Hi, I’m Fenella. I’m 19 years old and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January 2010. I want to use this as an opportunity to express the things I’ve learned, educate people, and help the community in any way possible.
Growing up I always felt different! I felt like no one understood me and so when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and told I had to prick my finger and inject myself, I thought my life was over. Like many others, my journey has been a rollercoaster of good and bad but whether you’re newly diagnosed or have had it for years, you are never alone. Diabetes is different for everyone so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s a journey and there will be ups and downs, but the most important thing is that we keep fighting no matter what.
I’ve always loved the saying “I am not diabetic, I have diabetes” because my condition is not who I am, it is merely a small part of me. Yes, it is a huge part of my life, but it does not depict who I am as a person. I am an ice dancer and have skated since I was 8 years old. Being on the ice isn’t just exercise, it’s my happy place. Admittedly there are times where it’s tough and I will struggle to be in range whilst training, however never let diabetes stop you from doing anything.
Dealing with the pressures and responsibilities that come with diabetes can impact your mental health. There are good days where all the stars align and then others where no matter what I do diabetes tries to knock me down and make me feel like a failure. I can be afraid of judgement from those around me for not being in control, but the truth is we try our hardest! Don’t let anyone put you down because we all have bad days or weeks or months, the main thing is after you fall you get back up and keep fighting. Although this is hard for me to open up about, as someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, when I find myself in a dark place I self-destruct and do not care about my diabetes. Living with an illness that is a full-time job and demands your time, energy and strength isn’t easy so don’t beat yourself up. Learn from the lows and celebrate the victories.
Having diabetes is a battle however I believe that everything happens for a reason. Everyone deals with things differently but once you learn to accept it for what it is, you realise how strong you are. I know how tough it can be and I know some days you just want to give up, but together we will continue to fight because it’s what we do. If anyone is looking to make friends with other diabetics or wants someone to talk to then my DM’s are always open and please feel free to comment below.
Hey I’m Fenella, a 19 year old passionate about ice skating and an advocate for the mental health & LGBTQ+ community 🖤 Diagnosed January 19th, 2010