I am usually the queen preacher of positivity.
The reason you don’t see me expressing my diabetes distaste or frustration often is because I think there’s enough of it out there. And it’s not to knock people for expressing a negative thought. It’s just not what I choose to do most of the time on my social media outlets.
I have my bad moments.
My dark days.
I think this is something you need to know about me. I find this damn hard.
There’s been many episodes of uncontrollable tears and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. This is the part that many don’t see. And it’s not just us. It’s all people with invisible illnesses whether it’s mental, physical, or both.
If someone asked me how I was handling my type 1 diabetes (diagnosed in 2012), my honest answer would be, “not well”.
I’m writing this entry after my lowest hypoglycaemic episode. I went below 1.1 mmo/L (or 19 mg/dl). This was 3/4 into my run.
I managed to get myself up and out of trouble, but I’m sure the severe drop didn’t contribute well to what transpired after.
Long story short, I was presented with an “herbal tea” that was supposed to “be good for my diabetes”. I scoffed at it, went to another room and just broke down. It was also given to me by someone whom I am…not a fan of. Deeply not passionate about, you know, that one person who gets under your skin and just makes your blood boil. I was NOT aware she knew about my diabetes (told WITHOUT my permission). All this was fuel to the fire, the latter revelation being the worst.
I think I could tell this story until I’m blue in the face to my non-d friends and family, but it wouldn’t do much. I would hear words of sympathy and smiles of compassion, however I know no matter how hard they tried to comprehend it, they wouldn’t get it.
I don’t get that same sense of peace I do when I connect and open up with other diabetics.
The more d-people I meet and talk candidly about my type 1, the better I feel.
I sometimes feel like curling up into a ball and crying in a corner. There are so many things I haven’t decided yet: who I want to know, how I want to contribute to the diabetes community, what to keep private, what is important to share so others don’t feel alone.
While I’m telling this story my hands are usually over-animating, my eyes are slightly bulging and I’m trying to coherently express how angry/sad/frustrated I can become. Nowadays there is a person across the table at a coffee shop, that is part of my growing diabetes family, who is looking at me and saying, “I understand”.
So maybe they don’t understand and are just humouring me? It doesn’t really matter. I feel less alone. Less scared. And a moment of feeling just so miserable gets a little bit better.
It doesn’t solve the ignorance. It doesn’t take away the pain. But it acts like a big bandaid, providing a buffer and sense of support until things get a bit better.
The one blessing I have gotten from this horrible disease is that of finding amazing people who have helped me through my darkest days.
I am forever thankful for them, and for you the #DOC. I don’t know what I’d do without you.