The Gift of Support
This is the first of three blogs exploring the gifts we receive as members of our TUdiabetes community. In this season when we give and receive gifts, I want to explore the gifts we receive because of membership in this community. The first gift I want to discuss is the gift of support.
Support is defined in part as:
- “(1.): To promote the interests or cause of
- (2): The act of showing that you believe that someone or something is good or acceptable
- (3): The act of helping someone by giving love, encouragement, etc.” ("Support," 2014)
What is cool is how much our community does this for each of us. Let’s start with advocacy. Today the Diabetic Hands Foundation (DHF) the sponsor of our community and its activist section Diabetes Advocacy (DA) is engaged in many ways in virtual and real time communities with legislation, advocacy and lobbying for diabetes causes. We (you are part of this effort) work to influence ways to make our lives better. Issues from Medicare approval of continuous glucose monitoring devices to research dollars are within the scope of what we advocate for. We have representatives in congressional hearings, agency deliberations and policy discussions all over the world. We are certainly supported as we promote a variety interests and causes on a daily basis.
In addition to the promotion of our interests we also act in ways that promote acceptance of us as diabetics. I believe in fact this is one of our most important values. This community gives validation to many who simply are isolated, feel defeated or have never met a fellow person with diabetes. In fact one of our main reasons for existence is so that no person ever has to be a person with diabetes and feel alone. Many of the readers of this blog may at one time or another felt like they were alone while coping with diabetes. The day you signed into this site, if there was one thing I hope you felt it was that you are not alone.
As a member I hope you found that this site promotes the knowledge that with diabetes you are valued, not damaged, and that this is at least one place you need not hide being a person with diabetes. For many members this is the only place. Since joining this community I have become more vocal about diabetes. I not only acknowledge it, I also seek out ways to educate others. I have come to understand that acceptance of diabetes is part of acceptance of me as a person with diabetes. I suspect few people find universal acceptance of their disease outside of communities like TUD. Further, I am convinced that this community does it better than any other community of its kind.
Finally there is no doubt we also receive the gift of love and encouragement. How many of us have had a problem, a question or victory and the first place we share it is in this community. We use this community as our sounding board, resource, and place to vent. We often cry at losses and receive encouragement. When we are sad we often receive a boost and when we are excited we have an audience.
Yes as members of this community we received the gift of support. This year when you are giving thanks, remember all the ways we are supported in this community. In this way, in this community we have received the gift of support. We can also thank each other; we make the community a loving, caring, and supportive place. In the season of giving in 2014, I give thanks for our community of support. We have truly been given a wonderful gift of support.
Support. (2014). The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved December 17, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/support