"Types" of Diabetics
Everyone deals with things in different ways, because they’re completely different people. Like other people, diabetics are the same. From what I’ve seen there are four broad categories that people drift in and out of when faced with a diagnosis of chronic illness (this is not definitive, it is simply my musings). They apply not only to diabetes, but any event and it's difficult to fit into one entirely because our responses change daily.
These diabetics seem to be rare, but I was absolutely one of them when I was diagnosed! They are so consumed by monitoring their diabetes that they take way too many tests a day. They check their level, analyse it, worry about what it will be in two hours and spend that two hours thinking about it. The over-analysers may have brilliant control over their condition, but they’re missing the point of managing it well: TO LIVE. It’s important that these individuals socialise and don’t refuse to do things because it may break the perfect streak of levels that they’ve had for the past two days.
Internalisers present a front to the world; that their diabetes is managed perfectly thank you very much, and they’re fine. FINE. If they’re like I was, they’re absolutely not fine and they are having a little meltdown in the corners of their minds. Internalisers need to talk to someone about their diabetes; they don’t have to manage it alone. Yes, you may think you’re the most capable at managing it, but you’ll be surprised by how much someone else can help.
Being a normaliser means that you have really come to terms with this whole diabetes thing, well done you! (I’d like to be you one day). Normalisers acknowledge that yes, they do have diabetes, but they’re not just a diabetic. Normalisers aren’t shy about their diabetes; they can physically talk about it… (writing counts as baby steps right??) and it’s a non-issue. They manage it well, but they manage their life even better.
Last, but possibly the most common, are the avoiders. They barely acknowledge their diabetes is there, they prefer living their pre-diagnosis life. However, this leads to a myriad of health complications. I was lucky enough to only be in this stage mildly, in denial but still treating my diabetes. Don’t place blame on avoiders, because it’s a perfectly reasonable response. Avoiders need to be listened to, and made to feel like their life after diagnosis can be BETTER than what they knew before. To the avoiders I say this: you’re not alone, and it’s ok to feel like this.
One response isn’t better than another, because in the long run we’re all aiming for the same thing; to be a normaliser, to be a perfect balance, to be a complication free diabetic.
But we’re only human, there is no perfection, but we can try and achieve our best.
*These categories are not real, they are my observations put into my own words