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World Changers

© 2014 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

Change the World. Sounds daunting doesn’t it? Only people like Kennedy, Gandhi, Banting, and Best can change a world, right?

Personally, I’d like to change the world so people adblog_week_14re simply not ashamed of having depression, anxiety, an eating disorder or any of a number of mental illnesses. There is such a stigma associated with mental illness, that people are often uncomfortable admitting that they think they might have one let alone  seeking help.

You know, that’s a lot like diabetes at times as well isn’t it? It’s another stigmatized condition where blaming the patient brings the guilt along for the ride.

None of us chose diabetes.

To me anymore it’s like having blue eyes and brown, well mostly brown (I have kids), hair. Although, if I wanted to, I could change my eye and hair color. That lets me change my ‘look’ or what the world first sees.

With diabetes, it’s not that simple.

Diabetes does not go away, I’ve had it since 1970 and it’s always weighing on my mind.  How many decisions do we make a day that involve diabetes? 50? 100? 200? More? Sometimes it seems like it’s always more and that is draining. It is a constant, chronic source of stress. How often to we ‘fail’ at controlling this? Personally, I ‘fail’ every day. Simply because I’m human. Simply because the rules change from one day to the next.

Our numbers aren’t where we want, fail. Our numbers aren’t where our doctor wants, fail. Our caregivers worry because our numbers aren’t where any of us want. Guilt. Guilt as constant as the stress. Guilty because we make loved ones worry. Guilt because we can’t please anyone, especially ourselves.

Guilt because all of this is all our own damn fault.

That is how chronic patients, especially those with stigmatized conditions, are often portrayed in the media. Our medical system wants to get people well and then on their way. Chronic patients, by definition, cannot just get well and be on our way. No matter how much we want, no matter how hard we try, we will still be chronically ill.


So here we sit with long-term stress and guilt facing us every single day.




Those conditions are the perfect breeding ground for another stigmatized condition, depression. Something we’re often loathe to admit about ourselves because society tells us that depression means we are weak and broken. So we suffer in silence, not wanting to admit we need help. Not willing to seek help.

Not wanting to admit we’re not OK.

And sometimes, not willing to admit we’re worth helping.

This is our emotional, mental side calling for help. Depression lies to us everyday, all day.

Recently, I learned a new term, diapression, which looks at diabetes and depression as a single condition and not two separate ones. As I’ve worked through my own issues with depression, diabetes and self-worth it has become obvious to me that health involves both the physical and emotional portions of a person. No matter how hard you try, you can’t expect your physical best, whatever that is, without taking your mental and emotional well-being into account as well.

I’ve also found that it’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to need some help, I’m only human and trying to hold myself up against everyone else’s standard is impossible. Of course, the truth is that I was holding myself up against what I thought everyone else’s standard was. Setting the stage for more  failure and guilt.

When I’m not OK, I am my own worst enemy. Realizing that changed my world.

My world.

Thinking of the likes of Kennedy, Gandhi, Banting, and Best is changing only my world any less important? I don’t know.

What I do know is that, while I might not change the entire world, I might reach one person through my blog. Help one person realize they are not alone in this. Help one person realize that it’s OK. Help one person find some type of solace, comfort, or peace.

Isn’t it momentous enough to only change one person’s world?

It’s the 5th Annual Diabetes Blog Week and this entry is for the “Change the World” topic.  To learn more about Diabetes Blog Week, click on through

© 2014 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Lesley Kimball

    It is absolutely momentous enough to change one person’s world. And I’m sure that you will change others’ with this post. Thanks for saying, “It’s OK to not be OK.”

  • Laddie Lindahl

    Beautifully written post that will make a difference to every person who reads it.

  • Courtney (Pancreassassin)

    I love this. Thank you for speaking out.

  • Melissa Baland Lee

    Beautiful. And yes. It’s momentous.

  • Rhonda B

    Reminds me of the Emily Dickinson poem, “I shall not live in vain.” Great attitude to get through the world.

  • Erin Michelle

    Thanks for such a great post!

  • Thank you so much for all of the work you are doing to remove the stigma from mental health. Thank you for creating our Wednesday topic so we can all talk openly. Thank you for giving me the courage to talk about my own depression a little more. Thank you.