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If You Take Anything Away

For the last few postings I’ve discussed counseling sessions addressing issues involving depression, guilt, diabetes… well, just life. I’ve discussed a lot of things that I think people are uncomfortable with, in particular the stigma of depression.

I’ve noticed a several things since I started writing these recent posts.  In particular, the number of views these posts generate are much higher than I normally see.  This tells me that there are a lot of people interested in these issues either for themselves or someone they love.  There has also been a significant shift in my readers.  Last month, a full 50% of my readers were new visitors, indicating that I’m reaching a different audience.  I’ve also noticed that when I add the #mhsm (mental health social media) hashtag to the #dblog (diabetes blog) tag, the number of retweets decreases, which is why I think I’m touching on some very uncomfortable waters for some people.  That’s OK with me.

My journey to where I am today is different than yours has been or will be.  The things that have shaped and formed me are different from the things that have forged you or a loved one.

In the DOC, we like to say that we love to to talk with others that “get it”.  And we do.  But still, we can’t completely understand because we are different people with different perspectives, experiences and opinions.

But you know something, if we both realize that?  That we can’t completely understand?  That is something that we truly have in common.  And it is a wonderful place start learning from.  It allows us to learn from each other, playing our strengths, weaknesses and experiences off the other person.  Being able to apply our combined wisdom to each of our situations.

Everyone, parents and caregivers especially, if you take anything away from the entries I’ve made recently, take away that, while my experiences aren’t pretty, yours don’t have to be that way.

If there was one thing that I could change so long ago, it would be finding peer support at a much younger age.  When I was diagnosed at a young age, I just wasn’t old enough to really understand that diabetes wasn’t my fault.  By the time I was, that “it’s my fault” was a Truth carved in stone.

If you find yourself struggling; frustrated, angry, sad, depressed realize that is ok.  It’s normal for all of us involved with long-term health issues to go through phases of burnout and exhaustion.  Find someone that you talk about it with, you can make it through this.

Take away that none of us need to be alone in this.  That together, we can help each other more than we even realize.

Take away that it’s worth doing.

© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com

  • Scott, your “disturbing search term” article (and one of the comments, I’m sure you know which) has been resonating in my mind since you originally posted it a few weeks ago. I’d been pondering the idea of starting a D-blog myself for nearly a year (I finally did this week), but that post really gave me pause.  I asked myself “am I ready to take on the responsibility of being influential?”.  I figured it would be a good outlet, a good conversation-starter, and a good way to connect with other PWD’s who share common thoughts.

    But the hard thing about social media in general is that we (or maybe just me, specifically) tend to crave feedback, and it makes us feel good when people take the time to answer back to something we say in cyberspace.  The “attaboys” make us smile, the “me too’s” make us connected, and the “so sorry’s” make us feel that, when someone shares in our distress, it’s less to bear ourselves.  Nonetheless, we tend to feel our worth is dependent on the number, and type, of responses we get.  And that’s just not right.  Joining an online community sometimes makes us want to impress rather than express.

    When I was growing up, some of the kids kept diaries (the boys called them “journals”).  They were kept under lock-and-key, and if anyone – in particular a sibling – discovered the innermost thoughts within, all hell would break loose.  The thoughts were private: simply a way to organize and express thoughts in a manner that wouldn’t be judged.  These days, with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, tuDiabetes.org, etc, our thoughts are out there for the world to see and to be critiqued.

    So, as long as you find it therapeutic to write these articles, please don’t spend too much energy counting the comments, the followers, the page-views, or the re-tweets.  You write what you do because it is an outlet for you, and you do it honestly and courageously.  Those are often the writings that solicit the fewest responses because others aren’t quite emotionally ready to publicly say “me too”.  But they do have an impact.

    So now that I complete this five paragraphs of what may or may not be relevant to your topic, take this comment as an “attaboy”.  I don’t know that I can address your feelings of guilt, but you are a fine person and you write with integrity.  Keep on doing what you’re doing, no matter what the subject.

    Scott E

    •  Hi Scott,

      Thanks for posting and I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to
      you. I hope you’ll decide to continue blogging, not only has it helped
      me but the more of us that are out there telling our stories, the more
      people will see they are not alone in this.

      I do look at the stats for postings, mostly because I want to know my
      postings are resonating with readers (and yes, a large number does make
      me feel better! lol) I especially like it when there are comments so I
      can get direct feed back and possibly engage in a further discussion.

      I
      look at my overall stats about once a month in Google Analytics and was
      very surprised to see that 50% of my readers last month were new. I
      wasn’t expecting that and, being overly-analytical, I tried to
      hypothesize why that was…

      As far as those feelings of guilt go, don’t worry about them. Those are my responsibility to deal with

      I’ve always tried to write-em as I see-em. Sometimes I piss people
      off, sometimes I learn something new, and sometimes I address the
      downside of life with diabetes. I’ll always try to do that, at least I
      hope I will

      Thanks for the “attaboy” and good luck with your blog!
      Scott