Birdie is one of my favorite fellow D-bloggers. Her colorful images and sincere words are always worth a double-take. She recently compiled a coffee table book that will evoke the same reaction from your party guests — or anyone you know living with illness.
A Guest Post by Birdie B, creator of Aiming for Grace
I'm feeling a lot better lately. I've had diabetes for 22+ years and rather than feeling like things are getting worse, I'm feeling the best I've ever felt since I was diagnosed. What's made the difference, you might ask. What's contributed to this deeper sense of well-being and health? Is it a new medication, a new approach to nutrition and blood sugar control, or perhaps a new medical device that's freed me from the unending testing and insulin delivery of the past?
No, what's actually brought about this change is blogging of all things.
Prior to the advent of blogging the options for coping with the unrelenting physical and psychological rigors of diabetes were limited. Once it came to be though, almost overnight and most definitely under the medical radar, people with diabetes started to talk, share and reflect their experiences back to each other. A conversation between us began, from the inside of this experience out. We'd express our feelings of the moment and then send them out into the night. And then something miraculous happened. Back from the dark came a response, a word of wisdom or understanding, a much needed encouragement, a friendly show of support. Amazingly, someone who really knew what we were talking about was listening. We found solace and comfort because of this. We found solidarity and community to assuage our loneliness and isolation. We even found new techniques and helpful ideas to use in our own diabetes management.
Through blogging we found our voices, on our own terms, as both individuals and a community living with this disease. We found a place of healing and a safe forum to express our grief and frustrations, fears and despair as well as our humor and hope and pride. Blogging, in a very real way, created a place that allows us to experience integration, wholeness and peace in who we really are. And best of all, we don't have to visit all the time, though whenever we do need to, it's there for us, 24/7. And knowing that helps us get on with the living of our lives more fully.
For me personally, blogging has literally changed how I inhabit my life diabetes. I never planned for this to happen but thankfully it has. Where before I felt deeply lonely and isolated because of my experience, I now feel seen and understood. Where before I felt burdened and heavy because of diabetes, I now feel buoyed up and supported. Where before I felt weak and frightened, I now feel a part of a community of courage and grace, a community dealing with similar challenges that I face.
Blogging has helped me develop a philosophical approach to my disease that's led to a new found equilibrium between my internal diabetic experience and my external life in a non-diabetic world. In a very real sense, blogging has brought me to a place where I have become more whole.
And that's why I'm feeling so much better these days.
Do check out Birdie's book here.