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Actually, Maybe It IS You...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A little over three years ago, I wrote a post called, It's Not You, It's Me: An Open Letter to my Friends. 

It was about how I had changed since Sweets' diagnosis and how I was working my way back to the person I was before.  And how it was taking time... more time than I thought.  And how my pulling away had nothing to do with them.  It was me.

That was a long time ago.

Since then, I've learned a few things...

When someone you love is diagnosed with chronic disease...
When you are one the responsible for managing it...
When your world turns upside down and everything changes...

Your friendships change, too. 

I wish I could tell you that the friends you have the day your child is diagnosed are still going to be the friends you have when you hit the five year mark. 

But I can't.

Things change.  Diabetes changes us.  Whether we want it to or not 

And not in bad ways.  In many, many good ways.

But in ways that sometimes make it hard for those around us. 

I still have some close friends that I had BEFORE.  But if I'm being honest... I don't have many.

It's not that I don't have friends.  I do. 

It's just that all but about one of those friendships has changed.

We've grown apart.  We don't hang out as much.  We don't know what's going on in each other's lives anymore. 

We're still friends.  We just aren't as close.

Maybe this would have happened anyway.  After all, friendships change over time no matter what.

And maybe this is just MY experience.

But I have a feeling I'm not alone.

The good part is that I have lots of new friends.  Friends I didn't know before diabetes made itself part of our family.  Friends I would never have met otherwise.  Friends who are spread all over the county.  Some of which I've never actually met but know better than people I see every day. 

I am incredibly grateful for these women and their children. 

But it doesn't take the sting out of the friendships that have been lost.

It's not something we talk about much  How we miss the way things were BEFORE... for US.  How we wonder if it's our fault that things have changed.  If it was something we did.  Or said.

Maybe we just aren't that fun anymore.  Maybe it's a drag to hang out with us.  If we can even hang out anymore.  Maybe it's too complicated with not being able to find a sitter or the constant phone calls from the sitter about what to do or the fact that we're exhausted and can't stay awake past 9pm.  

But here's the thing...

It's not you.  It's them.

In a total reversal from that other blog post...
 Now I'm saying...
Well, maybe it IS you.  A little.

Seriously... I'm not saying that friendships change and end because of nothing you do and everything that someone does.  It doesn't work that way.

But... when the going gets tough and someone can't stick it out... Sometimes it has little to do with you. 

Maybe they can't handle it.  Maybe they don't like all the medical stuff.  Maybe they are jealous of the time you have to devote diabetes.  Maybe they are jealous of the diabetes friends you have.  Maybe they are jealous of the attention you get.  Maybe they resent you not being the same person.  Maybe they don't want to hear about it.  Maybe being with you is uncomfortable because they don't know what to say or how to act. 

Who knows.

Maybe it's all of it.  Maybe it's none of it. 

Maybe it happens so gradually that you don't even realize it until you wake up one day and realize you haven't spoken in months. 

I read that blog that I wrote over three years ago and it hurts. 

Because I never got to back to who I was BEFORE.  I said I was trying.  I said I'd get there.

But I didn't.

Maybe I just gave up.  Maybe I quit trying.  Maybe it didn't matter because it wasn't ever going to happen.

I'm just not the same person I was before diabetes came into our lives. 

And I'm more than ok with that.  (That's a post for another day...)

I guess now I can look at those friendships that have burned out or changed and say - It wasn't ALL ME.  It wasn't ALL my fault. 

It wasn't all their fault either.

I suppose it was naive to think that nothing would change.  Just like it's naive to think that this is the end of the story. 

Because I can feel things changing again.  She's becoming more independent.  We're getting more comfortable with her care and her ability do handle some things on her own.  I feel like I may actually be finding my way...

Not back to who I was.  That person is gone. 

But back to someone pretty close. Someone who is ready to embrace both the diabetes world and the life outside of it.  Simultaneously. 

Because each has something wonderful to offer.



  1. Very well said. We are near the beginning of our journey (dx June 5th) and are already experiencing many of the things you mentioned.

  2. I could have written this myself. I have been struggling for the past 2 years with the loss of a close friendship while simultaneously celebrating new ones. Bittersweet, this entire life with diabetes, isn't it?

  3. Holy nail on the head! Our daughters are almost exactly the same age, and were diagnosed very close to each other, so I've been reading for quite some time now. I coupled the diagnosis and everything that went with it with a truly horrific divorce. So you could say the storm was quite intense. I too am a much different person than before.

    With that said, I think I am more secure, and am able to focus more intently on the things that are most important. I'd like to add one more quote that we learned in the fraternity:

    "False brothers are like our shadows, staying with us in the light, but leaving when we pass into darkness."

    My trials and tribulations really helped show where true friendship existed.

    Keep up the great work!

    Oh, and I just totally shared your school plans with our Parents of Diabetics group here in Portland. You've provided tons of very useful information and are really helping others!

  4. I honestly don't think I have any of the friends I had before, but I decided that they must not have been true friend anyways. I've made new friends, even some that are not d- related and I am okay with that. They know the me I am today and they are cool with it... i like not having to pretend I haven't changed. I have, but its not necessarily a bad thing.

  5. Sadly I think that people just don't want to hear it....and, they don't get it....soooo....good riddance to those who really don't give a damn :)

    Very true too that once independence finds its way back into our D kids lives we find ourselves (new improved, stronger version!) once again. Bitter sweet my friend!! ((HUGS))


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