I consider the D-OC my support group. There are so many of you out there who are my friends and the people I can talk to, complain to, and laugh with. You've each done something special for me. Some of you may not even know the ways that you've touched my life.
That being said, we all know how much we love our Meet-ups. There's something special about seeing each other face to face. Have someone to talk to in person is a very unique thing.
A little over a year ago the Middle Tennessee JDRF chapter started up an Adult Type 1 support group. I went several times, but the drive is nearly 2 1/2 hours, so it's difficult to make the trip. After a while it seemed like I was always busy on the days they were having the meetings, or I was out of town. Something always seemed to get in the way. This month I actually got my act together and made it to the meeting.
Several of the people I'd met before. And there were a few newbies too. I love getting to meet new people with diabetes.
During the course of our meeting, the subject was brought up about sharing with people how diabetes effects your life. Not sharing with other diabetics. But sharing with your family, significant other, friends, and co-workers. I'm pretty much an open book....up to a point.
I will tell my friends or co-workers that I'm not feeling well because I've had a crazy blood sugar day. I'll share that I've had major highs or lows. But I don't really get that deep into it. I will leave it at "Oh, I had a rough night. My blood sugar was way too low and then I over treated and it was way to high. I'm sick/exhausted/have a headache, etc." But I don't really get into the emotional aspect of it. Or how bad it really was.
I have said before that I like to protect my family (especially my mother) from my extreme highs and lows because it scares her and makes her worry and cry. These are things that I don't want to make my mother do/feel. I also don't like my friends to worry about me. I tend to skim over details with them and let it go at that. It gives them enough to know what's going on, but keeps enough from them so that their worry and panic isn't taking over.
One of the other people at the meeting said that they don't want to protect their loved ones. That they want them to know what's going on and the implications. And then someone said that not telling people wasn't something they did to protect people. Essentially what the person said that that he/she wanted to protect himself/herself from dealing with the questions and worry from others.
On my way home (I had 2 1/2 hrs to think about it after all), I was thinking about that. And I thought to myself, "Am I really doing that to protect the people I love. Or am I doing it to protect myself from the guilt?"
And after thinking about it for a while, I really do think I do it to protect myself from the guilt and the questions. I don't like to worry my family and friends. I don't want to deal with the incessant questions that come when I have a particularly bad high or low. I don't know how to deal with the guilt of making my mother cry and my friends worry.
So I do my best to deal with it on my own. Sure, sometimes I have cracks. My loved ones see the toll that diabetes can bring to me physically and emotionally. But overall, I do what I can to protect them....and to protect myself.
P.S. Don't forget my give-away.... You have until Friday, June 18th to enter to win CARB FREE CUPCAKES!