Threading Through Secrets

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I don’t often jump to other blogs when I write my weekly entries, but today I want to give a nod to a wonderful thing that’s happened — and is still happening — over at Kerri Morrone Sparling’s excellent diabetes blog Six Until Me.

On Monday Kerri wrote an entry titled Postsecret in which she wrote about a postcard that had been sent into the Web site PostSecret. (If you’re unfamiliar with the PostSecret Web site, here’s a description in its own words: “PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.”) An image on PostSecret struck Kerri, and what she did in her blog entry has turned into something rather amazing. Jumping off from what was written on this postcard, she asked her readers (of which she has many) what their PostSecret submission would be and invited them to post comments anonymously on her blog entry if they wanted.

Part confessional, part safe outlet, totally worth reading.

There are over 150 comments on her entry as of this writing, and they keep coming. Some are witty. Some are positive and encouraging. Some express sentiments that I’ve had at one point or another during the past four years.

But that’s not why I’m writing about Kerri’s blog entry. What I keep returning to are anonymous secrets that break my heart:

• I think diabetes does define me, and I feel weak for feeling that way.

• I said yes when my husband asked me to marry him because I was afraid that no one else would ever want to marry me, because of my diabetes.

• I often go back to sleep and leave my lows untreated hoping diabetes will take my life and free my family from the burden of future complications.

• My spouse doesn’t want to hear anything about my diabetes. She resents it and sometimes it feels like she resents me.

I wrote Kerri yesterday to make sure she didn’t mind if I referenced her blog and copied some of the comments. Reading the commentary on her post has been eye opening, and it’s jerked me out of my comfort zone. I receive world-class medical care, I have great insurance, I have a supportive spouse and understanding family and friends. And, most of the time I have a pretty healthy attitude toward living with the illness. I’m sure I have secrets about living with Type 1 diabetes, but compared to examples like those above, they pale in comparison.

Week after week I write about my issues that stem from living with Type 1 diabetes, and in the writing of those blog entries, my secrets often come to light on the screen. I often wonder what other people think about their diabetes, and this has provided me with some much needed — although not really uplifting — insight into the all-too-often unspoken aspects of the illness.

Thanks, Kerri, for all you do in helping people with diabetes.

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