I think it’s safe to say that Diabetes is one of those “invisible” illnesses. After all, if one were to see me walking down the street, one would never be able to KNOW that i have Diabetes. Contrary to what you may see joked about on mainstream media and in the movies, having Diabetes doesn’t unilaterally mean that one is obese, missing toes or eats too much candy and junk food. Granted there ARE some like that, but it isn’t the standard. Most people don’t see what’s happening below the surface and they don’t realize the effort and control it takes just to get through the day. Some of that has led to some extremely uncomfortable situations throughout my life.
When you reach a certain age, you start to contemplate your life. And that isn’t a bad thing. Although I’ve grown to accept and acknowledge that I live my life without regret, contemplation is a completely different thing. My life is pretty awesome; I can’t deny that. To live with any regret means that I wouldn’t want my life being what it is now, and that just wouldn’t be true. But like anyone else, I’ve made some mistakes and have hurt people along the way with the choices I’ve made. And that’s what I’ve been contemplating.
For the most part, I was a pretty stubborn kid during my teen years. This cost me a lot, when i consider friendships, relationships and even experiences. Always a bit of a loner, I went it alone and dealt with the many ups and downs that Diabetes caused without ever sharing what I was going through with anyone. That includes my parents. Given the significant lack of control I had over my blood sugars, I tended to be cold, distant and a bit of an overall asshole. I know what you may be thinking: how is that different from how I am now? Well, first of all, fuck you! Second of all, I’m going to explain…
Wildly varying blood sugars can cause all sorts of behavioural issues, including fatigue, depression, mood swings and unprovoked anger. This didn’t bode well for friendships and relationships. And wouldn’t you know it, I just HAD to be going through it during my teen years when i was trying to be a typical teen… have friends, date girls and go out and have fun. None of that was conducive to good blood sugar control. I think back to the number of times I had to bail on friends and just stay home because In felt like absolute shit due to my Diabetes.
This doesn’t even begin to cover how much of a dick I was to girls I dated (NSFW pun fully intended). My mood swings and behavioural issues due to Diabetes made for some pretty harsh treatment from me. Couple that with the typical torrential wave of teenage hormones I was subjected to that just made all of it worse. This led to some pretty in-depth guilt, which cause some of the aforementioned depression. Unlike most teenagers of my generation, I never touched drugs or alcohol. In fact, as I’ve written in previous posts, I only had my first beer when i was 23 years old. So I had to ride the guilt wave with none of the safety or floatation devices that most people have.
Even now, knowing what I know and having the control that I do, my time is better preferred sitting at home relaxing with my wife than making plans and trying to leave the house. I keep a pretty tight reign on my Diabetes nowadays and since absolutely everything tends to affect blood sugars, I also keep a tight reign on how late I stay up and how I spend time outside my house. But I no longer feel the guilt that comes with the issues I faced during my teen years. As an adult, i recognize that my life and family come first. And there can be no guilt in that. The rest of the world will simply need to understand that. ☯️