Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 in diabetes. It was a big one.

This year.

This year has been a year filled with defining who I am.

When you live with a chronic illness that is often seen in the public eye as something you have created, when you live being overweight no matter what you do to change that, when you live with people in your life who point these things out to you regularly it can be easy to start to believe what you see and hear.

For years of my life I always thought that I just wasn't doing enough to lose weight or control my diabetes. I was always made to believe that no matter what my effort was, it wasn't enough and I was doing it wrong.

What people who are outside of diabetes (no matter the type) don't know, what people who are outside of being overweight don't know, is that it just isn't their place unless they are part of the patients medical team.

In April, I decided I was going to change how I saw the world. It sounds lofty and like the words of a daydreamer, but there was a moment in time where I said this is it, this is me and I am who I am. Nobody from that point on could make me feel like any less of a person because of how I appeared to them or how they were going to view me due to my diabetes.

It has been an incredible transformation personally. My outlook in every aspect of my life has changed dramatically, and I have maintained to still be the person I have been striving to be. 

I decided that I want to tell people what real life is like with diabetes, so I jumped on twitter and searched diabetes. It happened that I stumbled on a #dsma chat night. That was where I needed to be at that exact time. The online diabetes community has provided me with the empowerment that I needed to remain committed to my personal development. I have made a multitude of friends through the online community. I have helped start the first Canada-centered diabetes online chat, I have witnessed chats in Great Britain, Australia, Italy, France, South Africa and more. A very special thank you goes out to members of the Diabetes Online Community for being a warm blanket when I was very cold.

I now know that no matter what any outside source says to me about my weight or diabetes, I have a place to turn to. I don't have to keep my thoughts inside and assume the person probably meant well, and even consider that maybe they are right.

I started to hear about people all around the world who were feeling what I was feeling. I was starting to realize that I am not alone in taking everything head on and not taking what others say at face value.

On my path to better myself, I am trying to better understand the motives of people's actions towards me, specifically my weight and my diabetes. A lot of the time it is a lack of understanding and comprehension of what is going on in my body. As many times as I patiently try to explain that I am doing the best I can.

But what I have really come to realize, and this is my biggest learned lesson of 2012:

It can't be said enough. Everyone has things to deal with. Some seem more serious than others, but if we all would take two steps back from a comment we are about to make to or about another person and just remember that everyone is fighting a hard battle, I think we might get somewhere in making this world a better place to live.

This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at


  1. Love this. And love that you are doing your "thang!"

  2. Well said Alanna... congratulations on a great year!

  3. What a beautiful post, Alanna!! Thank you so much for giving us all a much needed reminder.