Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The facade...

There has been a lot of talk of rainbows, unicorns, and glitter in the DOC lately (Diabetes Online Community).

It has also been brought up that people who blog are too negative and are perceived that their lives suck. I haven't said much about this until now. It got to me last night when I read another comment about it on Facebook.

Here is what I would like to say to those people.

I, like I know many of other bloggers are as well, am a very positive person. We live life just like you and see positive things going on in our lives. We really do. These typically are not the things that make it onto the blog to be shared with our readers.

And I think I know why.

Each and every day in our "normal" lives we are forced to put on a facade of sorts. The people we see and the interactions we have are not typically related to the disease our kids fight day in and day out.

We know our struggles.
We know we have long nights of checking blood sugar.
We know we have long nights of fighting highs and lows.
We have days where we fight them too.
We have battles where our kids sneak food.
And battles where we can't get them to eat at all.

This is truly what our lives consist of. Sure we have other things going on too. You know cooking meals, cleaning floors, doing laundry, etc. But it is these "extra" and highly necessary tasks that tend to bring us down.

We cannot share these things with our day to day interactions. They don't get it.

So, we put on our facade for them. They often see diabetes as "easy". Why? Because they don't see all the struggles. They might see a finger poke. They might see snacks being given. But to them that is it. Diabetes is no big deal.

But we know different. We know all the work that goes into every decision we make. We have to think and make decisions on why this low needs 5 skittles and that one needs 1/2 pack of fruit snacks.

We tend to hide what is really going on from the people who don't get it and don't have diabetes to deal with daily.

Hence the facade.

Instead, we bring that here.

To the DOC.

We use blogging and Facebook as a safe place to share what is going on. To share our frustrations. To share the "negative" stuff. This is where we get it off our chest so we can move forward. Once the emotions and feelings are OUT, we can move forward. Just because we may seem negative in our posts, that does not necessarily mean we are sitting around moping all the time.

And sure, there are times when we get into a little bit of a diabetes rut and we might be a little more down that normal. And you know what, that is ok! We all have our good days, weeks, and months managing a crappy disease. And we have our share of bad days, weeks, and months too.

Because no matter how you look at it, Diabetes sucks.

The only saving grace for me is that I have all of you for support and this blog to get out the negative crap so I can move on.

There are no rainbows, unicorns, and glitter on a daily basis with this disease.

And if you want to put on a facade of your own and make it appear that is what your life is all about, go for it. That is your choice. But please don't put those of us down that don't see life that way.

In my world, in the life I live, it is ok to have emotions other than rainbows, unicorns, and glitter.

*Disclaimer: I am a mom of a T1 Diabetic child and a child with ITP/Asthma/Dysphagia. I am NOT a doctor. I just play one in real life. Please do not take anything in this post or any other post on this blog as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns of your own, please seek advice from your doctor.*


Wendy said...

Well said, my friend.

Honestly, though, I don't see a common negative thread in the blogs I read. I think we all have a post now and then that could be "perceived" as being negative, but for each individual blogger, I don't see a repetitive pattern on any one particular blog.

Personally, I wouldn't be inclined to continue reading a blog that was all positive all the time. Eventually I'd view it as being "fake" and would lose interest. I disengage from "fake" people prety easily.

But that's just me.

Cindy said...

Amen to everything you and Wendy said! Negativity comes and goes with this life. We get some pretty great times and some pretty awful ones, but we rejoice with one, deal with the other, and keep on going, no matter what. And the DOC takes it all in and accepts both equally. It's our safe haven and where we all get our daily dose of "same". Love the DOC and all its members!

Alexis said...

Amen amen amen!!!! I'm so glad to have you on this journey with me, and I appreciate your honest. You get it. I get it. Wendy above gets it.

For those who percieve us as anything but real...I think they have been sniffing the glitter too long ;)

Perfectly said.

Oh. Its Lexi. I'm locked out of account :(

I am LoW said...

