I received a submission to ‘My Diabetes Secret’ that said, in part, that I was doing a “disservice to the diabetes community” by creating a platform for these anonymous secrets to live.
I have since spoken directly with the person who wrote that after they posted the same thing on the MDS Facebook page. I think we have largely agreed to disagree on what this Tumblr is and isn’t.
But because I have seen a handful of comments that suggest that that blog isn’t necessary or that this content isn’t being handled appropriately, I feel the need to respond.
I think rather than attack the blog, we should be attacking the cause of the blog. The emotional burden of managing diabetes, the solitude that can come from living with this disease, the shame that arises from public misconceptions and ill-formed stereotypes, the pressure to be a “perfect diabetic”…these are the reasons this blog exists.
While it might not be a surprise to you, my eager-reader, or me, it may come as a surprise to some that mental health is just as important as physical (exercise), mathematical (carb counting, bolus dosing), and culinary (you know, healthy diets and all that) health when it comes to living a healthy live with diabetes. Balancing these components is a tough task for all of us, and each of us addresses this balance in our own way.
The phrase “Your Diabetes May Vary” applies just as much to our emotional health as it does our diabetes-specific health. For the people that have found an emotional balance with their diabetes, that’s great, it truly is. But there are (clearly) a number of people impacted by diabetes that aren’t there yet. And My Diabetes Secrets will continue to be a place for others to express their frustrations with diabetes, offering an opportunity focus on their difficulties with the hopes of eventually finding a way past them – potentially in a professional and/or non-anonymous setting – when they are ready.
I look forward to the day that something like My Diabetes Secrets isn’t needed, but that day isn’t today. And it probably won’t be tomorrow. But I’ll continue to do my part in seeing that that day does come.