Recently, I’ve had to ‘break’ the news to several friends about my diagnosis. At times it has felt like I’ve been keeping a secret for them. In many ways, it’s a relief once I’ve revealed it. It also explains alot. My lack of contact, stand-off-ishness, and generally being a crap friend.
But I also sometimes wish that I had a great big bumper sticker on my forehead reading, 'I’M A DIABETIC. YES, I HAVE TO INJECT. PLEASE, NO PITY.'
I feel that in many ways, I have come to accept my condition over the past 5 months, after a rollercoaster of denial, anger, sadness, loss etc. Of course, I still have my moments, days even (meh) when it all still feels unreal or overwhelming. But on the whole, yes I am proud of myself for all I’ve achieved and worked through. I cant expect not to have off days. I’m not perfect, nobody is.
I cant expect my friends to just ‘know’. So yes, I have to ‘come out’ to them. Some have found out through the grape vine, but in a way that makes it more awkward. I dont know if they know, what they know. They dont want to bring it up with me, in case I dont want to talk about it, or they feel bad for me. Ughhh!
So when I meet up with a friend, I sit them down and just say it, very matter of factly. They have no idea about the trauma I’ve been through, and they never will. But why should they? They dont have a clue about this disease, and they have no need to know. It doesn’t affect them. If I ever find myself getting frustrated at other people’s ‘ignorance’ I just think to myself ‘How much did you know, Emma about Diabetes before your diagnosis? The answer is, not alot. Why should they?
So, I do like to educate a little, depending on the friend, and if they’ll let me : P It’s nice when they ask questions about how they can help, or what to do if I go low or high. I really appreciate that. I think that is one of those things that shows that they really care about me.
What I find difficult is the PITY. When someone looks at you, and suddenly you’re different in their eyes. It makes me feel like I’m this fragile, egg shell, which could break at any time. If we’re at a coffee shop, they might say ‘Oh gosh, so are you ok now then?’ Well, of course I am! Or, like the time one friend was eating some cake with her coffee, looks down and says ‘Oh my gosh, should I be eating this in front of you?!’
Sometimes it amuses me, and yes can be endearing. But this whole process is exhausting.
I guess what I need is a big ol’ coming out party, with sugar free jelly, right?! Then I could let everyone know, and I could get on with living my life. Actually scrap that, I’d have a nice large slice of ‘coming out’ chocolate cake : D
On second thoughts, that might confuse a LOT of friends. But hey! Diabetes is, (and will remain) a mystery to them!
For more of my ramblings, visit my blog ‘The Sweet Life’.