40 Years Strong: Navigating Type 1 Diabetes with Courage and Compassion on the Trail to Healing with Hike Psych

Meet Cara from Dublin, mother of two living with Type 1 Diabetes and Ireland’s first Hiking Psychotherapist.


“This year I have been living with  Type 1 Diabetes for 40 years. Things have changed from when I was first diagnosed at 3 years old. There’s so much tech that just didn’t exist and while that benefits in lots of ways it comes with drawbacks too,  ignorance was bliss for a lot of my youth.


With constant alarms, alerts and warnings, there’s no ignorance anymore. We probably know too much sometimes, and I certainly fall prey to acting instantly on things that should perhaps just be left a little longer.


Being a type one diabetic is challenging. There’s no questioning that, it’s the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing at night but I’m grateful it’s never stopped me from doing anything. In fact, I truly believe it’s made me braver, because when you have an awareness that your life might not be as long as it should be you embrace every moment more.


I started Hike Psych, Ireland‘s first Hiking psychotherapy practice during the pandemic in 2020. I had hiked for a few years before that and so had an awareness of how to manage my diabetes while on the trails, but as any diabetic knows every day is different. Trying to manage highs and lows while holding precious conversations with clients without interrupting them can be very tricky. Munching on jellies when I should be intently concentrating on what my clients are saying isn’t ideal but sometimes there’s nothing you can do, I will always share the jellies though!


I love what I do, I’m so grateful that I can still do it and even after 40 years of Type 1 my body is still going strong. I truly believe that living with a chronic illness gives me a greater depth of compassion and understanding which helps make me a better therapist. I’m not sure that’s a win-win but it’s at least a silver lining.”


For further details on Hike Psych, visit https://www.hikepsych.ie or follow @thehikepsych on Instagram.