Eight Years Of Blogging.
It's the day-to-day head game of diabetes that messes with me. It's doing everything "right" and still having an unexplainable high blood sugar. It's doing everything "wrong" and ending up at a mysterious 112 mg/dL. It's worrying about complications that haven't yet come to pass. It's gracefully dealing with the ones that have. It's preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. It's the complicated relationship with food, numbers, hardware … and with mortality. Having my emotional health intact is what best equips me to handle the physical demands, in all their chaotic capacities.
I didn't realize how alone I felt until I was so far from Clara Barton Camp that I was too old to be a Couselor-in-Training. It wasn't until I realized the only other diabetics I knew were ones I sat next to in the Joslin waiting room, and I always wanted to lean over and say hi but I was too nervous they'd think I was weird. (They might be right, but that's neither here nor there.) Despite the support of my family, and my friends, there was still an ache to find other people who didn't need diabetes explained to them, but who just understood without effort or bias.
Diabetes doesn't define me, but it does explain so much of me. It explains the scattered pile of used test strips I leave in my wake. It explains the subject matter of the stories I chose to publicly share. It explains why my daughter knows that Spiderman fruit snacks are sometimes a "treat" and sometimes "medicine." And it explains why the Internet, for all of its cruelty and callousness in other arenas, remains a place where people can come together with their diabetes trouble and triumphs and find community, solace, and someone who will give them the "Me, too" they are in search of. The Internet hasn't saved my life, but it has made it better, and I'm forever grateful to be a part of a community that, for all its diversity, remains strong at the core of its "sames."
"What's a blog?" I asked Chris, back in 2005.
"It's like an online diary. Only everyone else can read it. You might be able to find other people who have diabetes?"
And just the promise of maybe finding others was enough to start me down the path of sharing my story. Eight years ago this past weekend, I started blogging, and for me, sharing these stories has made a world of positive difference in my diabetes health, and in my emotional health. I don't feel alone. I am proud of, and inspired by, what this community has transformed into over the course of the last eight years, and I'm prouder still to call so many of you friends.
I didn't expect to find others. I hoped to. I didn't expect to find friends. But I did. And I had no idea how my health would be impacted - in such a positive way, by strangers from on the Internet simply saying, "I understand." But it was, and continues to be.
Thank you guys for letting me share my stories for eight years. I remain forever grateful.