Many, many, many people who are involved in the Diabetes Online Community say they felt alone in their diagnosis or their illness before they found companions online who shared their struggles. This is one of the beautiful things about our community – support where elsewhere, there is none. Understanding where elsewhere, there can be none. It’s pretty darn amazing.
I’m going to share a secret. I’ve never really felt alone in my diabetes.
When I was diagnosed, I found comfort in the Babysitters Club character of Stacey, and although her treatment plans were a little dated, it felt nice to have a character in a series I’d been reading for years who was dealing with the same things I was. I even used Stacey to self-diagnose long before I was actually diagnosed. One day at school, I was drinking from the water fountain and I couldn’t stop chugging that cool, delicious water. It was the best thing I’d ever tasted. And I remember once, in a storyline where Stacey goes to the hospital for ignoring her diabetes and running very high for too long, when the character had also said that cold water was the best thing she ever tasted.
I knew, and I was not surprised, when I found out I had diabetes.
Five months after my diagnosis, a friend in my sixth grade class was also diagnosed with diabetes. It was really weird that it happened that way, but it did, and for the next three years, until I moved to Springfield, I had a companion who shared my struggles.
Now fast-forward to today. I have a great home support system and a fantastic online group of friends who support me every day. No, my struggles with diabetes do not stem from being alone.
But, like most of us, I am dealing with more than one disease.
The Other D
Depression has been plaguing my life for about five years now. And today, I have never felt so alone in anything. I am having a hard time finding anyone who can relate to my struggles. Not wanting to whine, I’m trying not to let anyone know how I am feeling about the things to come. And with my new job and impending move (out of the ‘rents place, finally, just a few weeks after my 25th birthday), I really don’t have much I should be depressed about.
But I am, and even when I find someone who I think will want to talk about it, might understand, I still get cliches and offhanded comments. This from people who I thought were my friends.
A lack of a support system is probably part of it. My mother understands, as she has been here, but with our schedules I really don’t see her much anymore. My best friends are as busy as I am, and again, currently working nights, I do not see much of them either. Work, it’s well, work, and since it’s been only two weeks I can’t say I’ve really bonded with anyone enough to call them a friend, let alone rely on them in a support system. Soon, my new insurance will force me to change hospital systems (thank you, Springfield’s sucky two party hospital system, you suck so much) and not only loose my fantastic doctors, including a PCP, endo, gyno, and eye doctor I love times a million, but also my diabetes-specialty counselor who has been the only person ever to express any understanding of where I am in both D and the other D. I’m sure I’ll find other doctors who I will love, but we all know this is a process and it’s not one I really have the energy to endure at this point.
I know many, many, many of you who regularly read my blog deal with the same issues. I’ve read many blog posts about it. And while this does make me feel slightly less alone, it’s very difficult to reach out to you – that’s just the nature of the beast.
I guess, in conclusion, I’m sharing this partly in self-therapy, and partly because I’m hoping since I’m finding myself paralyzed in reaching out to others someone will reach out to me. But in the end it will take strength from the inside to live day to day and feel like my life is meaningful. To feel like I am living the best life I can and not wasting my free time in bed, crying or sleeping. It’s not a fun process, and it’s far from easy. All I can do is hope I am up for it.