For the 5th year in a row, diabetes writers from all over the world will be participating in a solid week’s worth of informative, educational, and inspirational blog posts. To find out everything you need to know about Diabetes Blog Week, click on the banner above. A big Thank You to Karen Graffeo for making this happen every year!
May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
Hmmm…. What brings me down? That’s a tough one. Mostly because I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. The bitterness and depression I was feeling a few years ago has faded to the background for the time being. So you may think this is a stupid way to look at this subject. But…
To put it mildly, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for people who are working their way through difficult times. When people hurt, I hurt too.
This is that empathy thing I talk about a lot. I really feel like People With Diabetes (and People Who Care For People With Diabetes—Type Awesomes) have an extra store of empathy that others do not. We’ve been there… we know what it’s like… we don’t wish what we’ve been through on anyone else.
So it’s hard for me (especially hard for me) to sit idly by while someone else is dealing with something that really gets them down. Especially if I think I may be able to help. Let me give an example:
A little while back I was tweeting back and forth with someone that I only know online. This person was not exactly feeling the DOC love. For them, the community had become too fractured, it was nothing like what it was when they found it, and, if I recall correctly, trust was a big issue for this person. And they weren’t finding much of it then.
What could I do? The answer is, not much. And still… a lot.
Not being an expert, the only thing I really knew to do was to write an e-mail. I just wanted to let them know how much I trusted them, how much they meant to me, and how much I supported them… no exceptions. It was a short note, but I hope I got my point across.
Did it work? Well, I don’t know. I haven’t heard from this person since.
But I know that since then, I’ve felt a great deal of concern for this person’s wellbeing. I want them to know they have a supporter in their life, and I want them to engage with their friends again. Really, more than anything, I just want them to feel better. But not knowing what’s happening bums me out, even though how this person feels is absolutely none of my business really.
I don’t expect everyone to feel like everything is fantastic all the time. But while I’m going through a point in my life where things are pretty good, I want to bring as many people as possible into my space while I can, because I know how I feel today won’t last forever. And I know how important it is to celebrate the good times while they’re still good.
So what brings me down isn’t nearly as important as what brings others down these days. But I’ll say it again: When people hurt, I hurt too. If you’ve got something that’s really getting you down, I’ll try to help you if I can. Know that on your most difficult days, I support you… no exceptions.