Longing for Connection

There are times I wonder if I’ve reached my limit as far as how effective I can be as a blogger and advocate. I’m not “well known”, and for those who do know me, there are probably a mixed-bag of feelings towards me. While my heart is in the right place in that I want to do an awesome job at being a wonderful diabetes advocate, I fail at that job miserably most of the time, either due to attitude (which I’m working on) or just not knowing a bigger picture.

I don’t know if many of you know, but I am a social media addict because it’s the only diabetes interaction I get. I don’t have friends that I can meet up with off line at a moments notice. I’m jealous of people who get invited to events year after year after year – not because they’re invited, but because they get to meet up with other diabetics. I don’t live in or near a community that has get-together events other than one annual JDRF walk, and even those do not have many adults with type 1 there .. I see mostly kids.. which is fine, but I also long to see others my age (or round-about my age) too. I can’t afford to go to the wonderful events such as the Friends For Life Conferences or the Diabetes Sisters evens (last year mine was paid for by scholarship money, which I am so grateful for!). Honestly? My life is day-in-and-day-out work, school, family. That’s it. And even that circle is a very small, intimate circle. My diabetic friends are the ones who live in the computer… and a few that live in my phone.

Last night, a friend text me that I had met at Diabetes Sisters last year. She lives 3 hours away, but through our texts, she let me know of meetups that happen, but usually on weeknights. I mentioned that it would be great to do one on a weekend so I wouldn’t be driving the entire day… to which she replied that it could be made to happen. Honestly? I wanted to cry. I mean, really.. I don’t understand what it is about getting together with other people who have busted pancreas’ (pancrei?) too, but it’s just that mutual bond that you are understood. That you don’t have to be ashamed to pull out your meter or pump. That if you go low, you won’t be embarrassed. That you don’t have to explain WHY you’re eating a cupcake.

I dearly miss the feeling that I had during the only two opportunities I’ve had to meet up with other diabetics in the past 5 years. I need to make more in-person personal connections. Getting tunnel vision of only seeing my own life with diabetes probably puts a big damper on how I see things. I want to able to see diabetes through the lives of others to expand that field of view, and expand my ability to be a better advocate, not just for me, but for everyone with diabetes.

 

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3 Comments

Filed under dblog, Diabetes

3 responses to “Longing for Connection

  1. I think we all struggle with the whole “trying to be effective” thing at times. Personally, I find the best blog posts come when I’m not trying to accomplish anything and I’m just sharing quirky little experiences. And yet, there comes a time when the whole community does seem a bit off-putting (like you discussed in your last post) and we need time away.

    But just like the world isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, neither is the diabetes community. There will be disagreements, adversity, and jealousy. We take the time to address it (or just let time heal the wounds) and move on. I do hope you’ll continue on; after your last post I was a bit concerned that you’d given up on us.

    If you’re really looking for some personal offline interaction, may I suggest you look either to your endocrinologist or your local JDRF? Two of the JDRF chapters in my area host “adult meet-ups” every month or two (I’ve been to few), and my endo has a ‘Pumpers meeting’ every couple of months. I’ve never been to the pumpers thing since it seems a bit clinical for my liking, but it’s always an opportunity. (Or, if you’re feeling particularly outgoing, show up for your endo appointment early and strike conversations with others in the waiting room!)

    But do it for you, not so that you can better advocate to others. Once you’re comfortable with your own situation, the rest will follow naturally.

  2. This post is an example how sometimes we don’t see ourselves as others see us. I think of you as one of the best bloggers out there. ( I also think of you as a total jinx when it comes to technology.)

    I have been lucky to meet quite a few T1’s in person and it’s wonderful. I live in Minneapolis and we seem to be a hotbed of T1’s and T1 bloggers. I know you/re from a small town because I never was able to find it on my SC map. I grew up in Greenville and both my brother and sister still live near Charleston.

    I would miss reading your blog if you chose to quit or take a vacation. At the same time I’ve been blogging less than a year and wonder how much longer I’ll be able to keep doing it.

  3. Gary Cunningham

    Sarah like Laddie said you are the best blogger. I have learned so much from you. Not just diabetes but life in general. Your husband and son are very lucky to have you. Thanks again.

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