A couple of weeks ago, my therapist asked me if I wanted to discuss my diabetes. She noted that when we first met, I mentioned that it was—obviously—a huge part of my life and therefore had a huge effect on my anxiety and depression.
I told her that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to discuss it or not.
I explained that while it takes up so much space in my brain, I don’t want it to feel like that’s all there is to me. And that while I would love to be able to get my feelings out, there are just too many—and too much backstory—that I didn’t know where to begin.
I went on to tell her that one of the hardest parts of my disease is the isolation that comes with it. That I feel alone and misunderstood. That nobody truly seems to understand the gravity of my disease.
We touched on work, where I spend the majority of my time. I told her that while my team is kind and supportive whenever I have to come in late or have a rough blood sugar day, I feared they would think I was exaggerating or taking advantage. She asked me how I could change that…and if I wanted to.
I toyed with the idea for the following week. I wanted my coworkers to understand my struggle, but there was the hesitation that they would feel like I was forcing it onto them.
“You always seem to be worrying about protecting other people. About how your own challenges will burden them. But isn’t it up to them to interpret it how they’d like?”
It was a point I hadn’t considered. She put it so simply: people didn’t have to do anything with the information I gave them if they didn’t want to. I would simply be offering them an option.
I finally came up with the idea that I would use the timing of National Diabetes Month to my advantage. I rounded up some blog posts I’ve written about my life with Type 1 diabetes and sent it to my closest team members. With the caveat that there was no obligation to read them, of course.
Once my email was drafted, I realized a similar format could be helpful to my blog readers, too. So I’ve chosen several posts I’ve written that touch on different aspects of my life with T1D…a sort of choose-your-own-adventure for diabetes education!
While I’m aware that six posts is already a lot, I’d also like to note that I have more where those came from. Just click into the “to our health” section of the blog or search “diabetes.”
I’d love to hear your feedback and, even more importantly, any additional questions you may have. I am an open, diabetic book.
Thank you, this month and always, to those that support me in so many ways. Whether you’re a loved one that checks in on me or a person I’ve never met that takes the time to read these posts, you are so appreciated.
For the OG story of my diagnosis:
For the cold, hard facts:
For answers to common questions I get asked:
For the mental aspect of my disease:
For my struggles with T1D and body image:
For my most recent piece: