#IwishpeopleknewthatDiabetes means that you are continually being judged – even in a place that’s supposed to be filled with holiday cheer. And that’s effed up.
Dear Lady at the Christmas Party,
I know that you meant well, I really do. But when you looked over at me in disgust, shook your head as I input the carb and bg count into my insulin pump, and right before I bit into a delicious Christmas cookie, then said loudly – so everyone by the dessert table could here,“and you with diabetes, you’re the last person who should be having those cookies, you know better!”
You not only put me on the defensive, you made me feel like crap, you made me angry.
And you made me feel that I had to make excuses for doing exactly what I was supposed to do.
You made me feel like a bad person and a bad person with diabetes – and I am neither.
I kept it together, remained calm and I didn’t yell, even though I wanted to.
With that being said, DON”T F^CKING JUDGE ME.
Don’t assume (and tell me,) I can’t eat that.
Don’t assume (and tell me,) I’m playing Russian roulette with my life.
Don’t assume that I don’t care about my health, because I do and I’ve worked incredibly hard to own/make peace, and work with my diabetes these 38 years, 24X7 and without a day off.
Since I was diagnosed as a child, I’ve been calculating and tabulating every piece of food I put into my mouth – You, a stranger who doesn’t know me from Adam, had no right to judge and make assumptions about me or my diabetes.
For 38 years I’ve had well meaning people focus on the food I put in my mouth and I’m tired of it.
It’s one thing when it’s a friend or family member who genuinely cares and wants to know – but another when you, a stranger and badge carrying member of the Diabetes Police publicly judges me in an accusatory tone about my diabetes – even if your concern came from a place of good, your tone and accusations were anything but,
And don’t look at me like I had three heads when I respond to your accusations with: Excuse me, but you really don’t what you’re talking about.
As a child and teenager with diabetes, I snuck food food because the diabetes diet was so strict and unforgiving – And wore the diabetes guilt around my neck for a very long time.
As an adult with diabetes I’ve worked hard to remove that anchor of guilt and replace it with acceptance and Diabetes Advocacy
I tried educating you nicely and I didn’t want to argue, or get into a heated discussion about what I could or couldn’t eat with someone who refused to hear what I had to say -and I didn’t want to take the focus off the party.
I wanted to enjoy the moment for many reasons.
I wanted to celebrate with friends.
I wanted to meet new people – but not in an argumentative and accusatory way.
I wanted to eat my goddamned Christmas Cookies I bolused for because it’s Christmas and a lot of work went into me enjoying those cookies.
Work like continually checking my blood sugars, eating a low carb lunch the day of the party, working out daily, eating healthy 80% of the time, always seeing numbers when I look at food, and always trying, but not aways nailing it, when it comes to living with diabetes.
I want to enjoy food because I want a healthy relationship with food.
I will not be judged by you or anyone else.
I couldn’t continue a discussion with a person who refused to dialogue, even after I politely explained that yes, I can indeed eat these cookies.
And I know your concern came from a place of loss – I get that, but I couldn’t keep talking with someone who refused to hear what I was saying,
So I wished you good health; happy holidays, and a merry Christmas to you and yours and walked away and didn’t look back.
Kelly created the #Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes website and can be found blogging at Diabetesaliciousness and tweeting @diabetesalish and feels really weird about writing about herself in the 3rd person.