One year ago, I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes beyond my own ability to live with and manage it. I didn’t really know of anyone else living with diabetes. I didn’t think that there were many blogs out there, let alone an active online community. I didn’t think that there would be much to talk about. I knew nothing of news and developments in my own community, let alone the rest of the world. I can’t even say I was very interested. I very much believed that this isolated reality I was living in was as far as life with diabetes would take me.
One year ago today, I began writing about my type 1 diabetes. I wanted my own space to share my thoughts on life with diabetes, something that I did not think there was much of at the time. I also wanted to pursue my dream of being a writer. One year ago today, Type 1 Writes was born.
My initial posts here didn’t even have much to do with diabetes. I spent so much time planning, designing, thinking and over-thinking this blog. I was caught up in trying to make my posts have a mass appeal, rather than just writing from the heart. I was writing about iced coffee, sleeping tips and footwear, for goodness sake! Today marks one year since my journey began, even though the first genuine posts about my diabetes didn’t actually appear here until April.
It was around then that I started using Twitter, and began to uncover that diabetes community. I’ll never forget my first OzDOC chat, and how friendly everyone there was. Weirdly friendly, like they all knew each other in real life! I’ll never forget how surprised I was at some of the follow backs I received. I’ll also never forget how excited I was when Diabetes Mine first retweeted, and included The Things I Don’t Tell You About My Diabetes in their DOC wrap up.
But it was Diabetes Blog Week in May that really inspired this blog. Those seven exhilarating days of reading and connecting with other people’s personal experiences of life with diabetes. Writing about my own diabetes and baring all. I truly felt a sense of community. At the end of that week, I knew what I wanted this blog to be. A blog about my own life with diabetes, written from the heart.
Blogging has certainly been full of surprises, mind you.
I honestly didn’t think that I’d be able to stick with a blog for a whole year, for starters. I never imagined that I would become so interested, and passionate about diabetes. I never imagined that I would find a diabetes community that means so much to me. Most of all, I didn’t think I would find so much to write about diabetes. Writing that has extended beyond the reach of this site. A column at Insulin Nation, advocating for greater access to test strips. Posts that were featured on Diabetes Daily. A voice that was used to advocate for serious issues like Insulin4All. Experiences that inspired the Beyond Type 1 community.
I am a better person today for being a part of this community. I have never felt more confident with my own diabetes. I have never valued my diabetes with such a high regard. I have never been more passionate about anything in my life. And that cure that I don’t believe will happen, seems just that little more believable today.
It’s been an honour to share this space with you in the past year, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Diabetes Online Community in 2016.
Happy Birthday, Type 1 Writes. Here’s to many more.