When Amber and I started up the DDG, our goal was to be real in a way that inspired folks to live their best lives. Be open and honest, keeping nothing to ourselves. We felt compelled to do it. We definitely thought we were doing it for others. That mission’s held true, partly, but only by our own ability to open and release. So, when today’s prompt for the 6th Annual DBlog Week asked what I kept to myself in regards to diabetes, my first thought was “I don’t keep anything to myself”. Then, as the soul often does, it allowed a few things surface.
By starting up a website–sharing lessons learned and Instagramming everything–it’s led me to an understanding of what my life was missing before. I didn’t openly share about the daily grind. Sure, I told friends and family that I needed some carbs. Sure, I never shied away from testing in front of them. Sure, I apologized for saying something I didn’t mean because I was high. Combined, when painting a picture of what each day is like, those moments were inadequate. Standing alone, those moments failed to do justice to the weight we bear.
There’s something to the words insulin-dependent, that inspire us to be independent, like it’s our god-given mission. We make all the decisions. We see every blood sugar. We replace every site. We’re present for each diabetes-related worry. We embrace each a1c as a defining moment in our lives. To blog on anything, you are almost forced to give up that mission of independence. Your mind can no longer run the story about how this is only your struggle and no one else gets it. There are many people who get it, who write about it daily. Forcing yourself to come to terms with that, while challenging, yes, is also liberating.
Having the opportunity to share thoughts now, anytime, and have immediate connection with empathy is invaluable. For anyone who shares in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), you’ll understand what I’m about to say. Countless friends have simply said, after having read a post about going to the bars with diabetes or something, “I had no idea that’s what life is like for you. That’s crazy.”
You know, I suppose it is crazy. Now that I’m at the end of what I’ve had to say on the subject of keeping things to yourself, I’m not exactly sure what my point was today. Maybe that’s another lesson: we don’t always have to have a point or reason to share. Alright, fine, I’ll try to come up with something that wraps up my message. If you can’t connect with someone about your struggle, if the weight you bear is hidden, it’s time to allow people in, somehow. Hell, we’ll even let you write for us. For most of my life, I’ve kept much of the grind to myself, but now I get that it’s not worth it.