The world has lots of opinions about diabetes—from what we should eat, to why we have it, to the medicines we take, and everything in between. And don’t get me started about the Type 1 vs. Type 2 that the world has no idea about!
Some common stereotypes:
Diabetics are lazy. (Really? Do people have ANY idea how hard we work to manage this crappy disease?)
All diabetics are fat. (People of all shapes and sizes can have diabetes.)
If you have diabetes, you did it to yourself. (Sigh. Don’t get me started on this one. I didn’t ask for this.)
Diabetics can’t have sugar. (Sugar isn’t really good for anyone.)
Just lose weight and your diabetes will go away. (Yea? I’ve lost 100 pounds and it’s still there.)
I could NEVER poke myself with a needle. (If death were the alternative, I’m pretty sure you would!)
Try this home remedy I saw on Facebook-it really works! (I’ll stick with my doctor thank you very much!)
This list goes on and on. Here’s the thing though—you don’t have to care what other people think of you. What others think of you is frankly, none of your business. What matters is what YOU think of YOU. You do not have to defend yourself or your diabetes to ANYONE. To engage in those conversations is a choice. To engage in relationships with people who would say such hurtful things without knowing your full story is also a choice.
Me personally? I don’t associate with people who don’t want to take the time to know me. Ain’t nobody got time for that There is an exception to this rule though…I know we all have well-meaning family members and friends who want to give us advice in regards to our diabetes—but these people, THESE people genuinely care and should be cut some slack. Our job is to educate those closest to us. If something is said that rubs you the wrong way, use that moment as a chance to share information. If we can’t speak up to those closest to us, that’s a problem in itself. You know who “your people” are…if one of them says something stupid ? TEACH THEM! Education is the only way these stereotypes will ever be debunked. Hopefully, with education comes compassion. We are hard enough on ourselves, we need those around us to lift us up, not tear us down. <3