Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It Gets Better.

Remember how I told you that I cry at commercials?

This one (for Google Chrome, showcasing the "It Gets Better" project) was shown during a commercial break in last night's Glee episode, and it totally had me in tears due to its awesomeness. I love the message - that even when life is really hard, it can get better. I love the hope it provides to those who struggle. And I love that it shows the awesome power that people using social media can wield in making positive changes in the world.




It also got me thinking.

I don't want to steal thunder from this project, because I think what it is intending to accomplish is GREAT. But I couldn't help but feel... inspired.

We all know people who live with diabetes, who struggle. (Heck, WE are some of those people, sometimes.) People who live with deep sadness; hopelessness; depression. We know how hard it is to come to grips with what may be a lifetime of the emotional side of this disease; the looming threat (or current presence) of complications; the fear of what diabetes will "do" to us. 

Do you see where I'm going with this?

What if... we, as a community of People Who Talk let other people with diabetes know that It Can Get Better, so to speak? What if we put voices; faces to those words?

What if we started a video project (or had a day in particular that everyone blogged about this) for the people with diabetes who need to know it can Get Better? We could let them know that those dark times are something we all face; that we all experience. And that they never, ever have to be alone - because there are many of us out here going through the very same things.

Would anyone be with me on this?

Great things are done by series of small things brought together.   -Vincent van Gogh

31 comments:

  1. this is the best idea I've heard in a long time. I say that because I have been dealing with major depression and major hopelessness lately. THIS is an AMAZING idea. I'm on board, totally and completely. you didn't steal thunder, you got inspired and we, of the DOC, always need that inspiration. YOU ROCK

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  2. I'm up for it. Maybe with a different tag line? Like "you're going to make it" or "don't let diabetes stop you" or something that one of you good-with-words DOC'ers can come up with? Differentiate it from the It Gets Better campaign.
    I burst into tears when I read Karen's blog prompt about writing a letter next week. When she mentioned writing a letter to yourself...I couldn't help but start crying. I would have loved to see videos or read blogs that told me it would be ok and I could do anything I wanted to do.

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  3. You have, in turn, brought ME to tears Kim. You are awesome and this idea is a symptom of that awesomeness. I'm on board with this, because yes, truly IT DOES GET BETTER. I'm not one with the wordage at the moment, but I'm sure others will chime in with thoughts... Great thought on this, and thank you for taking the lead to get that message out to so many people who need to hear it - and those who might not even know they need it.

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  4. I am IN too! I try to leave comments all over the DOC to newer members of our club. "IT DOES GET BETTER." Let's DO this!

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  5. Kim - I LOVE this idea. It's kind of a "reach out and touch someone" effect and that has great strength! I'm in.

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  6. I like the idea, but I think we should exercise the same cautions that Dan Savage has in that effort. At the beginning of the year, Newsweek interviewed Dan Savage and Jane Lynch as part of its interview Issue (see http://goo.gl/ljKGt for those). In that issue, Mr. Savage said something very interesting "I think the gay community does a disservice to a lot of gay kids when we beat the drum of 'come out, come out, come out.'" and Jane Lynch echoed that sentiment by adding "It can be really dangerous to come out to families and to school" because frequently, those institutions are the biggest part of the problem. Apparently, 40% of all homeless teenagers are LGBT kids who were thrown out by their parents when they came out or were outed.

    Along those lines as one of the few LGBT PWDs (there are a few) out there, I like the idea, but I think to echo Dan Savage and Jane Lynch's caveat, I would support a similar initiative in the diabetes community, but only if we didn't try to "sugar-coat" everything the way doctors and CDEs so often do, depicting life with diabetes as if it's a mere inconvenience!

    We need to speak the truth in a way that the medical profession doesn't have the balls to do themselves: by telling things like they are. A comment I received on a blog post said it best: "Diabetes is not a death sentence, but it IS a life sentence."

    While that's funny on the surface, the reality is that no one admits what a CHRONIC disease really means, and to succeed, this really is a marathon, not a sprint, so beating the drum of who has the lowest HbA1c is actually destructive in my opinion, and I have never shared that on any social media community (TuDiabetes, DiabetesDaily, etc.) because it sends the WRONG kind of message IMHO. Instead, we should not try to quantify our effort with such superficial measures. When was the last time you could measure your happiness and well-being with a single number?!?!??

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  7. I'm so glad you all are "in"! :)

    Scott - thank you so much for the comment. I'm only just now learning about this campaign, and I agree with your advice that caution should be taken to be as real as possible with the message we send.

    I'll plan to do another post in the near future outlining what the official date will be and what the goals/parameters of the project are.

    I'm so excited!

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  8. I think Scott makes a great point. I've always been pretty honest about the struggles with D that I have (basically, because I really don't give a hoot what people think of me).

    While I certainly don't want to see a day of doom-and-gloom, I'd like to see honestly from everyone. The good, the bad and the cute little unicorn that is taking a dump on my lawn. It's not glitter-filled BTW.

    I think it's a great idea tho

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  9. How bout "It is Manageable". That doesn't sugarcoat things, just describes what we all go through every day. It is not a day in the park every day for me, but it is not death and gloom at all. We all know it takes a lot of hard work and we have our ups and downs, but if I had to pick a disease to have, I would definitely pick one that I could manage, and it doesn't manage me (well, most of the time...). Just my two cents...

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  10. Thanks for the suggestions, all!

