I just recorded episode 5 of the LivingVertical Diabeticast and it may shock you to hear that I sort of cringe in late October knowing that November is “all about diabetes”. So rather than just keep my feelings to myself, I decided to share 5 reasons that the month of November and the inundation of all things diabetes are difficult for me. See, I don’t hate diabetes–or diabetes awareness. Quite the opposite, as I have dedicated much of my life to sharing and promoting awareness. It’s just hard to live with diabetes and spend your life streamlining diabetes as a condition so it doesn’t require constant attention being drawn to it–and then turn around and have a month where you have to undo all of that in order to get people to notice all the effort of the previous 11 months!
At the end of the day, these are 5 reasons that I hate this month–because it’s really hard for me. These are not 5 reasons why this month is “bad”. On the flip side, once I take the focus off myself to look around and see how this month impacts the community (not just me as an individual dealing with my efforts) that’s where it starts to track back towards the other end of the spectrum. People are all revved up and doing stuff. Smash Diabetes totally rocks and so does the BigBlueTest and the 100 Campaign. These are efforts that get momentum during this month and give others a chance to get involved who may not get to live in the hot zone like those of us who are full time advocates do. That’s a pretty special thing and it’s worth a little extra effort to be part of it.
I’d like to think that people read all the way through my blog/podcast and don’t run off to find a nice sharp pitchfork without hearing the full spectrum of my feelings. Not everything about diabetes and awareness advocacy is warm and fuzzy–and I’m ok with that, I’m just not ok with keeping that to myself.