At some point a person with diabetes will *probably* experience that one person without diabetes who insists that they must have either done something wrong to get diabetes, or is failing to do something at the moment to “reverse” it.

This is especially common amongst us Type 2s, considering how much negative press we get about our disease.

You don’t think I’d want to “reverse” this if it were possible? Well, no shit Sherlock, I’d obviously do that if it were an option. For now I’m just trying to get as tight control as possible without going bananas in grad school. Which is way harder than you’d think.

If you’ve ever experienced this, likely you’ve wanted toss a brick or something their way. Maybe one of those hard bricks of brown sugar, just to drive your point home.

But, obviously we can’t wander around throwing things at people who are insensitive and all around so, SO aggravating about what they say to us, so we have to mentally figure out how to process these kinds of encounters.

So here are my thoughts.

Those who are public about their diabetes risk blame and shame as people typically associate the word “diabetes” with “fat”, “lazy”, and “candy bars”.

Now, I can’t speak for Type 1s so my experiences will be more Type 2 specific. Also, Type 2 development can be influenced by lifestyle, so in general I feel like people who say these things to Type 1s are still targeting us, but are just so uninformed that they don’t know that there are different types of diabetes.

Anyway, as a person who is open about having Type 2, I have had several experiences where I’ve had to explain and defend myself: my eating habits, my weight struggles, my exercise regimen. You know, because that is TOTALLY their business.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that at the base of blame is fear.

Yes, that’s right, fear.

People want, no, NEED to believe that you caused this in some way. They need to believe (whether they admit it or not) that there must have been something you did, and that’s why your life is so much more complicated and sharp, pokey thing-filled than theirs. Why? Because they want to think they’re doing everything right. And if you do everything right, you don’t get type 2 diabetes.

“Well, I eat fruits and vegetables,” they say. “Well, I don’t GO to fast food places, and I exercise.” And they don’t want to entertain the possibility that sometimes your body just craps out, and you’re left with a disease that is at best tolerable, at worst a huge PITA and a heavy weight tied to every moment of the day. Forever.

And you know what, fine. If they need to think that, that’s their business and I could squawk at them all day long about not blaming the patient or the actual science, and deep down they’re still going to be like, “Yeah, wellll…you’re fat and diabetic so I don’t really believe what you’re saying, okay?”

And at some point, you need to know when to shut it down, because in the end it doesn’t matter what these people think. These people are not in control of your spirit or your happiness. So don’t let them be.

At least, I’m going to try not to.



7 thoughts on “Blame

  1. I hear ya! I’m an overweight type 1, and I can’t tell you how often I get the knowing head shake and eye roll when I say I’m diabetic to strangers/acquaintances. They don’t know me and don’t know what a struggle I’ve had with my weight ever since puberty. I did really well up until my 2nd year of college. Throw a type 1 diabetes diagnosis partnered with some depression onto that at age 21, and you have a perfect storm of gaining weight. But the weight, what I ate, and how much I exercised DID NOT CAUSE MY DIABETES. Sometimes you do just have to let those people go, and let the judgments slide off of you. My true friends and family know the truth, and I don’t have to defend myself to them.

    • It’s so frustrating sometimes! But it’s important to keep in mind who really has a stake in your health, and its your loved ones and real friends 🙂 Strangers and acquaintances that can’t be bothered to learn the truth are just not worth it, which is something I’ve realized recently.

  2. I think that people who throw judgment on others do it because it somehow makes them feel better about themselves and doing it as a way to fend off the very thing they are railing against, whether it’s disease like diabetes or something else. It’s sad that the world is full of people with incredibly small minds.

    • I agree, I think it makes people feel superior to put someone down/blame them for things like diabetes or other issues. Well, I’ve got news for them, being a jerk is a lot worse than having diabetes that’s for sure!

  3. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers are Type 2. I didn’t find that out until diagnosis which oddly happened after losing 25 pounds back in 2007. Anyone large or small can have one of the many types of diabetes.

    I have never seen a fellow diabetic post memes like that, usually it’s the folks born on the finish line that believe we are gluttonous slobs.

    You are right, Diabetes is a forever. It never goes away (well until a cure is found), but we don’t have to let it control us. Using our meters, and working closely with our doctor we can learn how to have better control over it.

    • I have seen some (VERY rare) T1s post similar memes, but I imagine they’re battling something deeper than just T2 hate. But the point is keeping close the ones who know our truth and who really care about us and letting all the other nonsense go 🙂

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