As regulars here might remember, I was diagnosed with T1D at 21 years old. So I have a pretty stout sample size of my life behaviors both Before and During T1D.
Since diagnosis, I have been in a constantly high workload phase of life with career development, marriage, multiple long distance moves, two pregnancies, working motherhood, and supporting family members in a variety of ways with their own health issues. All of these things were important and necessary. But they also made having a social life pretty much impossible.
But then I became a SAHM a year ago. And the dust is happily settling. Life is more balanced and much less frenetically crazy. And it gives me fewer excuses to not expand my social circle and my kids’ social circles. And it makes me realize how much more socially anxious I am now with T1D than I ever was before T1D.
I can make conversation with anybody. I don’t mind whether it is a small or a large gathering. I don’t have hang ups about those sorts of things. And I don’t mind testing in front of people or excusing myself to go take a shot.
The things that make me anxious are:
- Gracefully explaining just enough to new people so that different diabetes-related things that I have to do make sense and don’t come across as rude. (Like eating dinner earlier than they might want to, or me delaying eating bc I’m high, or not eating a certain dish they made, or not being able to play an impromptu cook-out sport bc I have more IOB than I would have had I known we were going to be playing a game after eating)
- When new people are so Go with the Flow that they don’t understand the need for me to make and generally stick to actual plans. We’ve had dinner guests (another married couple) show up an hour late. Maybe that is what some people do, but it made entertaining that night pretty inconvenient and awkward.
- Going low in front of new people. I hate this. So much. I find it really embarrassing.
- When I’m hanging out with new people, I tend to lose my inner awareness of time. That can make me lose awareness of what my insulin/bg are doing in an already dynamic situation.
- Usually hanging out with new people gets my blood sugar stuck pretty high all on its own. I don’t feel nervous. But I think I’m so much more engaged than I would be around familiar faces that it gets my body on high alert. So then there’s the high to deal with. And then usually food to deal with bc everyone socializes around food.
- Socializing with kids. This all on its own is a whole thing. Trying to get two families interacting in some kind of enjoyable sync is a mysterious thing. If the adults are compatible: awesome. If the kids are also compatible: awesome. But those two things together are super rare to come by. And then add tracking my blood sugar, and gracefully parenting my kids and trying to ignore whatever feral child behaviors are coming out of the other family (or my own), and helping my kids navigate that with the other kids, and fixing everyone plates, keeping injuries under control…it gets to be a lot. And I can’t tell that anyone really enjoys these get togethers…but it gets everyone out of their own house from time to time where they’d be stuck with their feral children on their own so I guess it’s better with witnesses to the craziness? Lol.
So far I’ve tried to go lower carb during socializing bc if I have less IOB, then I have a lot less crazy spin-off potential either direction. I try to get together with people for activities rather than eating bc I really just find that to be easier and more fun. But otherwise, I don’t really know what to do with it. Practice, practice, practice? I just worry about elegantly managing dynamic situations with new faces around. I’m not that outwardly graceful at handling what feels like a whirlwind in my head. And I’d have to guess that I’m communicating that to people in unspoken ways.
Thoughts or tips? Thanks.