Well, we’ve arrived at the end of another November, which means National Diabetes Awareness Month is drawing to a close.
What a time it’s been.
I don’t know about you or anyone else, but it seems like all of my social media feeds were saturated with diabetes content all month long. This is due in part to my job, for sure, but outside of that it felt like diabetes was everywhere online. And overall, that’s a really great thing! To me, it shows that our community has a great sense of pride in our ability to be advocates and to dispel myths about a largely invisible and mostly misunderstood chronic illness.
The teensy-weensy downside to all that, though, is that I felt like a bit of a failure compared to everyone else.
Like I said earlier this month, I simply didn’t have the time or bandwidth to commit to anything specific for NDAM. The desire was there, but I didn’t think it would be right to participate in any daily postings or activities if the intention behind them was lacking authenticity. In other words, I didn’t want to be going through the motions this month of being a “good” advocate, I wanted anything that I did to serve the dual purpose of coming from the heart while also making a positive impact in the diabetes awareness space.
I’d like to think that I accomplished that, but as I inevitably saw the countless other posts from all the other incredible diabetes advocates in our online community, I still couldn’t help feeling like I could’ve tried harder. I could’ve devised a plan ahead of time to do something more significant…but I didn’t.
I guess it’s beginning to dawn on me that diabetes blogs are fewer and far between than they were a mere 5 years ago. I know there are other devoted diabetes bloggers out there, but it feels a lot lonelier than it did when I first started as people turn more and more to the more visually stimulating environments of Instagram and TikTok. Because of this, I think I’m my own worst critic – because I choose to blog about diabetes instead of posting about it in any other format, I fear that I’m not having the impact that I yearned to have on our community, thereby rendering anything I have to say on here semi-pointless.
However, just because I’m experiencing these feelings, it doesn’t mean I’m ready to cease blogging or believe that my form of diabetes advocacy is unacceptable. In fact, I think that in writing this post, I’m also realizing that diabetes advocacy is just like diabetes itself – there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. It will look different on all individuals.
So maybe that’s the attitude and energy I carry away from this NDAM and into the coming year…one that allows me to embrace the kind of diabetes advocacy that I enjoy, that I (hope) am good at, and that continues to connect me with others all around our community.
2 thoughts on “Reflecting on National Diabetes Awareness Month 2021”
Everyone gets to pick their own diabetes advocacy. I chose to mention it about 15 times on my Facebook page. I did about what I wanted, and i had about the same outcome as last year.
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I think you’re being incredibly harsh on yourself and would like to change your perspective about blogging. While YouTube and TikTok and the mainstream content at the moment, having a dedicated website ensures availability for future generations. We don’t know if Google is going to change their platform rules in 5 years and prohibit all discussion on diseases (as a misguided aim to end disinformation). TikTok is unsearchable and doesn’t yield much assistance for new T1 patients and their older parents. Additionally, with having the blog platform format provides more accessible content and makes your content more unique – you’re the rare blog, not media format. You’re accessible to the blind with screen readers and searchable on Google. You’re helping the community, especially those with the most need. Thank you.
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