I actually use my blog to "count my many blessings". I think I have mentioned type 1 diabetes once, maybe twice. But blogs are our own little spot that we should be able to do as we please, especially since nobody is forced to read it.

Penny said...

You got that right Tracy! It is what it is, good, bad and the ugly. All the people who say it's unicorns and glitter and parades might be having some serious denial issues. I'm real and yes, the glass is always half full, but blogging let's people see the whole picture. Cheers Mama!

Anonymous said...

Interesting......I hope no one takes all my unicorns, glitter, squirrels, etc. as offensive. It is not that at all. This is seriously how I deal with stress, by going a little off the wall :)

Tracy1918 said...

Amen...Amen..and Amen!! You said it perfectly.

Like you, I am a generally postive person...which makes diabetes even harder. I don't want to complain, but honestly, I need to vent to someone who gets it. As you said, I need a place to get the crap out and move on. I LOVE THAT!

EXCELLENT post, my friend!

Michelle said...

Perfectly put! I'm glad we all have our blogs to share our experiences...whether they are little victories or rough times we are going through. I think that by sharing it all we are helping one another to know there is someone else the "same" out there.

Anonymous said...

I am not a glitter and unicorn promoter, nor am I a glitter and unicorn hater. In fact I find the whole thing a little humorous and just watch the show. I do think that accusing those who choose(whether authentic or not)to focus on the more positive side of life with D, as putting on a facade,is a little mean. There are people who may authentically feel and live this way, this does not make them "fake". We all know life with D is hard....some come to the DOC only to vent, some only to encourage or be encouraged, most somewhere in between. we all gravitate towards those who have similar views and meet our needs and that is OKAY.

KerryC said...

Well, this is interesting. I have thought hard about whether to respond, and how. I'm with "Anonymous" above. I am one of those who likes to throw a little glitter around and lighten my load that way. I feel that it's a bit mean to say that by doing this, I am in some way putting down those who choose not to do this, or that I'm fake. I have in the past been accused of being "repressed", "in denial" and "unsympathetic". I am really none of those things. I frequently sympathise and offer support and encouragement to those who are feeling down. I try and see where people are coming from and meet them there, and lift them back up to a better place, if I can. But I also sometimes like to have a laugh, a really good, long, silly-session belly laugh, some FUN and THAT is what gets me through. I am a happy person, generally, and that is not a facade. I also find that when I offer support (real support, yes I CAN do that, strange as it may seem since I'm a glitter fan) to others, it usually helps everyone feel better - the person in need, and me. But I have offered support in the past and had it thrust back in my face by one or two people who clearly DON'T want to move on after their vent. Well, that's OK too - but those people will find that they get less and less support as time goes on. But each to their own. We all have our own different ways of dealing with things and we all carry the D load differently. Some of us don't find it that heavy, and some do. Some have other, heavier burdens to carry, too. So it's OK to use a blog, or an FB page, or a group, to vent, or ask for support, or whatever. Nobody is saying that it isn't. In no way is the glitter, unicorns and rainbow thing a put-down or a dig at any perceived negativity. It's just some of us who prefer to laugh at life's burdens, smile through the pain we may be feeling, dance in the rain....you know what I mean. If it's OK for you to express yourself in your manner, in your blog, then it's also OK for me to express myself in the way I choose, surely? There's a "them and us" feeling about the DOC these days and it's not leaving a good taste in my mouth. It really saddens me that we are fighting each other instead of lightening the load by being there for each other and accepting our differences. If I choose to take my medicine with a spoonful of sugar and you don't, then please don't take offence at that - it is not meant in any way to offend. I'll say it one more time. None of the glitter, unicorns or rainbows is intended as a dig, or a put-down, or an attack of any kind. So please don't attack us for using it to make our lives easier. Thanks :)

Lora said...

When all the glitter stuff started popping up everywhere... I thought it was fun. THEN people started being put down for being honest about their feeling. People were told that they SHOULD be more positive, people were defrended because they didnt agree. Eventually it seemed(to me atleast) that the "glitter" was being thrown into the faces of people to make a point. It has become almost obnoxious and sort of hateful sometimes... from BOTH sides. The fun has totally been taken out of it.

