I saw an interesting post today on a Diabetes Awareness Facebook page. “What makes your life with diabetes happily ordinary?” I thought it was a really great question. People with diabetes live on a see-saw and demonstrate a balancing act that many of us couldn’t dream of attempting, much less maintaining for the rest of our lives. The numerous daily checks on blood sugar, the compensations that need to be made once they know their insulin levels, depriving themselves of sweet treats that we eat without a second thought. So yes, what do people with diabetes do to make their lives ‘happily normal’?
The responses were extremely uplifting, and inspiring. Some involved cooking lessons to learn how to recreate food cravings in a safe and healthy way. Others looked for ways to redirect their food cravings into other activities, such as exercise, hobbies, or volunteering. Some even mentioned that their friends and family all began to adopt the same healthy habits that the individual with diabetes had so that they never had to feel alone. And everyone indicated support as a major factor.
Having a community support you and your struggle makes all the difference in the world. Whether that be by changing eating habits so that those with diabetes don’t feel like the only one in the room on a restricted diet, or by wearing silver awareness ribbons to raise money and awareness for those with the disease, and those at risk to develop it. The important thing is that everyone have support. Because what we take for granted is a coveted gift to others.
And while Diabetes Awareness Month happens in November, the truth is that this campaign, or any non-profit campaign, teaches us to stand together with one another. Awareness ribbons or 5K fundraising walks may sound cheesy to some, but they mean the world to anyone who faces added adversity in this world. So put aside your biases, embrace differences, and put on that lapel pin. We’re in this together.