Friday, 31 May 2013

With vs. In Spite Of.

I think I'm pretty considerate when it comes to other people and my diabetes. I have a couple of friends who have needle phobias, so when I'm with them, I'll take myself to another room in their house, and when out, I'll turn in such a manner that they don't have to see the needle or the injection. In general, when out in public, I'll pick a seat round the table where I can discretly do my injection anyway so other people aren't "exposed" to it. I'll answer questions if people have them, explain what the numbers mean etc etc. I won't snap when someone makes a comment about how I must have been fat as a child to have diabetes now, or that it's my parents fault for feeding me too much sugar, but politely point out that both statements are incorrect. 

Diabetes is the one aspect of my being that I'm the most insecure about. It's the one thing about me that I cannot change. If you're not happy with your figure, you can take steps to change that. If you have an annoying habit, you can try to break it. But with type one diabetes, as much as we would like to, we can't just wave a magic wand and fix our beta cells. 

I've been very lucky since diagnosis. My family adjusted easily, friends from sixth form took it in their stride, my housemates at uni were, and still are, incredibly supportive, and there are a group of friends on my course that, again, didn't think anything of it. They asked questions, learned as much or as little they wanted. They've never made me feel bad when I need to vent, some of them have seen me in horrible low blood sugar states, and then the complete opposite end of the spectrum in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Some haven't seen very much at all. It's luck of the draw. They've "accepted" (for lack of a better word) me with my diabetes, not in spite of it, and for me, there is a very big difference between being accepted with diabetes and being accepted in spite of it.

Last night, for the first time since diagnosis, a friend made me feel like he "accepted" me in spite of my diabetes. I don't know if he meant for it to come out like that or what, but either way it got to me, probably far more than what it should have. But diabetes being the thing I'm most insecure about, it did. He didn't like the fact that a friend I met on year abroad was asking me questions about it and I was openly answering them. He said it made him "uncomfortable" and it "really affects him". He doesn't have a problem with me, but he does with my diabetes. So we stopped our conversation and started talking about something else. 

But my head was still at "you're okay with me but not my diabetes"...we kind of come as a pair these days; you don't ever get Ant without Dec, and as of March 2010 you don't get Vicki without diabetes. A door's just been opened now, and I can't close it. It's been playing on my mind all day. And I wish I didn't let it get to me like this! But it has. Hearing someone say that hurt more than I thought it would. I think that's what's playing on my mind more than anything: there's still that fear of letting people in on that side of my life and then not being "accepted" because of it. 

I've been told that fear will lessen with time. I guess I just want to know when.

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