Beloved Kiwi musician Anika Moa has spoken bravely about how she's navigating life after her shock type 1 diabetes diagnosis, revealing the huge toll it’s taken on her physical and mental health.
Anika went public about having type 1 last year, and in the latest episode of the Rova podcast 'Grey Areas with Petra Bagust' released today, opened up about the challenges that come with the autoimmune disease.
“With type 1 diabetes, I could die any night just from giving myself the wrong amount of insulin. If you give yourself too much insulin, you can go into a coma and have a high point and you can die,” she said.
“I got depressed, because I was like, ‘Oh, my life is over. I'm going to die. I made a will and I went on antidepressants and I was really, really upset because it's the worst thing for someone to tell you that you’re type 1 diabetic. You lived this life that's been so free and now you're trapped.
“And I thought, ‘If I don't get this under control, I'll die and leave my kids’. So I basically just spend every minute of the day worrying about my diabetes, even to this day.”
Despite the intense impact it’s had on her life in recent years, Anika recognises she’s in a fortunate position compared to many others with the disease – she can afford a continuous glucose monitor, and see a specialist or buy supplies whenever she needs to.
“I'm Māori, and lots of Māori people have it as well, and they don't keep the chance or the opportunities to have all the things that I have because I've got money and I've got privilege,” she told Petra.
“There are so many Māori who have died from this disease because they just can't afford it. So I feel privileged, but I have also felt quite sorry for myself in the last two years. But I'm very, very determined not to let it kill me.”
In the rest of the wide-ranging and raw interview, Anika talks about having ADHD, going through perimenopause, and her fight to overcome the burnout that made her leave radio.