I found the diabetes online community (DOC) a few years ago – or perhaps it found me – and to this day, I’m incredibly grateful for it. It’s introduced me to new friends and it’s always been a reliable source of information. Whether I’m lamenting a low blood sugar at 2 A.M. or asking if anyone has advice on a pod problem at 2 P.M., odds are I’ll have someone reaching out to me within minutes in some form or fashion. That kind of on-the-fly support is invaluable.
That being said…the DOC is not always a perfect safe haven.
In fact, if there was one thing I could change about it, it would be to make it a judgment-free space: because all too often, people are unfairly judged for how they choose to manage their own diabetes.
I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to opinions. Of course they are! But what happened to respectfully disagreeing with people?
I’ve seen situations like the following across different social media platforms:
- People getting attacked for following low/medium/high-carb diets
- People getting criticized for sharing “good” and “bad” blood sugars/A1cs
- People getting judged for dealing with diabetes burnout – as well as people getting judged for sharing their diabetes triumphs
- People getting discouraged from posting only the pretty parts of diabetes
We can’t keep doing this to each other. Just because a certain diet or T1D management strategy works out well for one person, doesn’t mean that it will work the same for another. That’s because diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all condition.
And we shouldn’t be judging one another for our differences. In fact, our differences can teach us so much more than our similarities can. We should celebrate one another for living with diabetes: doing the best we can, day after day, whether it yields “ideal” or “not ideal” results. Because it’s damn difficult to manage, and anyone who says otherwise is being judgmental.
We can learn and grow from one another, which is pretty powerful, as long as we refrain from this “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude.