I would say it is very common for people to assume that living with diabetes means eating less sugar and injecting insulin.
So I wanted to write something that gives more insight into the side of diabetes that people don’t see.
One of the many things we have to deal with are assumptions, judgement and underestimation.
The stigma surrounding diabetes often leads to individuals hiding that they have diabetes, and can result in negative health consequences. As a society we have to question this.
In my opinion it starts with education. The majority of people still associate diabetes with obesity, ill health and laziness. This is not the reality.
I can’t count the amount of times I have been ‘brushed off’ as a detriment simply because I have type 1 diabetes.
So we need to collectively do better. Educating people about living with diabetes is the way forward, and giving these individuals some credit! People living with diabetes are parents, work full time jobs, exercise and manage their diabetes (which is a full time job in itself), so lets give these people some respect.
The side people don’t see is the draining reality of living with this chronic disease.
People living with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from depression. In fact, from my experience all people living with diabetes have had periods of depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately living with diabetes is not as simple as decreasing sugar intake and randomly stabbing insulin into your body.
There are times when we do everything we possibly can to keep glucose levels in range, but they just don’t comply. Take into consideration that when our sugar levels are high or low, it is mentally exhausting. On top of that, we have to keep making decisions despite this exhaustion. Sometimes this causes agitation, feeling emotional or being ‘needy’. Sometimes it is really hard.
I think it is safe to say people living with diabetes do ‘just get on with it’, but from time to time it is normal to feel down. You can accept that this is your life and to ‘get on with it’, but you also need to accept that sometimes you will negatively about it, and that is absolutely fine.
We simply would not be human if we didn’t feel negative about living with this disease from time to time. It is a normal process in life, and we have to feel the ugly parts in order to appreciate the better days.
I guess the point to this blog is to firstly educate people about living with diabetes, but also to reassure those of you reading this who are living with a chronic illness. If all you did today was simply survive, I am proud of you. The darkness of living with diabetes can be consuming.
If you are going through a burnout phase right now, I urge you to reach out. Chat to people who understand, or email me and I will point you in the right direction.
Thank you for reading The side of diabetes people don’t see. I hope you found this interesting and gave you some insight into living with diabetes. Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!