A woman holds a blood glucose meter with a floating screen as two friends put their hands around her in support.

How Type 2 Diabetes Impacted My Social Life

I am not new to type 2 diabetes (T2D). It brought many twists and turns to my life. T2D did completely change my life, but not necessarily for the worst. I had to discover a new way of living. T2D involves frequently checking my blood sugar levels and taking several medications. My social life is another area that requires some adjustments.

How will my social life be impacted by diabetes?

When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I was very concerned about how my social life might change overall. I was young and just starting to live my life. But I'm going to share how I handled my new diagnosis while managing relationships and social gatherings.

Being real with my friends

Discussing my food limits and checking my blood sugar in front of friends felt intimidating. However, I soon discovered that my true friends supported me and encouraged me as I started my new course.

Adjusting to new choices when dining out

Going out to eat felt confusing. I had to pay more attention to my food and how it affected my blood sugar. But eventually, I stopped feeling embarrassed about it and began to see it as a way to take charge of my health.

I reframed my approach to wondering, "How do I control my diabetes when enjoying meals?" It ended up being the case that my friends sincerely wanted to know how to understand my health needs and support me.

Of course, there were times when I felt tempted, especially when I saw everyone else chowing down on sweets or chugging a refreshing sugary soda. It took serious willpower to make decisions that would support my diabetes. And once I continued to make decisions that supported my health, a sense of empowerment grew.

Finding joy in parties and celebrations

Another difficulty was attending events like birthday parties and celebrations. I pondered how I would fit in as the main attractions in the events I attended appeared to be cake and alcohol. I just had to do careful planning and navigate through these events.

I now eat a nutritious snack before going to an event. This prevents me from being extremely hungry and inclined to overeat. Communication proved to be critical. I began disclosing my health priorities to my friends, explaining what type 2 diabetes was and how it affected some of my decisions on foods.

Some friends were able to understand and provide additional support as a result. They were more than eager to plan their parties with healthier menu items or planned non-food-related activities, which was okay with me.

Making my health a non-negotiable

The real issue is balancing my social life and my health. I concluded that my health was non-negotiable. Making decisions aligned with health was my goal—not missing out on anything. Yes, it occasionally requires choosing a salad over a burger and saying no to an additional slice of cake.

Empowerment and support

Making these changes to accommodate for type 2 diabetes didn't lessen my enjoyment of life. On the contrary, it increased the sense of satisfaction and personal empowerment. I've learned from having type 2 diabetes that I don't have to sacrifice my social life. Making wise decisions, accepting support from friends, and enjoying the trip are all important. I am 65 and living my best life.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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