Monday, October 31, 2011

Where Do I Fit In?

I’m feeling unsettled today.  I’m grumpy and a bit short tempered.  I’m restless but can’t think of anything that I really want to do. I had a great glucose reading this morning but even that didn’t do much to make me feel better.  

It’s not all that unusual for me to have a mood like this.  It doesn’t happen very often but it does roll around now and then.  I’m not here to blog about my mood, but, rather, what it got me to thinking about.

Where do I fit in?  The DOC (Diabetic Online Community) seems like such a wonderful place; a cool club to join.  When I first heard the term, DOC, I went searching for the website to join, called the DOC.  HA!  Newbie mistake.  You see, the DOC isn’t just one place, it’s lots of places where PWD “get together” sharing ideas and tips or just a shoulder to cry on.  The DOC is blogs where PWD pour out their frustrations or share their triumphs.  It’s people joining together with a common bond….diabetes.

I have found many blogs and a few websites that are inspiring.  Places where I’ve gleaned some bit of info or was inspired to improve my own health.  I’ve joined said websites and endeavored to jump in and contribute my bits of “wisdom” but it doesn’t take long before I feel like I don’t fit in.  Maybe that’s not the right way to put it.  I do fit in.  I am a diabetic, after all, and I have things to say but it sometimes feels overwhelming to jump in.  It reminds me of a time, when I was very young, when I went to a skating rink.  I wasn’t a very good skater and was nervous about falling and making a fool of myself.  The outer edge of the group of skaters was moving pretty quickly.  I couldn’t figure out how to get into the pack without being run over.  I wasn’t part of the group yet and didn’t know how to join.

I’m not much of a joiner.  It’s taken me a quite a few years to come to that conclusion.  I’m really good at thinking about it.  I excel at coming up with a plan to do this or that but I suck at follow through.  Even if I do join a group I don’t always stick around.  Dang, I’m beginning to feel kinda down on myself here.  What’s wrong with me???

Reality?  There’s nothing wrong with me (well… least in regards to this subject).  There’s really nothing wrong with not being a joiner.  It’s not like I’m an axe murderer or something.  I’m just someone who likes to keep to herself.  So why then do I feel compelled to join?  Because it’s cool.

This takes me back to high school, a long….LONG time ago.  You have your friends who you like to hang with.  There are clubs and teams to join where you hang with people who have common interests.  Before school and in between classes you see your friends and wave and laugh and talk about things together.  You have inside jokes and ways of communicating that others might not understand.  It’s cool….when you’re in the group.  I moved to my current town when I was 16 and a junior in high school.  I’m here to tell you that it’s hard to jump in, but I did it.  I had a great high school experience.  I joined and participated and excelled.  Maybe I’ve reached the age where it’s ok to hang out on the fringe.  The pull to be “cool” is still there but it’s ok not to be in the thick of things, right?

One word I keep bumping into when I surf through the DOC is advocacy.  So many people are doing amazing things in the world of advocacy.  They organize events to improve awareness or help others cope with this disease.  Maybe their advocacy takes the shape of a killer blog that reaches out to lots and lots of people.  I feel like I need to step up my advocacy, but how?

I’ve thought about joining a local diabetes support group, but we’ve already discussed my suckiness at joining.  Besides, I live in a very small town with very limited options.  I’ve thought about contributing to the AZ Diabetes Program but it seems too political or too organized for my tastes.  I went to their website and got lost in all the committees and official “purpose” guidelines etc.  Diabetes education needs to be simple enough to understand and yet the government seems to be unable to make it so.  There is a lack here in northern Arizona of easy to understand information for newly diagnosed diabetics.  Or maybe I’m just not looking in the right places.  Maybe if I actually joined a support group or attended a seminar I’d find what I’m looking for.  Maybe.

Le sigh. I need to stop beating myself up over this.  I guess my place in the DOC is to be here in my little corner; blogging about my life with diabetes.  Maybe, just maybe, someone out there in the ether will read something I have to say and it will make a difference to them.  Maybe that’s where I fit in.

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