Tag Archives: shy

The Lonely DOC

 

I truly admire the fact that the DOC or Diabetes Online Community provides so many people with this feeling that their not alone- such a valuable thing.  There are people in the DOC however, who feel alone.  Lots of them.  Any community out there can have elements like that of a High School where the kids that have bonded hang out, support each other publicly, have a large voice, and own the right gadgets.  They don’t necessarily pay much attention to those who are more quiet or perhaps have been in the background for a while or are simply different and linger just outside the realm of the community. 

Well, I’m typically fine with feeling alone, although I’ve been catching a lot of comments in the DOC environment lately and I’ve noticed that many are lonely and not liking it.  I’m very different from most people I know so that probably has most to do with how I feel.  Yet, feeling isolated isn’t fun for anyone.  This is the sentiment many others are expressing out there.  Part of me wants to find a way to turn some focus to helping those who maybe don’t have computers/internet connections at home, who don’t think they write well (probably the math wizards), or those who don’t have the confidence to post their thoughts, feelings, and opinions online-yet who desperately seek support of some kind. 

I don’t quite know a way of doing this yet.  This site now gets thousands of visits a week and very few comments and that is fine with me.  I just hope people are getting something out of what I’m writing.  I always knew I was an “advocate” because I’m not able to shut up when I have a strong opinion in mind.  And my thoughts tend to linger on the subject of people and their rights and their wellbeing so I hope that makes me somewhat helpful in the DOC.

With this post, I hope to encourage those of you who do have the platform and confidence and writing skills to be open to figuring out ways to support the underdog or the forgotten one, or those who seem to be hiding a bit.  I understand there is this thing about “survival of the fittest” and whoever wants to join in online is allowed to do so.  Thing is, many people have certain limitations (shyness perhaps?) and diabetes can often weaken some of the fittest out there anyway.

And those of you who feel alone or ignored and who feel like you aren’t welcome by the DOC, I hope you’ll find a way to jump in or take part or even heck, start your own support group.  In time, you’ll feel more comfortable and included.

And if anyone ever wants to email me, I keep things confidential unless permitted otherwise and I won’t ignore your emails, I promise.  It’s happened to me plenty and it’s not a good feeling when so much great support is spoken of.

And if you are someone who needs a little push, a little help to start your own diabetes blog, stay tuned for my free How to Start A Diabetes Blog Series.  It may be all you need to go ahead and let your voice be heard.

Much love to all the DOC and those just outside…

XOXO,

Sysy

Does Having Diabetes Make You Shy?

This is another post by contributing author, Ana Morales.

Have you ever taken the well-known Myers Briggs personality test? I’ve taken it a few times and it has never failed to reveal that I’m an introverted person. I’ve known this about myself even before I took the test, however, and sometimes I wonder how much having diabetes has influenced this part of me. Since I was diagnosed when I was only 3, there’s no doubt that it played a role in my development as an individual. While some people may have enjoyed the attention that came with being a diabetic, I didn’t. In elementary school I had to walk to the office every day before lunchtime to check my blood sugar level and report it to one of the staff members. If it was low they would send me to lunch early and I would have to sit with people I didn’t know, so it got to the point where if I was low, I would lie about it in order to avoid going to lunch early.

Outside of school, I was involved in extra-curricular activities such as soccer, choir, dance, and art classes. I often neglected to check my blood sugar during these times because I didn’t want people watching me or giving me that horrified look when I drew blood from my finger. Over the years I’ve met several people who can hardly stand to look at needles or blood, let alone watch me do something to myself that involved both. I became self-conscious and felt that I should prevent these people from feeling uncomfortable around me and just not prick my finger or give my shots in front of them. If there was a bathroom or otherwise secluded spot available nearby, I would retreat there to do what I had to do without any sort of audience. Sometimes this luxury was not available though, and this is where I put others before my own needs and simply waited until I was alone. Not too long ago I finally realized that this is no way to take care of myself. I still struggle with pricking my finger and giving shots in public sometimes, but not nearly as much as I used to.

Even with some of the people who were closest to me, I couldn’t seem to not be shy about my diabetes sometimes. It didn’t help that some of them treated my diabetes like it really wasn’t a big deal at all. This hurt me in a way that I don’t even know how to describe; after all, I’ve been dealing with not just this disease, but the thoughts of what could happen in the future because of it for the past 16 years. Even though it hurt me, I couldn’t bring myself to say anything to them and make them understand because I felt like I would come off as overdramatic and uptight and it would somehow taint the relationship I had with them. I truly regret not doing anything now. As a diabetic, you have to learn to stand up for yourself and not expect everyone to automatically understand what you’re going through. It took me a while to learn that.

As I’ve been writing this I realized that another thing that has prevented me from being less shy about my diabetes is the fact that I’m not as informed about it as I could be. I think that part of it is due to my sister Sysy’s diligence with learning everything she can about it. In a way I’ve taken advantage of this and never looked into the disease myself. As a result I feel that I can’t accurately explain to people what’s going on with me sometimes. While I should’ve started learning about what I have more thoroughly a long time ago, it’s never too late to start. If you’re in the same situation, take the initiative to learn all you can about diabetes because it’s a big part of your life! Reading the articles on this website is a great start :).

I definitely still don’t have perfect control, but it always helps me to think about how taking care of myself now will hopefully ensure a healthier future for me. As a shy person even outside of having diabetes, I have to be extra stern when it comes to doing things that may draw attention to myself and not let that stop me from doing what I need to do. So, what can you do if your diabetes makes you a little shy and prevents you from doing what you need to? Here’s a list to get you started:

1. Become informed! Learn about the disease that you have and share this information with your loved ones and other people in your life whenever you’re presented with the chance. Having the support of others makes dealing with diabetes SO much easier.
2. Keep your priorities straight. To put it simply, learn when you have to put your needs before others’ and when you don’t.
3. Speak up! You know your body better than anyone else. Don’t be afraid to sound a little harsh if that’s what going to make someone understand how important it is to take care of yourself. If they really love you, they won’t leave you because of it.

And remember, it’s not a bad thing to be shy, just don’t let fear take over your life! You’ll be glad you didn’t.

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