Many people living with diabetes will agree that being part of a diabetes community helps them enormously as they try to tame the diabetes monster. Your fellow diabuddies can make you feel supported and loved, and provide you with knowledge and the answers to diabetes-related questions you might have.
Communication however, is key. It’s so important to be aware of how to communicate with one another, especially when it comes to talking about diabetes. When you live with diabetes, there’s a lot going on with both your body and your mind. A day of crazy blood sugar levels can leave you feeling frustrated, down, and potentially a little sensitive.
It’s not just the people around you that need to make an effort to be understanding of your diabetes, but also your fellow diabuddies. Just because someone is living with diabetes, doesn’t necessarily mean they follow the same routine you do, and that’s totally okay! You and your diabetes are unique and what works for you won’t work for someone else, and vice versa.
In order to avoid judgement, confusion, and shame within the diabetes community, we compiled this list of super handy do’s and don’ts so that you and your diabuddies continue to look out for each other and maintain a safe space for everyone.
- Be supportive. If one of your fellow diabuddies is going through a rough patch, make sure they know that you’re there for them! Just lending a listening ear can be super valuable. If they want to rant about their diabetes, have a cry, or even celebrate an awesome achievement, make sure they know that you’re there for them no matter what.
- Share. Just discovered an amazing new exercise routine to incorporate into your diabetes management? Found a new favorite hypo snack? Tell your diabuddies! You might just make their day.
- Communicate. The more you talk about your diabetes, the more you’re able to inspire others with your experiences. Share what you’re comfortable with sharing and communicate the reality of how it is to live with diabetes.
- Be honest. We know, we know, everyone wants to promote their perfect Insta-life online. But authenticity is key when it comes to being relatable. Don’t be afraid to share both the highs and the lows of your journey, we can guarantee you’ll help someone by doing so.
- Be inclusive. Whether someone has been living with diabetes for over ten years, two years, or just a matter of weeks, whatever they’re going through is valid. Don’t judge anyone based on their experience. The diabetes community should be a safe space for everyone.
- Don’t judge. Is a fellow diabuddy complaining about pizza sending their blood sugar soaring, but you can eat it just fine? Don’t judge. No two bodies are the same and especially no two bodies with diabetes are the same. Don’t judge anyone on their diabetes data or the choices they make. Allow people within the community to feel comfortable sharing without fear of judgement.
- Don’t think your way is the only right way. Just like we said before, what works for you might not necessarily work for everyone. If you’ve found a diabetes management routine that works well for you then that’s great! Just don’t expect others to embrace it the same way that you do.
- Don’t believe everything you read. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Even within the diabetes community. Don’t panic if you see some scary stats or hear a horror story about diabetes complications. If you’re concerned about something or have questions, it’s best to talk to your healthcare professional.
- Don’t feel guilty! Remember, what you see online is only a tiny fraction of what’s going on in reality. If a fellow person with diabetes looks like they’re living their best life 100% of the time, with no hypos, hypers or brain fog, remind yourself that this is not reality! Don’t make yourself feel bad if you and your diabetes have had a bad day. Everyone has them, despite what you might think.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember that people within the diabetes community are experts! Many of them may have been living with diabetes for many years and probably have a ton of tips, tricks, and answers to diabetes-related questions. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of this valuable resource!
So there you have it! Some foolproof tips to help keep the diabetes community full of love, support, and compassion. You and your diabuddies are much more than your diabetes data.
The mySugr website does not provide medical or legal advice. mySugr blog articles are not scientific articles, but intended for informational purposes only.
Medical or nutritional information on the mySugr website is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a physician or health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.