I'm spending the weekend at a the Weekend for Women: A Celebration of Strength conference in downtown San Diego, a gathering of women with diabetes. After denying (in my head and in my daily life) that I was diabetic for the better part of 10 years, it's as though a light has appeared. Why wasn't it there all alone? Who knows, but I see it now and I'm so grateful.
Grateful to find a community of women who deal with the same things I do now that I'm working on my diabetes every day instead of ignoring it. Diabetes and depression (which I also suffer from) are both so isolating and I don't have anyone in my close circle of family and friends who is diabetic, so I just keep pulling into myself, keeping it all inside, and feeling so ashamed. On the rare occasion that I share my fight with depression with anyone, it's always whispered and apologetic. But all of these women understand. There are no whispers here and no need for shame.
Of course there have been some really helpful educational sessions, too, and I've learned quite a bit even on the first day. Fortuitously, I've got an appointment with my Endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) on Monday, so this is great material for my discussion with him. I've wanted to come off of one of my diabetic meds for months - Actos, which has been banned from use in France and Germany - and today I had the opportunity to speak with a renowned Endocrinologist one on one about what she'd recommend to replace the Actos. Amazing. Empowering. And with that power, a little of the darkness recedes and lets more light in.
I am not diabetes, nor am I depression. They do not define me and I am no longer alone with them. I cannot tell you how good it feels to write those words.