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As part of Diabetes Week, providing a platform to share different stories on emotional wellbeing and how stigma plays a role in that journey can be a great way to address public assumptions (which are often not too accurate).
We believe it can can be beneficial for everyone to get to see these stories in a public forum and to start conversations around these micro habits/events that shape how stigma can affect our diabetes journey and mental health.
Today's topic is all about raising more conversations around the implications of stigma but with an added lens:
As someone who has been living with diabetes for over a decade, I must say that I have a lot when it comes to diabetes. For me, the most important diabetes lesson that I have learnt thus far is that diabetes is extremely exhausting and requires resilience, patience and tenacity. Not one day is the same as the other and each day is truly different. There were definitely times in which I wanted to give up but had to keep telling myself that I have to be patient with myself, as this is a life long condition and it’s okay to take it slow. Also it’s okay to not have perfect diabetes management because:
For me the biggest emotional challenge that I have faced over the years and still am facing is diabetes stigma. Over the years, there have been different diabetes diets that have come up that haven’t been accommodating to different cultures. In South Africa, our stable foods contain a lot of carbs but you will definitely find someone wanting to tell you about low carb diets. They forget the state of the economy in which other people live in and forget that we cannot afford the same things and hence people's diabetes management is different and what works for one person might not work for the next person.
I think sometimes, people try to give advice with a good spirit but there are people who constantly want to give out unsolicited advice without considering other factors as well. For me that has been the biggest emotional challenge in which I have faced. Diabetes stigma is something that needs to be looked at and we as people living with diabetes need to understand and put each other in each other’s shoes because we are the ones who understand what it’s like living with this condition instead of judging one another.
Thapi's General Final Tip:
*Disclaimer: Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.