    Official title, moving forward, is "You Can Do This".

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  11. fantastic post, kim! i'm totally in!!! :)

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  12. Count me in, too!!! AWESOME IDEA!!!

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  13. Kim,
    This is an awesome idea. I am totally in, Great idea!!!!!!

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  14. Fantastic amazing beautiful idea! Just this thought make me cry. I imagine myself, 15, in the hospital, when I was diagnosed seeing all of your faces telling me that life gets better. It really does! 7 years later and I am in such a better place. I am in Kim!

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  15. i like the new title. count me in, though video may not be my best option. (if that's the only way to play, though, I'll have Scott (Johnson) give me a pep talk and muddle my way through it.)

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  16. Big fan of this, and I would totally be in. I feel like you just have to get around it and find your calling... When you find something you love you know diabetes can't hold you back from it (in my case ice hockey) and you realize you should put that message out there and tell people about it.

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  17. Hi Kim, as another LGBTQ PWD, I will echo Scott's sentiments and follow along with the "great idea" thread as well. Bearing the burden of a mostly invisible chronic disease shares a lot of similar burdens as my mostly-invisible non-hetero identity...others make tons of assumptions, some benign, some hurtful...it's as hard as hell sometimes to keep struggling and hearing that others know the same struggles helps lighten the load...hearing the smallest voice of support helps me find my own voice to support others...community matters and is made up of those like me, and allies who aren't like me...and so on. ;) Count me in. Love your title idea, too.

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  18. Count me in. I love the idea..

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  19. I think this is an excellent idea. I am part of both the DOC and IF (infertility) communities - in the IF we've just finished National Infertility Awareness Week which was amazing. Have a search for NIAW and see how the IF community tackled similar problems... :D

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  20. Me!!!! Me me me me me me me me me me me me me!!! But it will be after DBlog Week,right? Because I think if I try to start something new right now, my head will explode. And I'm thinking that isn't exactly what you want shown in an "It Gets Better" video . . .

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  21. Loving the "You Can Do This" title and the whole idea. Keep us updated on when this will be happening! :)

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  22. You can count me in too! I think this is a great idea :)

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  23. Remember the fun around the first test-in (tudiabetes in July 2009, which grew into the Big Blue Test?) That's the power that positive realism and a call to connect can have on our community. And on people who aren't yet members (the more, the merrier until we get those darn cures). This effort could be the next big thing.

    I'd suggest shortening the title to "You Can." That leaves it a little more open to the contributors. You can ... fly planes with diabetes. You can ... be depressed. You can ... start over tomorrow. You can ... have a family. You can feel ... alone. You can ... feel connected.

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  24. I would totally be in! I love this so much!

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  25. Love this!! What an awesome idea!!

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  26. And 18 years later, I can tell you it gets better! I'm all in for this project!

    Sidenote: Don't ever watch a Hallmark movie. They only show Hallmark commercials, and they are heartwrenching.

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  27. I've been lurking here a bit and ran across this just now.......I love this idea and would totally be in if you need me.

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  28. I absolutely love this idea. As someone who happens to be in a same-sex relationship and a type 1 diabetic, both ideas move me immensely. When Dan Savage first came out with his "It Gets Better Project," I was in tears watching many of the videos because it was so reassuring to know that so many well-adjusted, happy GLBTQ folks were reaching out to the next generation, reassuring them that, if you're GLBTQ, it really DOES get better (it does!)

    But I never thought about this idea in the context of diabetes. While being a lesbian has been relatively easy, being a type 1 diabetic is a constant struggle, even though it's something that I've had most of my life at this point. I go through good and bad periods with my diabetes, times when I feel completely in control and other times when I feel absolute despair, frustration, and anger at this disease. For the past two years, I have, to some degree, neglected my health. I know I should have gone back to the eye doctor, but the overwhelming fear of the "what if?" made me postpone a follow up appointment for close to 2 years!! I know I shouldn't have been eating bagels and sweets every day, but they were just so good!! There's a lot of things that I know I should and shouldn't be doing, and sometimes it just feels so hard. I'm doing better now, but I have to admit that every day is a struggle. I get so tired of all the things that I have to do just to stay alive. I never considered myself depressed, because outwardly I'm a pretty happy person, but sometimes it all - the fear, the what-ifs, the threat of complications, the actual complications - just becomes too much.

    That said, reading blogs from other T1s out there, and knowing that i'm not "alone" in how I feel (phyiscally and emotionally) is hugely reassuring. I don't know why, but it makes me feel better to know that other people too have glucocoaster days, or a random 300 that pops up out of nowhere, with no explanation. Appointments with endos sometimes leave me feeling like a failure, because they always aassume there was something you could have done differently to avoid that 350 or that 52. In reality, when you're a T1, there just sometimes isn't anything you can do, and you have to roll with the punches and do your best to move forward. People with T1 get that.

    That all said, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do this project. I know it would help me a ton to see others out there with T1 living life and not letting diabetes stop them completely. I know that while I've struggled, I have always tried to find a way to do everything that everyone else does, whether that's backpacking (something I love to do!) or running marathons or whatever. I just figure a way to work diabetes into it and, usually, it works out pretty ok (and I'm learning to laugh at the times it doesn't).

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  29. Thank you Anonymous, and everyone, for leaving a comment here. There are gears turning behind the scenes on this - it WILL be happening, and I'm thrilled with the response this idea has gotten so far!

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