I’ve never been a dater so the recent wave of blind dates catapulted me out of my comfort zone. Like most people, I had the first date jitters. What am I going to wear? Hair up or down? Can I curse? Normal thoughts, right? Then it dawned on me – at some point diabetes will be a topic of discussion and what did I really want to share on a first date?
Blind date #1 is up to bat. I meet him in the bar area of a nice restaurant near my home. We exchange the awkward chit chat about it’s nice to meet you and so on. As I peruse the wine list, he says something to the effect of, “So Leslie tells me you’re a blogger. What do you blog about?” The diabetes flood gates fly open before wine hits my lips. I take a deep breath and remind myself – this is a wonderful opportunity to educate.
We briefly discuss the Diabetes Daily Grind and why I shifted careers. I gave him the cliff notes version before shifting gears. His career path was equally unique and entertaining so we moved to a table for dinner. My diabetes anxiety had somewhat subsided as I felt a bit more comfortable. I order my second glass of wine as we discuss my “chosen” dietary restrictions. Looking back, explaining my diet seemed harder than diabetes.
As dinner is served, I kindly excuse myself to the ladies room to test and shoot up. It was a bit too much to whip out a needle on the first date. Three hours later, my belly is full and my cheeks ache from smiling. Throughout dinner we touched on diabetes a handful of times and not once was it terribly uncomfortable. He noticed my tattoo and applauded my creative efforts to put a spin on the traditional medical alert bracelets. He received an A+ for his efforts to inquire about the disease without making me feel awkward.
As the journey to write about my real life with this disease, I can’t help but think about my feelings of self worth growing up. I’m ashamed to say that I felt as if I were damaged goods. This state of mind lead to YEARS of building up walls. Sharing my story has slowly chipped away at this wall, allowing me to feel worthy. Any man deserving of my attention will be able to handle the diabetes highs and lows and my fear has kept me from finding him. That changes today!
Bring on date #2!