Recently, I read a blog post about the concept of “reality reframed,” which is basically the photo practice of cropping-out of the tougher stuff in life, and giving focus to the positive and “prettied up” stuff.
“I figure instead of abandoning the art I love, I will show the reality along side of it. This is how the idea of reality reframed came about; sharing a snapshot of the bigger picture first and right next to it the snippet of I choose to look at it. I’ve never really done anything quite like this before but by revealing this part of the picture I hope that anyone watching will feel less alone in their own imperfect life. And I also hope that I can really drive the point home that you can excavate photo-worthy magic from everyday life, no matter how messy it gets. It’s part of the practice of elevating the everyday.”
I thought her statement was brilliant, and it really got me thinking about how diabetes bloggers, and all patient communities online, reframe the reality of their health condition. We write about the stuff that sucks and the stuff we celebrate, and all the mess in between. I love sharing a bright, shiny 100 mg/dL on my meter, or a Dexcom no-hitter, and documenting those moments gives me a lift on the days when numbers aren’t so bright, or shiny, but the Big Picture also needs to be shared, giving context to those blood sugar numbers.
Diabetes isn’t a perfect math where you can just solve for X. Usually, we’re solving for ‘why.’ And part of that equation is acknowledging, and appreciating, the sum of our community and what we document, every day. We are reframing the reality of our disease by sharing, showing people, and ourselves, that diabetes is a constant exercise in solving for why. Managing diabetes takes a ton of hard work, and we work hard for the health we maintain.
Some days are easy, others are difficult, but none are absent effort.
Today, I’m appreciating the fact that so many people with diabetes are willing to share their stories, letting strangers look into their lives via a window on the Internet, finding pieces of themselves in the words written by others. Telling our stories, and expanding the perceptions of what diabetes really requires, can be so powerful. To tweak Tracey’s sentiment, you can excavate magic from everyday life with diabetes, no matter how messy it gets.