Wednesday, 15 March 2017

To An Old Friend.

Dear Friend,

A little while ago, you sent me a message letting me know that you finally got a type one diabetes diagnosis. (I say finally because, although only there for part of the journey, I know it started in 2010/2011, and it was a long, old, road getting to where we are today. In 2017).

I'm not gonna lie, I didn't know what to say or do when I read your message. I mean, we hadn't really spoken in a few years. Nothing personal. I did my year abroad, and when I went back to uni, you'd already graduated and moved back home. Life happened. And now here we are.

I can't imagine how frustrating it's been for you. I remember that year we suspected pancreas-gone-rogue so clearly. I remember how hard we had to fight to be listened to. I remember worrying stupid amounts, and I remember the relief felt when someone did actually listen. And I remember the card with the cupcake on that I bought you, and I remember the message I wrote in it. I actually have the message here. Because I believe in writing drafts before you write essays in cards. It may not be the same, word for word, but I have what I planned on writing, at least.

I don't even know if you still have said card. Or even remember it. For you, it's more than likely a time you don't want to remember (I get it, I don't like thinking back to how ill I was pre-diagnosis). But for me, it's something I can't help but remember. It's ironic. I wished I had a friend with diabetes. Someone who got it. Yes, I had Lizzie, but at the time her and I hadn't met. I wished it, and then I was heartbroken that it happened.

I wrote in your card that I was sorry. I still am. As relieved as I am that you're finally getting the right support and medication, I am still so sorry that your pancreas stopped working.

I also wrote that it gets better. Oh, only-one-year-into-diabetes naivety. It does and it doesn't. You learn more, but there are still periods when diabetes messes with my headspace, and it's crap. But you learn how to cope. And you find whatever the hell it is that's gonna help get you back. For me, it's this tribe - Lizzie, Louise, Daisy, Karen and Max, my friend at work who also has type one. And my littlest friend. He has a way of making the crummiest of days wonderful. So find your tribe, love them hard.

Even now, six or seven years down the line, I still don't know what to say. I have no diabetes wisdom to impart, no inspirational message to give you. It sucks. Diabetes sucks. But you do what you gotta do to live the life you want to live.

You know where I am if you need anything.

Take care,


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