We sat down with Innermost Insider Milly Williams, who gave us the lowdown on all things resilience. Her journey to making peace with her Type 1 diabetes, what keeps her feeling strong and resilient, and her tips on how you can feel the same.
Hey Milly! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Your Instagram @diabeteswithmilly, passionately talks about the reality of living with Type 1 Diabetes. However, before we dive into your experience, what are some other things you are really passionate about?
Can you give us an overview of your journey with Type 1 Diabetes so far? How were you diagnosed, and how have things changed since then?
Our theme this month is resilience. Resilience is always a very personal journey, so what does resilience mean for you, in your own life?
What advice do you have for someone struggling with resilience? What (or who!) has helped you in the past?
What are 3 things you wish people understood better about Type 1 diabetes?
- I wish people understood the pressure that type one diabetics have to act like we're not diabetic. There’s no real safety net for us when it comes to feeling ill after a low or high blood sugar episode. It feels like a non-self-inflicted hangover, one we haven’t caused and would do anything to get rid of, but yet some days we have to drag ourselves out of bed to carry on the day and perform well in school or at work. Some diabetics feel uncomfortable to inject insulin in public, despite the fact that everyone around them is allowed to give themselves insulin (naturally), there’s a stigma around diabetes and it can be really uncomfortable at times when all were trying to do is stay alive.
- There is a large genetic component to the onset of type one diabetes. Generally, type one is hereditary, however there is a large chance that a virus mutated my genes and caused my body to attack my own pancreas (because there is no one in my whole family that has type one diabetes). There is no diet or lifestyle influence on the diagnosis of type one diabetes, and no reversal effects of changing your diet or lifestyle. Once we are diagnosed, there is no cure! We have this for our lifetime.
- Type one diabetes isn’t the grim reaper. Some diabetics can live their whole life to their own expectations, with no complications. It’s important to know the consequences and risks of uncontrolled blood sugars, but at the same time it’s important to not let the hours of preparation and planning slow you down too much in life. We are different to non-diabetics yes but were also so similar. You manage your blood sugars automatically; we just have to do it manually. We’re trying so hard, and it really does impact our mental health more than our physical health. So, if you ever bump into someone with type one, keep this in mind!