Teenager Samantha Williams, from Auckland, reflects on her T1D journey and talks about some of the prejudices she has experienced.
Here I am, still staring at my blank piece of paper wondering what to write, struggling to come up with the words I need to say. Usually I can’t stop typing, but for some reason the words just aren’t coming today but as I’ve learned in 12 years of having diabetes, you’ve just gotta keep trying until you get it so here it goes.
Most people don’t fully understand the challenges of living with a lifelong disease that most of the time is invisible to everyone around you. It’s like a part of you that is hidden or misunderstood all of the time. I think it’s hard not to feel alone and isolated when it’s not something that is necessarily visible to the people around you. Sometimes that’s a positive as it can be challenging living with diabetes and it’s often easier to hide the pain and pretend everything’s okay because in the end that’s less complicated than explaining to someone what’s really wrong. But other times you just wish that people understood why you’re in a bad mood, or why you’re absolutely exhausted and it’s only 12pm.
Type 1 diabetes comes with challenges and complications that most people wouldn’t expect or even think of to be honest. It has the capability to severely affect the lives of individuals, as well as the ones closest to them, and change the way they go about their day-to-day business. It’s a disease that although common, is still misunderstood by so many. And many of its victims are subject to harsh judgements and comments because of its similarities in name to type 2 diabetes.