Sharing your diagnosis is a very personal decision. Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, you have to decide if the time is right or if it’s necessary. To make that decision for yourself, you have to ask yourself why you want people to know about it or why they need to know.
This is how I came to making my own decision. You have to decide what is best for you.
The main reason why I did not share this information with anyone is because I did not want a pity party. If there is one thing in this life that I cannot stand in this life, it’s a pity party. That contorted look of pity on someone’s face after being given somewhat unpleasant news, was something that I could live without.
I let the cat out of the bag after my ten mile bike ride. I wrote about that here at “Mind Over Matter-Getting Stronger and Back To Life”. I was so excited that I was finally able to do something more physical than climb back into bed, that I bragged about it on Facebook.
I got two responses.
- That’s totally awesome! Good for you!
- OMG I AM SO SORRY!
The first group consisted of people who are capable of being supportive no matter what. They aren’t going to focus solely on your illness. Nor are they going to throw you a pity party, unless you specifically ask for it. They’ll make you laugh or cry along with you. They’ll keep you grounded if you start to lose it. You need these people. They’re the ones that are going to remind you that the future is there and yet to be lived.
The second group of people are going to panic and fall apart. At least to your face. They’ll apologize. They’ll contort their face like they just sucked on a lemon. The concern will choke you out. They’ll probably leave you for dead too because after they find out, they’ll probably do a hat trick. You know, put it on and disappear. These people can’t handle the situation. They will however, help plan your funeral since you might as well have died on the spot.
I would figure out who the supportive people are in your life and tell them and only them. Only a handful of people know what’s going on with me. I told my supervisor at work, just so at least someone at work knew. I didn’t report it to Human Resources because at this point, there is no point in doing that. I am not using sick time nor is it interfering with the quality of my work.
I told my mother, only because she’s my mother. My boyfriend, the ex husband and three friends. Everyone else found out after my Facebook post about the bike ride. I’ve only had one person mention it to me after that. They were in the second group of funeral planners.
Not only did I not want the pity party, I also didn’t want people to treat me any different than they did before they knew about my diagnosis. If you liked me before, then great. If you didn’t, please keep disliking me.
My suggestion for discussing your diagnosis is to deliver it along with facts. Try not to get too deep. Start out with basic facts and information, then explain what happened and work into what could happen. You don’t have to dive into the serious “what could happen” but you can touch on it.
You need to remember that they are going to more than likely be upset and will not know what to say at first. You need to allow them time for the information to sink in. They’re only human just like you. Be patient. That’s another good reason to deliver your news along with information.
Like I said above, this was my reasoning behind sharing or not. It’s a lot to think about. Give it time. Give yourself time. Do what’s right for you and then go from there. I hope that your support system is able to pull through for you.