When I was growing up, no one told me about diabetes. No one told me about the symptoms of diabetes, or about diabetes risk factors. No one told me, in fact, that I was at serious risk of developing diabetes. I wasn’t told that it ran my family, that obesity was a serious factor in whether or not you developed it, and that the fact that I was overweight put me in imminent danger. By the time I found out, In fact, it was too late. I was already very sick with diabetes.
I grew up in a family that was seriously in denial, and soon I was in denial myself. I tried out flaky diabetes remedies that were supposed to offer miracle cures, but in fact only made me sicker. On a daily basis, if the truth is to be told, I was putting my life at risk. I was not taking my medicine regularly, not sticking with my diet, and generally not taking care of myself. If it weren’t for diabetes support groups, in fact, I might not be alive today.
The first time I heard about a diabetes support group, I outwardly sneered. I didn’t feel like I needed diabetes support groups. I had always been independent – to a fault in fact. Support groups for diabetes were just not my style, I said. Sure, diabetes support groups might be good for some sufferers of the disease, but I could handle things on my own. Then one day, I took a serious look in the mirror. I realized I had not been handling things on my own. I realized that I was in awful shape and I needed the help of a community. That is when I joined diabetes support groups.
The first time I went to the Diabetes support group, I was absolutely blown away by how friendly and supportive everyone was. I knew that diabetes support groups were supposed to be welcoming places, but I was unprepared for how much of an effect it would have on me. Despite my gruff exterior, I found out at that diabetes support groups meeting that I was very scared inside. Part of what diabetes support groups help you with is addressing all of that inner fear and anxiety. Of course, diabetes support groups also address more tangible issues, like taking the responsibility to check up on each other and making sure that everyone is taking care of their condition. All in all, they had everything I needed.