No matter how you prefer to "handle" things... it should be your choice. Support those who need support, cheer on those who are rockin it. If you can't... zip it! Don't tell someone how they should deal. Thats not your place.

Just my thoughts on it.

Great post Tracy :)

Tracy said...

In response to the glittery comments...

I have nothing wrong with some glitter being sprinkled around. I just think that some of the people who have posted things "act" (ehum...facade) like things are like that ALL.THE.TIME.

And in MY opinion, there is NO WAY someone lives happily 24/7/365. No way.

I am just tired of people who post ANYTHING negative being bashed for having totally normal emotions.

And maybe the majority of the "glitter" people aren't doing it intentionally, but I do feel (again, my opinion) that there are some people who would do it do annoy or jab at the emotions of others.

And I do totally understand that some people use humor or positivity as a coping mechanism and I think that is ok. But, that also shows that there IS another side to them. Things aren't ALWAYS rainbows and unicorns.

I also love how any sort of controversial posts in the blogging world bring out so many anonymous commenters.

Jules said...

we reserve the right to use this forum as our outlet as we see fit!!!

KerryC said...

Thank you for publishing my comment, Tracy....I wasn't sure if you would :) As I said on your FB page, I don't 'do' anonymous. I'll stand up and say what I have to say, and hope that people understand - and am ready to listen to any constructive criticism.

Just one more thing...I wanted to explain a bit more about how the glitter approach works for me and for many others that I know. It's become important to me that you know why it's happening - perhaps we can achieve a degree of peace, if we all understand each other. (Please read to the end!)

'Real' for me IS the positive side. I really do believe that life is GOOD. I like to try and find the positive in everything, even diabetes. I have found so many blessings, become a better person and learned so much through living with diabetes. Of course there are days when I find it overwhelming or when it makes me angry, but I have found that if I think about how it's making me feel angry, sad or whatever then I just feel worse. And if I express those feelings, they don't go away....they get worse. I start wallowing in them! And that's no good. My coping mechanism is to start looking for shining stars in the black night and little things that make me smile. I do some work to take my mind off it, or go for a run/swim/bike/to the gym, or I crank up the volume and listen to some loud heavy music, or meet up with a friend and chat about the kids and life in general and have a laugh. Or I play about on FB with like-minded friends and we post silly stuff about glitter, squirrels with big nuts, flying monkeys....(yep, we were at it again yesterday evening). That is me and it's my way of dealing with life. It's real, for me. Glitter is a euphemism for that - some may call it sugar-coating, or whatever, but I'll say it again - it keeps it real for me.

In terms of my FB, I keep it as positive as possible because, as an expat, it is my primary way of keeping in touch with friends and family in the UK. I didn't join FB for the DOC and I don't use it primarily for DOC interactions. I don't want my non-D folks to see the negative side of diabetes - it freaks them out (my Mum isn't getting any younger and she worries about me, bless her!) I don't see why they should hear about all that stuff - they want to see us happy over here and know that we as a family are thriving. Which we are. I do post about diabetes sometimes because of course it is a big part of my life, but I try not to let it take over my posts because that is not what FB is about, for me.

With all of that said, I totally and wholeheartedly agree that there is no place, NONE whatsoever, for any criticism or bashing or put-downs towards anyone who chooses to express their own feelings in whatever way they choose. And I really hope I have never been guilty of this. If so - it wasn't intended. Really. I have in the past stood up against negativity and 'hate diabetes' comments that have been posted on MY wall - I won't have it said, there. I hope I did that sensitively. But if anyone wants to express that on their own walls, or in a group, or their blog - then it's not my place to criticise or judge them. And I won't do that, or at least I hope I won't.

Thanks again for listening and understanding. You are a good friend, Tracy, and I value your opinion.

Reyna said...

Wrote a post. I am tired of being a "divided" DOC. It is hard enough living the day-in-the-life of "D" management with this fissure. Great post Tracy.

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