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Thursday
Apr052012

Not An Advocate

Last week I attended the Metronic Diabetes Advocates forum.

There are many posts about it that will recap and recall better than I ever could. I suggest you check them out if you are interested.

Here’s the thing, I did not start this blog all those years ago to speak out for people that had no voice. That was not my focus. My focus was to connect to a community that could be there for me when I need them and vice versa.

Sharing my story in hopes of connecting with others is what it is all about and in that process I hope people feel less alone. The isolation that having diabetes can create is at times debilitating. No one should ever feel that way.

I did but never will again.

When people call me an advocate I feel silly. I think about people who knock on doors and visit congressman. I am not that ninja. Little old me is just talking about little old me, I am no advocate.

But that is where I am wrong.

Everyone has a different story but many of our chapters look and read almost the same. So when we share we ultimately are speaking out for others.

Have you ever read a blog or a story and felt as though the writer knew your life or said something that you always think or say?

Those are the moments I live for. Knowing that someone connects and feels understood.

That is why I do this.

That is why I advocate. 

Reader Comments (12)

I love this, George. A whole honking bunch.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerri.

You are a rock star and a half, George! You just said/wrote what I think... I hereby echo your sentiments if I may do so :)

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbetespora (jeff)

Great post George. This post totally resonates with me.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott K. Johnson

Part of the reason I am getting involved in the DOC is because of people like you and the rest of my DOC heroes. In a matter of months my outlook has been transformed and I'm ready (and excited) to be a part of this kickass team :)

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I couldn't agree more. Great post.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

You rock like late-night pizza. So hard.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Wow... I'm glad you decided to tackle the issue of advocacy and what it means to be an advocate. I've often wondered what makes a person an advocate. Is everyone who helps others an advocate? Is it someone who lobbies the government for support? Anybody with a blog? Whoever raises their hand and says "me, too"?. Having diabetes doesn't make me an advocate for PWDs, just as having a receding hairline doesn't make me an advocate for PWMPBs (People With Male Pattern Baldness). There must me more to it than that.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott E

Scott E - I guess the point is that everyone that speaks out or even shares their story is an advocate. Having diabetes does not make you an advocate but sharing your story kind of does, wether you like it or not!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

I guess I hadn't thought of it, but "advocate" is a peculiar term. I didn't start blogging to speak for others, I started to speak things I felt weren't being said about diabetes. For my entire life growing up, the bookstores had really BAD books that proclaimed diabetes wasn't so bad, it just took a positive attitude. I felt that was bull$#!t and I still do. Diabetes sucks, and anyone who claims it doesn't is a big liar. I also saw news coverage of diabetes filled with misinformation while simultaneously missing things that were big news, like Islet Transplantation, which somehow, never got covered in my local newspaper but news about stupid developments like new syringes did. So I sought out to fill those voids, and discovered a group of similarly like-minded people even if they wrote about different aspects of life with diabetes. I thought "cool"! I'm glad for what this community has evolved into, and as some have noted, all of this is a form of advocacy, even if we don't view it that way.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott S

yep. that about sums it up. love it! :)

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE (did I mention HATE) to link a post in the comments here, but I have struggled through the same feelings regarding advocacy. You ARE an advocate for the exact reasons you stated here and so am I.

(http://www.diabetesdaily.com/knicks/2011/04/advocacy/)

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

<3

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershannon

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