A very smart friend I met through Twitter, and has become a treasured IRL friend, says that when publicly telling our diabetes stories we may have opened a window into our lives, but that doesn’t mean we need to open a door. We get to choose how we protect ourselves and who we let in.

I choose to leave the window open and have come to learn over the years that as more and more people walk by, more people see what is going on inside. I know I can shut the window and draw the blinds any time I choose, and I did that for a short time at the end of last year. But mostly it is very, very wide open.

But having an open window to glance into doesn’t give anyone the right to yell that they don’t like what you see through the window, especially if I don’t ask. And certainly make sure that you have a good look and understand what you are seeing before you start to tell me that I am wrong about my decorating choices.

My window is on one side of the street. You can cross the road to avoid looking in. Or you can walk by, but not stop for a chat.

I choose what it looks like inside my window. I choose where the furniture goes, how it looks and feels. I live in it the way that works for me. I’m not a professional window dresser or decorator, just someone who knows what looks and feels good to me. I have never given decorating advice because I am not a professional decorator. Just a person living in this room that can be seen through that open window.

This blog is my open window. I welcome anyone who wants to peek inside. No one has to be here, but they’re welcome if they want to be. Some people might have a quick look and decide that it is all a little too frivolous or boring. They may think the things I get worked up about are a waste of time and that there are far better things to spend energy on. They may think it’s all naval grazing. They may think there are far too many pink stripes. That’s okay. It probably is a bit of each of those things, but it works for me. I sometimes write my thoughts on things in the broader diabetes world – and  that may not be your take. That’s okay, too. We don’t need to agree on everything. I’m here, narrating my diabetes and how that intersects with the rest of my life, the world around me, the people I love.

Sometimes, I do that with great vulnerability. I share stories that are painfully personal and sometimes very raw. I try to infuse humour in there because sometimes, living with diabetes hurts so, so much that I need to break that up with something amusing.

I write about those sensitive topics, as well as more general day-to-day subjects, and that is not a decision I make lightly. I do it for selfish reasons – I hope that by telling my story I might just find someone who has a similar experience who can share their wisdom with, and help, me. Another reason is that I don’t want anyone to feel the loneliness and isolation I have felt at times. Diabetes can be lonely. Diabetes on top of other really tough things, such as infertility and pregnancy loss, parenting, mental illness, distress, diabetes-related complications can feel isolating.

If you don’t like what you see in here, that’s perfectly okay. If I have said something factually incorrect, I would really like to know about it so I can correct it. You can tell me about typos (I know there are many) and eventually, I may get around to fixing them. If I have upset you, I would love to understand why and welcome that discussion if you’re comfortable doing that. You can leave a comment – anonymously if you would like – sharing your thoughts.

But don’t ever tell me that I need to change what you read here because you don’t like what you see. Don’t tell me that I need to moderate what I say, or the tone in which I choose to say it. I have chosen to open the window into my diabetes life. But I have not ever chosen to be told how to live that life.

Outside looking in.