Telling people you are living with diabetes can be hard, especially if it’s someone you care about, or you have recently been diagnosed.
Even if it feels difficult, the people around you must know so they can support you. Here are my tips!
Choose a familiar place
Choosing somewhere you feel safe will help you to feel more relaxed during the conversation. This can be at home or your favourite cafe/restaurant.
You can also bring the topic up casually, it doesn’t have to feel serious. I often tell people when we are talking about food or exercise. For example I’ll say ‘I like to exercise because it helps me to control my sugar levels, I have type 1 diabetes’. Then the conversation goes on from there.
Keep it simple
Most people won’t fully understand what living with diabetes means, so you need to use easy language for them to understand.
You can use stuff like:
– ‘My sugar levels can go high and low’
– ‘When they go high I need insulin’
– ‘When they go low I need to eat sugar’
Tell people how to support you
Tell them what you might need. For example, sometimes your sugar levels will influence your food choices or you might need them to go for a walk with you.
I also tell people that I will let them know if i need anything, rather than having people constantly asking if I’m ok. This puts the control in your hands, and stops you feeling overwhelmed.
Be prepared to answer questions
Everyone will have questions, this is vital to their understanding, and in my opinion the best way to raise awareness.
Questions will often be about your diagnosis, what you eat or about taking insulin etc. From my experience most questions are positive, however sometimes people might ask you a questions that comes off as negative. If this happens, reinforce that people living with diabetes can achieve anything, just with a little more preparation.
For more information, check out my post Dealing with annoying questions about diabetes.
*Remember to only have conversations when you are ready, but getting things off your chest is important too. If you are worried someone is going to judge you or treat you differently after, maybe you need to question their importance in your life rather than hiding your diabetes. Please email me if you need anything!
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