ColumnsLiving with Type 1 Diabetes

Coming Out of the Supply Closet as Type 1

When I started a new job with a content team in the U.K., I felt like I had become the office diabetic. Regardless of how many people with diabetes there were out there, I felt like a rare animal spotted away from its natural habitat.

Whether I was feasting on candy to fend off a hypo or looking particularly shifty when popping to the toilet for a shot of insulin to my buttcheek, all eyes were on me. At least that’s how it felt in my head. I didn’t feel like Joe-the-new-guy, but Joe-the-guy-with-diabetes.

Thankfully, I work in an office with a great team, so I soon came out of my shell. However, there still was a general lack of understanding of the seriousness of diabetes among my colleagues, and the “don’t eat that” jokes started to wear thin. During a content meeting, I argued that I needed to write an article about diabetes ignorance. After a little back-and-forth, I was given the green light for the project.

Before writing the article, I decided to research what was already online. It was at this moment when I had to take a step back to digest it all. I didn’t realize how big the universe of diabetes bloggers was, or how many bloggers out there discussed their condition so openly. Articles documenting the daily struggles of managing diabetes resonated deep inside me. It was an emotional thing for me to see how these guys were putting it all out there.

I chose to dive in, head first, and go very public with my Type 1 diabetes. Today, I proudly state that I’m a someone with Type 1 on my Twitter profile, and I follow as many people as possible who live with the same condition. If I need help, advice, or a chance to have a good ol’ rant, I now have a whole community to support me. After basking in the glow of this group, I created an article that I felt did me proud.

Next up, it was time to make it official by unleashing the post upon the masses. Once it was published on the internet, there would be no place to hide. On the day it went public, I was a bundle of nerves at work. How would my co-workers react?

The result? A congratulatory message from the boss, shared across our whole company’s Skype chat. This was shortly followed by further well-wishes and positive feedback about the article.

I’m currently at at my desk with my insulin pens, test kit, and candy proudly on view. I’m not just the office diabetic, I’m Joe-the-funny-bloke-who-doesn’t-have-a -complex-about-his-diabetes-anymore.

If you want to read my first post on diabetes, you can click here:

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Joe Griffiths is a content writer for Voucher Codes Pro and an avid fan of his football team, West Bromwich Albion. He lives in Birmingham, England, and has found a new passion for talking about diabetes with others.

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