Once again, we are very blessed to have Tori Davidson from Australia share some of her words about living with diabetes. She had shared her story back on February 3rd about her 35 years of being on the insulin pump. I'm very blessed that she allows me to add my little bits of artwork that I find - to make her great words have more POP!!!
Now, I don't necessarily feel the same way as Tori does below here - but I know for some of you out there reading her words - you have also felt the same way. Feel free to share your own thoughts!
Some degree of insecurity is endemic to most, if not all, people in general. Growing up and living with diabetes appears to cause a vacillation between insecurity and bravado. I have hated people for not understanding my diabetes, for not trying to understand what I need to do each day regarding my diabetes, and feeling insecure that I would not be completely accepted because of its existence. Conversely, I have hated them for wanting to know, or believing they understand what it is to live with Type 1 diabetes, when in most cases they have second-hand knowledge, if any.
Most type 1’s, I believe go through a similar seesaw of denial, insecurity, bravado and acceptance. Apparently we often like to see ourselves as “different”, as “brave” or as “better” than those who are pancreatically blessed. While understandable, these mixed emotions can lead to a complete alienation from the rest of humanity, and I feel fortunate that my own vacillations between these emotions seem now to be mostly absent. Do type 1 diabetics want to be pitied? We all say not, but I wonder if that is strictly true. The phrase “Oh, you poor thing” is ripe to make the hackles rise in most people, but particularly in diabetics, who feel they are coping well with their condition. But this brings an interesting question. If we feel we are “coping well” (or even not coping well), isn’t that a cry for sympathy? Asking for compassion, understanding and support, what do we really mean? We want the non-diabetic community to understand *what it is we go through*, in other words, just how hard life actually is.
To me, that sounds like a cry for pity. Do we want people to know that we have to inject insulin, do regular blood tests, watch our diets, balance exercise and emotions with everything else and how difficult this can be at times, and to shrug with a comment of “Oh well”? Surely that would be understanding without pity? Or do we want people to say “Oh gosh, that must be so hard”, which while indicating compassion also reflects pity. It is a very fine tightrope, and the animosity from the Type 1 diabetic community generally to the unaware non-diabetic community is ill-founded. I believe that type 1 diabetics must expect and indeed want a little pity to obtain the understanding that is so craved. If you really don’t want pity, you wouldn’t complain about how hard it all is, even if that complaint is only internal.