My Facebook page has grown dormant lately. Sure, I still log in from time to time. I still lurk. I still throw around a few likes here and there. But I’ve simply lost that enthusiasm that I had when I first joined as a teenager. I’m not the biggest fan of watching those silly videos that go viral. My pet peeve is seeing my newsfeed flooded with random posts that other friends “liked” or commented on. And I think that “Memories” feature is just Facebook getting a little too desperate for people to post.
After finally deciding to update my profile picture from 2014 on Sunday, I realised that I have never posted about diabetes on my personal Facebook page. Which is strange, because I talk about it nearly everywhere else.
Six years ago, the insulin-producing cells in my pancreas decided to start attacking themselves through no fault of my own. My body stopped producing insulin, the hormone that converts glucose into energy. My pancreas left me with the lifelong job of regulating my blood glucose levels, though finger prick tests and insulin injections every time I eat carbohydrates.
I live with type 1 diabetes, a condition which is common (but not exclusive) in children and young adults. It is one of the most isolating, unpredictable and consuming conditions to live with. There are no weekends, no holidays and no sick days. Diabetes is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about before I go to bed at night. But I have never let it stop me from living a relatively normal life.
Diabetes has definitely shaped the person I am today. It’s given me a cause (albeit unwanted) that I’m passionate about. I write this blog. I advocate. I immerse myself in knowledge, discussion, support and inspiration every day in the Diabetes Online Community.
Diabetes friends are slowly beginning to creep into my Facebook page, and I see that same familiar sense of community that I’m active with in other spaces. Suddenly, I feel like I want to jump into Facebook conversations once again. I feel compelled to talk about diabetes on Facebook, as I do everywhere else.
Then I look at my very dormant profile, and I don’t feel like that passionate diabetes advocate that shows everywhere else. I don’t feel the same pride that I felt when I was sitting among a group of advocates at DX2Sydney this May. When my friend Ally shared one of my posts a few weeks ago and tagged me in it, it was kind of a wake up call that perhaps I should be sharing diabetes posts on my personal Facebook page as well.
While I’ve been missing in action on Facebook for a while, I certainly haven’t disappeared. My attention has simply shifted elsewhere.
I am a diabetes advocate.
(And I wear my pancreas on my hip).