The Way You Wear Your Diabetes: Pride vs. Shame

Patient Expert

I’ve never hidden my diabetes. Not from anyone.

In fact, back in my “dating days” before meeting and marrying my husband, telling a fella I have type 1 diabetes would be part one of our first few conversations.

I’ve never hidden my diabetes, and I’m never going to.

We hide things we are ashamed of. We hide things we think other people will view as weird, freaky, scary, or even gross. We hide things we’re afraid people will judge us for and hold against us. We hide things we fear might make us seem weak or sick or too different. We hide things we aren’t proud of.

Diabetes is none of those things in my life.

Hiding it would merely give them impression that it’s something I ought to be hiding.

In fact, diabetes is something I wear proudly on my sleeve...not because I’m proud to have an autoimmune disease or proud to be taking six injections a day and sometimes 10 finger pricks a day.

I’m proud I have diabetes because it’s something I wake up every day and face, and deal with, and struggle with, and overcome. Every day.

You’re not a freak for having to take injections. You’re a damn warrior for enduring daily injections!

You’re not sick or weak because of a low blood sugar moment that leaves you sitting on the sidelines during a hike.

You’re one tough motherf*&#er for being on that hike in the first place, juggling your blood sugar, waiting out the low, and standing up to finish that hike when you’re ready.

You’re not gross or unattractive because you wear an insulin pump and bleed from your fingertips several times a day.

You are one gorgeous human being who works ridiculously hard every single day to be alive, to be healthy, to be present for each day, ready to rock!

Diabetes is something we should not have to hide. Whether you’re having a rough day or a smooth day, diabetes is something that takes crazy amounts of courage and strength to endure each day.

If you believe it and know that it’s true, others will, too.