As a type 1 diabetic, I am a firm believer in knowing individuals/having friends with diabetes. Whether it is through social media, online, or in-person, diabetic friends help keep you sane and are a great reminder that you are not alone.
I remember when I first diagnosed where the only person who I knew living with type 1 diabetes was my cousin (who also lived across the country from me), and then an older girl at the same dance studio that I went to. I felt lost, uncertain, and confused on what was happening to me, as well as how I would express what diabetes feels like to all my nondiabetic friends and family.
Physically and mentally, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are overwhelming, emotional, exhausting, and tiresome. You may feel like nobody understands what high and low blood sugar counts are, you may feel like you want to explode on someone if you are experiencing diabetes burnout, and you may feel constantly stressed you will go low during a big event or activity that you just want to enjoy; however and most importantly, you just want to feel like someone can relate to you and your struggle.
How did I manage this myself? When I created a diabetes instagram, I obtained the community and support that I was looking for. This is the outlet that I personally use when I am burnt out, and it contains the people who I share my tips and experiences with! It is also a way in which I can prevent my parents from crying when I go and tell all of my diabetes stories, and it is how I remind myself that there are millions of people living with this disease and I too can conquer it.
If you can find yourself a dia-buddy, I promise you that you will not be disappointed. Having friends who can understand what carb counting is, who take insulin like you, and have a few robotic devices, get in mood swings, will be the best types of friends. I love gaining new tips, sharing experiences, and being an advocate for living with diabete,s and I hope you can also become an advocate and find yourself a few dia-buddies too!
C’est la vie, baby!