being held back. That’s the key.”
Cherise: “I refuse to let diabetes steal my joy. I’m not saying that living with diabetes is easy, it’s very frustrating at points, but at the same time it is a blessing in disguise. And it’s one of those things in life, you either learn to live with it and roll with the punches and keep smiling or you just let it eat you up. I hope that at least by these books and by people telling their stories…that they understand to keep smiling.”
Dr. Bev on what she has learned from writing the My Sweet Life books:
“I learned I’m not alone. I felt alone for many, many, many years. And I’m not. My readers should not feel alone. And my patients and my practice should not feel alone. If nothing else, they’ve met only one other person face-to-face in my office who can share the struggles and share the successes. That’s what the books can provide, is that they are not alone.
I hope that people understand that this is our journey with diabetes and it’s certainly a manageable journey even though at first it may be overwhelming. But with time and acceptance and the right attitude, it is a journey that really can be successful and sweet. It is not a journey that we have to travel alone. With good spirits and humor and with a spiritual understanding, that it’s a blessing.” Click here to listen to more of the interview.