As long as retinopathy, kidney disease, and heart disease caused by diabetes are not becoming worse with age, then diabetes has not become progressive. But you did not mention neuropathy you say. Correct, because about two-thirds of people with diabetes develop neuropathy and there is some conflict here as many, like myself, that develop neuropathy many years prior to being diagnosed with diabetes. My neurologist and I have an ongoing discussion about this as he says that with the development of diabetes, that the neuropathy is now classified as diabetic neuropathy. Sort of the chicken and egg version of which came first.
Many people, without their doctor's threat, often feel that they have failed when it comes time to transition to insulin. Often they wait too long to do this. They haven't failed, it is just their normal thing as they age and the pancreas not functioning very well that causes the need for insulin. Insulin can be very helpful and a necessary tool in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Even though the blog used for reference above says diabetes is progressive, it is still worth reading.