I often marvel at just how much I’ve gained from being a part of the diabetes community.
From talking to people connected to diabetes, to being my own advocate in my diabetes care, raising my voice, asking questions, attending local diabetes events and volunteering my own time toward causes that I am passionate about.
While it’s true that diabetes, and more specifically diabetes blogging, has given me a lot of amazing opportunities, it truly is the community around the diabetes that has given me the most.
Four years ago, I knew next to nothing about diabetes. I was injecting insulin and checking my blood sugar, feeling very conscious of the people around me. I had no confidence in what I was doing. I was riding the rollercoaster, ever so helplessly.
Unfortunately the public system here in Australia, while fantastic, is geared toward clearing those clinic corridors and pushing the person with diabetes toward self-management as soon as possible. More so when you’re someone who is coping relatively better than other patients, even if it doesn’t necessarily feel that way to you.
For me, the lightbulb switched on when I first joined Twitter in 2015.
I had no clue that there was such a valuable resource in other people with diabetes available at the touch of my fingertips. I had no clue that talking to other people with diabetes was a thing, whether that be on Twitter, closed Facebook groups, Instagram, blogs, forums or something else. Those online connections eventually led to in person ones.
The diabetes community would have to be the single biggest thing that has helped me to live well with diabetes, both physically and mentally.
A great deal of what I have learned about diabetes has come from hearing the experiences of others. It certainly goes a long way in complementing the 99.9% of time that I spend outside the company of a healthcare professional.
It makes such a huge difference to know that there are others going through what I’m going through. I daresay that it even inspires, and motivates me to keep going in the daily grind that doesn’t end at 4pm on a Friday or the week before Christmas.
At the same time, I’ve also been authoring this little blog that you’re reading. Here’s the thing. I’ve always admired blogs. Long before diabetes came into my life, and also long before they were somewhat replaced by social media.
I blog for one reason, and one reason alone.
I can’t speak for, or represent anyone other than myself through my words here.
However I do hope that through this little corner of the internet, I’ve been able to get some of that information out that I so desperately needed to find four years ago.
As I round out blog post number 500 here at Type 1 Writes, I can confidently say that this is my ‘why.’
Marvelling at the beauty of this building in Leichhardt, NSW, in the same way I marvel at how much diabetes has given me.