I missed yesterday’s prompt for Diabetes Blog Week (because I was so incredibly jet lagged), about what I Can do… I’ve talked a lot about what I CAN do with diabetes, so I’m taking a mulligan. And a warning… I will ramble. This is a total stream of consciousness post (which is scary, as I’m not quite conscious yet…).
Today’s prompt is this:
Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see. What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet? Or from your family and friends? Why is it important to keep it to yourself?
There are things about my diabetes I don’t talk about on the internet…or with my family and friends….
or even myself.
But I have talked about these secrets face-to-face with other people with diabetes at The Diabetes UnConference.
For the first time.
Ever in my life.
One secret I had never uttered out loud before that moment, even to myself in a locked room, afraid that if I did, it would actually be real and that I would have to face it.
I shared that secret. I faced it. It’s real and no less scary now then when the words tumbled clumsily from my mouth.
That secret probably won’t be spoken aloud again by me…. ever. But I did share it with a small group of people who didn’t judge or immediately run and tell others or post it as a cautionary tale for the next generation. Because they had similar unspoken secrets that they shared with people in a room where they knew those secrets would stay safe and protected.
I share a lot of my life with diabetes. I’ve talked about how diabetes secrets can be harmful to my health, how not sharing certain secrets can be harmful to my relationships, but there are secrets that are kept just for me because I need them to stay that way.
Fodder for accusations or held up as ammunition by others about how NOT to live your life with diabetes.
And really, those secrets don’t help anyone but me. I learned from those experiences.
I am stronger for those secrets.
We all keep diabetes secrets, even those who do not have diabetes. How we feel about people’s behaviors or attitudes and just keep quiet when you want to wrinkle your nose and say: “What the hell are you doing?” is a secret we keep. When we bite our tongues and don’t ask why they aren’t better educated on their own diabetes or even more honestly wonder how people survive with choices they make, it is a secret we keep.
Those secrets don’t help.
And I’m more about helping and lifting up others and educating those who want to hear it (and sometimes those who don’t even know they need to hear it) than I am about hurting others with the secrets about diabetes I keep.
But those secrets I have told? I’ve only told them to those who have secrets of their own and will keep my just as safe.
The Internet is not the place to share those secrets, because, as Edward Snowden has shown… the Internet is not a place to keep secrets.
My secrets stay with me and those who I entrusted at The Diabetes UnConference. My diabetes secrets are safe there.
Even the one that scares me.