#DBlogWeek ’15 – Day 2 – Feeling secretive
I just found out my latest A1C on Thursday, and though it’s not totally unexpected, I’m not happy about it. It went up by 3/10 of a percent. No, I won’t tell you what it went to. I’ve discussed my reasons for the secrecy around it before, and though I’ve wavered on that stance a bit lately, I’ve managed to stand my ground. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.
Yeah, this topic was was my idea (there are eight other great DBlogWeek topics – learn about them here!), and given the level of effort it’s taken to come up with a response, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I came up with the question.
But my answer to the question ‘What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private?’ comes more as behavioral observation than of thought.
Needless to say, this is a very personal topic. I don’t expect everyone to nod their heads in agreement. In fact, I don’t expect ANYONE to nod their head — these thoughts are mine and mine alone.
And that answer is this:
You will never hear/read me discuss my deepest, darkest, recurring feelings about diabetes.
Yes, there are certain fleeting moments that will make me feel some sort of _____. (pride, anger, joy, resentment, frustration, jubilation….take your pick). I’m happy to discuss them, but these are superficial feelings that come and go, not the underlying feelings that manifest themselves in all sorts of actions and behaviors.
This may come as a surprise, given the DOC’s wholesale endorsement of feelings. We have Twitter chats about feelings, we have hashtag campaigns dealing with feelings, Tumblelogs rooted in feelings, we even have game-cards that probe our inner feelings.
But I feel like there is such a thing as over-sharing feelings. For me, personally, the threshold that defines “over-sharing” is rather low.
I find it tough to go into deep thought about feelings, much less discuss them. To me, there simply is no point. It’s an investment that pays me no dividends. Sometimes, they’re tough to comprehend, and thinking about them to the point that I can put them into a coherent sentence structure requires an incredible amount of focus.
An incredible amount of focus…on diabetes. Focus on diabetes to a magnitude beyond what is required to manage the disease itself. (Isn’t the “required” amount enough?). Quite simply, oversharing feelings on diabetes can only lead to one thing: accelerated burnout. For me, that can happen quickly. So I prefer to deal with the details of the superficial or the technical, but not the emotional.
My thoughts are my own. Your feelings may vary.
But to take it a step further, it seems to me that the oversharing of d-feelings within the community tends to be morphing into an implied prescription into how a PWD should feel in various situations: afraid, angry, sorry, obligated, victimized, categorized. (In fact, my use of the term “PWD” in the previous sentence is a perfect example; it never bothered me before, and now I’m trying to de-program myself to the point where it doesn’t bother me again). When a community develops a collective set of feelings, any thoughts or feelings to the contrary could make someone feel like an outsider.
To the point, there seems to be little acceptance of the feeling of indifference (which, contrary to the topic of this post, is fleeting, and therefore appropriate to discuss. My “rules” have lots of quirks and exceptions). Yet the feeling of indifference is the easiest for me to deal with. If I don’t have to discuss it or think deeply about it, it won’t overwhelm me.
There’s enough in my life that overwhelms me. I don’t need to voluntarily add more.
So, by not spending the time to talk about or think about feelings, I have more time to go about my “real-people” activities. I can attend real-people parties, go real-people shopping, and do real-people yardwork. Depriving myself of real-people things (except, perhaps, for the infamous “real-people sick” thing) is worse than depriving myself of honest feelings.
That’s just how I feel.
Posted on May 12, 2015, in D-blog week 2015, Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.
“When a community develops a collective set of feelings, any thoughts or feelings to the contrary could make someone feel like an outsider.” This is so true. Terrific post, Scott.
This is the opposite of how I feel. For me, sharing less could lead to burnout. That’s why I’m glad I read your post. Very important for “sharers” like me to remember and respect your point of view. Great post (and great topic)!
A thoughtful and appropriate post Scott. I know that thinking more about diabetes when I was blogging was part of what burned me out. As you say we already spend way too much time on this Dis Ease. I’m borrowing that from Bruce Kramer, there’s a thoughtful interview with him at OnBeing.
I’d read that article that subtly references “Dis Ease” before. It’s brilliant!
I understand the threshold between over- and under-sharing. I think most everyone has it. Excellent insight.
Off the topic, I finally figured out how to code Diabetes Blog Week Image as a link to the site. With my limited knowledge of HTML it took most of this morning. Can supply a code if you want.
I should probably put the link in there. I’ve been getting lazy and forgetful. Thanks for the reminder!
I found this topic difficult to write about but I thank you for suggesting the topic and writing this post. It’s an important one for the community.
I often wonder how long I will continue to blog. I know that you’ve thought about quitting. I’m getting old enough that there is a fear that when I get to the end of my life, I will have spent way too much time thinking and writing about diabetes. But I am of course hoping that I have a long time until the end and can develop new “hobbies” to replace diabetes. I wish that I was optimistic about a cure….
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Regarding the last part of your comment: It’s better to expect little and be pleasantly surprised than to expect a lot and be disappointed.
This is a great post, Scott. I’ve often thought about the fine line between sharing and over-sharing. Thanks for suggesting this topic.
Great post Scott! I don’t mind sharing but I don’t want it to feel like a full-time job either. I am at the point now I am trying to find a balance between being able to give back to the community and having some time for myself.
This blog post is the good stuff. the bomb.
you are a deep man Scott. It was a deep question and a deep answer so thanks for that. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s take on it
I like what you wrote! Wishing lots of times that I was a “thinker,” but nope, all “feeler.” 🙂
I love that you ended this post with, “That’s just how I feel.” Your position on the feelings bit is entirely respectable. I am really happy you suggested the topic. If was a great evening of reading. Thank you, Scott. ❤
Thanks Scott for the great topic! I’ve enjoyed reading everyones responses. You make a great point that oversharing can lead to accelerated burnout.
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