If there is one trait that drives me absolutely batty, it’s passive aggressiveness. I suspect part of that is to do with my directness – I am very good at being clear about how I am feeling and what I need. Skirting around an issue or saying things indirectly and being obtuse in the hope that others will understand what is going on just annoys me. Why make people guess when I can just tell them?

And of course, social media provides the most perfect platform to excel at passive aggressive behaviours: ‘vague booking’ and ‘sub-tweeting’ are the habits de jour of those who employ passive aggressive behaviours. I just swear too much and pointedly say pretty much everything that is going on in my head. Without a filter. Have I mentioned recently that I’m a delight?

So, naturally, I have the most passive aggressive of all health conditions possible; the health condition that appears one way, when really there is so much more going on. This is the health condition that likes to leave pathetic little hints as to what is going on, but rarely decides to be direct about anything.

Let me introduce you to diabetes where the passive aggressive comes in different forms.

We see this at diagnosis. Sometimes, there’s shitloads of stuff going on behind the scenes, but nothing outward (hello all the people walking around with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes), or it does give little suggestions, but those symptoms could also be another million other things (hello to all the people who were told their type 1 diabetes was just a cold/UTI/tummy virus etc etc.).

There are rarely super, super visible, really obvious and unmistakeable signs that scream loudly ‘THIS IS DIABETES’, which would be really useful because we know that early diagnosis and treatment means better outcomes.

Also, there’s impaired hypo awareness. For those of us living with this particularly fun type of hypoglycaemia, we have our lows, but diabetes has found a way to hide the symptoms away. That’s right, don’t actually let us know that we’re low (even though previously there were lots of symptoms), just go about letting us believe that everything is okay.

Or those times when we are convinced that we are low and are exhibiting all the classic signs, only to realise that actually, no, right now I am either sitting right in that sweet spot; or high as a freaking kite and downing that juice would really not have been a great idea. At all.

Diabetes complications can give the silent treatment for years, and conversely, there are weird symptoms that mimic the onset of a complications, setting us up for sleepless nights of worry, only to find out that actually, there is nothing sinister there.

But perhaps the most frustrating and maddening way that diabetes exhibits is passive aggressiveness is the way it makes us appear to others. Mostly, we look perfectly fine and good and that all is well I the world, when really, it is doing all it can in the background to make it so that we are not.

Living with a health condition that doesn’t communicate effectively (and deliberately in a wishy-washy manner at times) really is one of the things I like least about it. It’s no wonder that often we don’t realise that there is something wrong, because everything seems okay, or the message we’re getting is that nothing has changed. Being blamed for this is unfair, and yet that’s the way the cards fall.

I don’t really know how to overcome this particular trait of diabetes, but I have been known to silently scream ‘Tell me what you mean’when it seems to be deliberately confusing and not responding the way I would expect. Really, that’s all I’m asking for: clarity, no ambiguity, directness. And a health condition that isn’t trying to drive me to despair by not just telling me what I need to do and responding accordingly. It’s not too much to ask.

Passive aggressiveness is never the answer. However, I do love this cartoon. Because Poe puns are hilarious! (Click for artist details.)