This was originally posted to my blog,Diabetes Odyssey.
It’s one thing to have people who don’t know you and especially who do not share your plight to treat you badly, to shame you over something about yourself. These people primarily engage in this horrendous behavior because they are full of ignorance and fear. They don’t understand, they lack knowledge, and they react in fear of the unknown and choose to attack instead of learn.
But what the heck is going on when someone who shares your same condition or situation attacks and/or shames you about it?
Unfortunately this happens in the diabetes community just as much as it does in any other community.
A type 1 shames another type 1 for not being able to keep their BG stable. Shamed for not choosing to follow a low carb diet. Shamed for not exercising just right. Shamed for being on MDI rather than a pump. Shamed for not using a CGM. Shamed for having complications…
It goes on and on.
I, thankfully, have not been attacked much by other diabetics. And I certainly have never shamed any other diabetic for their choices or struggles. It is your life, your struggle, live it and deal with it how you see fit. No one has any right to judge or shame you for just trying to live.
But I have been witness to many attacks.
Sometimes it’s just a simple misunderstanding. These things happen. A comment meant to be innocuous is taken as an attack or insult. Someone trying to be helpful is taken as a shamer.
But then there are the true attacks. Most of the time it comes from a diabetic who claims to be very successful in their ‘control’. They have worked hard to gain and keep control of their diabetes. They are very healthy and fit and have no complications and they think every diabetic should be doing it their way. That’s all well and good, but the problem here is that they choose to be smug, condescending, conceited, rude, and outright mean…
They take it upon themselves to push their lifestyle,their treatment plan, on every other diabetic. “It works for me so it is the only way to do it!”. And they attack anyone who isn’t just like them, or doesn’t agree with their views.
Hey, c’mon… We’re happy for your success, but every single one of us are different. We may have other health needs than just our diabetes, we live different lifestyles and have different jobs, stresses, families, hobbies…
What works for you may not work for the next diabetic. Advice, suggestions, these are welcome. But pushing, berating, shaming, blaming others for struggling, for developing complications, for not having as easy a time as you seem to have. This isn’t helpful in the slightest. In fact it is detrimental!
And it just makes you look like a jerk.
If a diabetic is on MDI rather than a pump, or they don’t use a CGM, or they use a different meter or insulin than you, it is their choice. And let us also think about the fact that everyone has different insurance coverage (or none at all) and may have to use what they use for this reason. Or they can’t afford all the fancy and new tech…
Don’t make assumptions! Don’t judge! You have no idea what the whole story is.
Diabetes is difficult, it’s tough. Some diabetics struggle a lot more than others. This doesn’t make them bad diabetics, it probably means there is more going on than just the diabetes.
It isn’t just about diet, exercise, and insulin. EVERYTHING has an impact on blood sugar when you are diabetic. Some bodies are more sensitive to changes than others. And when there are other health conditions mixed in with it, it becomes all the more difficult to control.
To develop complications does not mean a diabetic is a bad diabetic. Things happen. Yes, sometimes it is because of choices that could have been avoided. But, guess what, it is none of your business and you have no right to judge, blame, or shame!
It’s difficult enough without all the blame and shame. We should be supporting, understanding, and helping one another.
Be kind. Please.