Today I'm bringing you a post from Sarah, whose cleverly titled "smartDpants" blog was born just a few weeks ago. Sarah writes today about the power of connecting with others, and the motivation and inspiration that it can bring. Thank you, Sarah!
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Google Chrome ad featuring the It Gets Better Project. I've always been passionate about hearing voices of those who aren't usually heard, especially people who experience prejudice and are stereotyped by others based on invisible aspects of their identities--aspects like being (or being perceived as being) lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender...or like having diabetes. Since my identity includes both of those invisible aspects , I get what It Gets Better is about. I also love Kim's idea to create a similar, diabetes-related campaign.
It is amazingly supportive and energizing to find community with others facing the same struggles (Hello, DOC!!). I've felt very supported lately, both by folks in the DOC and in the not-online world--so much so that I started several new, good things all at the same time. I started my own dblog last week, almost on a whim. It's SOOO much fun! I also started getting up early in the morning to do 20 minutes of walking and running. That last one is crazy unbelievable, because in 31 years of type 1 diabetes I've never exercised on my own. Ever. My best experience with exercise was several months of 1.5 hrs. of marching band practice 4 days a week when I was in high school. I didn't have to think about it, someone else told us what to do and where to be, I got to hang out with my friends, make music and cool designs at the same time. Other than that, I've hated exercise my entire life.
In the midst of feeling all kinds of diabetes support, in the middle of my first week of planned, regular exercise, I had one of those times when every song on my playlist seemed to speak to how I was feeling. (As I was running. At 6am. Go figure! All kinds of crazy happening here!) Lyrics from every song could have been talking about my diabetes life:
***About my morning BG the last few days***
Too high, can't come down
It's in the air and it's all around
~Britney Spears, Toxic
***About taking better care of myself/exercising***
Suddenly I see, this is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see why the hell it means so much to me
~KT Tunstall, Suddenly I See
***About the voices of PWD, every one of us***
What if the world was crazy and I was sane? Would it be so strange?
I can't believe that I'm alone in saying the things I'm saying: "I am part of you"
These are universal truths
We're all a part of the light that flows through everything
~Cher, A Different Kind of Love Song
Something about knowing there are other people feeling the same way, and thinking the same things, about shared challenges makes them easier for me to handle. I also like the idea that giving voice to how we get through something--how to manage--how to not just endure but live, better--and sharing examples of how we've done it, makes it seem possible to others as well. I'd much rather hear about how someone deals with an issue I have, complete with the reality about all of the difficulties and barriers in the way, and truth about how they managed. That seems so much more empowering than advising on all things *not* to do (like we don't already know, right?).
So here's to each of us being an integral part of this universal diabetes community. Here's to feeling much-needed support from all of our communities, both offline and on. Finally, here's to helping others feel like they are seen by living our own lives visibly and sharing our stories. I've recently realized (yet again) that I really CAN do this. May all of us with diabetes feel that we can, and hear it in our community's voices.
P.S. Since I just began the smartDpants dblog, volunteering to do a guest post for Kim is both scary and amazing at the same time. Hers was one of the first dblogs I found, and I felt an instant connection with it--and her--through her honesty, her kindness and her hilarious wit. (This girl and her puns!) THANK YOU for inviting me to do this, Kim!
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