It’s Diabetes Blog Week 2016 this week, and even though I’m up to my ears in Masters work and marking assignments, I wanted to take part again. Writing is therapeutic, as is reading the many blog posts that continue to stream in every day!
Let’s kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?
A diabetes message? There are so many messages about diabetes that I would love to announce from the rooftops, but I guess you just have to pick one right?
My blog says a lot of things. I try to write about things that are personal – not too personal, I don’t want my deepest darkest secrets out there for everyone to see – but personal enough so someone out there can empathise and realise “Hey, I’m not alone in this!” There is nothing more liberating when you have a chronic disease than the first time you realise that you’re not the only one who ‘does that’. Until I started to tweet and blog, I honestly thought I was the only person with diabetes who had numbers like mine, or who hated BGL testing with an absolute passion. In my limited experience, people tend to be more honest online, as they’re hiding behind a computer screen and don’t have that need to ‘feel better’ than anyone else. When you’re just a username and avatar, the dialogue that can happen is nothing short of illuminating.
If there is one message that needs to go out into our diabetes blogosphere, it is that you’re not alone. Type 1 diabetes can be such an isolating experience – I know nobody in my day-to-day life with type 1, and if I hadn’t reached out four years ago, I’d probably still be plodding along, dealing with t1d and all its associated crap by myself. That’s why I blog – I share things that have made an impact on me, or thoughts I need someone else to read, or rants that I just can’t repeat in the staffroom on a Wednesday lunchtime. We need a huge assortment of blogs, because there is a huge array of opinions and experiences out there. No one with diabetes is the same, so why should online diabetes media be any different? I want to share my experiences on this blog so that someone, somewhere, might read something while they’re flicking through the #dblog tag one night and think “Hey – I feel just like that! It’s not just me!” By providing a unique voice, I’m also providing a tiny sort of community. I’m sure I’m not the only 20-something Australian woman out there with type 1 diabetes and a reality TV addiction, so why pretend like I am?
It may be your diabetes, but we’re all in this together.