This talk considers how people self-manage their diabetes, from diagnosis to being more experienced. People are diagnosed & live with a complex, demanding & relentless condition. A positive experience of healthcare encounters engenders people with diabetes to have really valued experiences & feel respected & heard. It is the individual themselves that manages their condition. Spoken & written words contribute to context – context creates meaning, so always using language that is appropriate and matters is a profound requirement. Diabetes can vary on a daily basis and acknowledgement and recognition of the emotional burden of living with diabetes helps builds bridges and promotes safe decision making in self-management.