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.