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Type 1 Uncut – Speaking up about life with Diabetes

As I mentioned in my last post, some lovely things are coming out of Diabetes Week 2014. As the week draws to a close I wanted to talk a little bit about the lovely, funny, heart-warming bunch of videos that have been launched this week, aka #Type1Uncut.

As a young person, it’s damn hard to talk about anything that makes you different. Anything that you feel uneasy about, or nervous about, or maybe ashamed of. The emails I get as a result of this blog illustrate that most weeks. This thing can be so very isolating.

I’ve always maintained that I speak 100% honestly about life with Type 1, especially on here. Most of the time I feel like that life is just fine, through dozens of embarrassing moments, countless awkward conversations, hundreds of hypos, thousands of injections and tens of thousands of finger pricks. But sometimes this shit gets you down, even after living with it for 18 years. And when this shit gets you down it’s now an absolute blessing that we now have hundreds of people in the palm of our hands, most of whom we have never and will never meet, that know exactly what you’re talking about. So a video channel dedicated to opening up the conversations around life as a young adult with type 1 – conversations that can be so difficult to have – can only be a great thing. I started this blog because I wanted to know if anyone else was trying to live at an average pace of 100mph with a lifetime supply of medicines in tow. No doctor could tell me that.

Harnessing the power of YouTube is a wonderful shout, given that young people LIVE on there. These videos, produced by London agency Nonsense with Diabetes UK and a group of young (fun!) type 1s aged 16-30, are having conversations that many people would shy away from. Some are with a wonderful pinch of salt (see Jess and her hilariously OTT but altogether true rant video), some had me welling up. Having watched them all I think the takeaway message is extremely positive – these are just people, like we are all people, having a good time and living their lives; and I’m sure that’s how most of us with any kind of condition, disability, impairment, stress, life hurdle WHATEVER want to be seen. But only by having proper conversations around this 24/7 thing we’ve got going on in the background can we improve understanding, whether it be our own understanding of our condition, family and friends or society at large.

So well done Jess, Ginny, Mark, Hannah, Mel, Chloe, Lindsay, Tom, Charlotte, Alice, Lucy, Christie, Mike and everyone else involved for having the courage to speak up. I imagine there’ll be people out there who don’t want to see this stuff, for one reason or another. Who want to pretend it’s not happening. But you never know who’s sat in their bedroom in the depths of rural arse end of nowhere, newly diagnosed, having never even heard the term diabetes before, let alone anyone with it, who’s wondering how the hell they’re going to go to school, or go to a sleepover, or go on holiday, or leave home, or go drinking, or hang with their friends, or go to uni, or play the sports they love. If that’s you, I urge you to give this one a watch.

Head to Diabetes UK for more information about the project.

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