An Absense of Advocacy

I’ve commented on this before, but this sense of dread is rearing its ugly head again: I’m a bad diabetes advocate. It feels a bit ironic given my employer and somewhat active nature in certain aspects of the diabetes online community but I know deep down that I’m not giving 110%.

I didn’t comment on the stupid newspaper guy issue.

I haven’t expressed my outrage.

I haven’t written to, let alone spoke with a local representative, or the FDA.

If (big IF) my blog were the pulse of the online community, we would need to get the DOC an Iron Lung. It’s not that these issues aren’t important to me – they most certainly are. But what does it say about me when I agree with a statement silently rather than using whatever influenece or attention this small soapbox has earned to drive awareness of a specific issue or story? I don’t think it means I’m not “worthy” of this blog; this slice of 1’s and 0’s has helped me deal with some serious emotional and mental issues with living with diabetes. But I often feel like I’m not fulfilling my unwritten pledge to better the diabetes community, online and offline.

Because I didn’t have anything noteworthy to say about the recent Pump Hacking story, does that make me any less of an advocate? Because I didn’t voice an opinion about Reader’s Digest’s missteps, does that mean I’ve missteped in understanding my role in the community?

I feel like I let people down when I don’t rise up. What if my one post is the straw the finds a needle in a haystack?

Just because I’m not writing about these issues doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention, it just means that that fire isn’t there. That extra push to get my fingers typing isn’t strong enough. I know this speaks more about me than whatever everyone else is talking about and I’m not trying to be a contrarian or anything like that. It’s just hard to see so many people devoting time to issues that are important to a great number of people and not feeling the same sense of urgency.

I hope that this will change sooner rather than later. For now please do not hate me. I care. I really do – even if my blog posts, tweets, status updates or whatever don’t necessarily indicate it.

Keep fighting the good fight. I’ll catch up with the rest of you soon enough.

Oh yea, I haven’t forgotten about that YouCanDoThis video. That one is coming very soon. I promise.

8 thoughts on “An Absense of Advocacy

  1. You are way too hard on yourself, Chris. Stop. By being you, honest and Living with Diabetes; That is your voice. Just because you chose to not join a conversation does not mean anything other than that. Got it? Good.

    Now… keep on keepin’ on.

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  2. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I still haven’t written about my Outrage. I have no intentions of writing about pumphackingate. Just do what you feel the need to do. Sometimes, just because everyone else jumps on the bandwagon, doesn’t mean you have to join in. Advocating can happen in so many other ways than online. You of all people know that. Don’t worry so much. Write when you feel like you have time. Write about what you want to write about. And let the rest fall where it may.

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  3. I didn’t do any of that stuff either, including the You Can Do This Video. For that, I’m thankful that Kim made it an ongoing thing so I only feel moderately awful that it’s been on my to do list for two-ish months now. I blog infrequently. I read blogs infrequently. It’s just too much to stay on top of, especially since it’s so incredibly time-consuming. It’s unrealistic to be entrenched in it 5 days a week, IMO, and the people who do it everyday have found some ways to make it their job, aka earn monies. Do what you can, do what feels right, whether it’s online or offline, while still maintaining balance with the other things and people that are important to you. It’s all good. We know you’re a permanent fixture in the diabetes advocacy machine, even if we can’t see what you’re doing all the time 🙂

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  4. So totally nothing to fret over, my friend. Advocating is a personal thing for all of us, and we are supposed to do it in whatever ways we feel the best about – and that means how we live with our diabetes, share our stories, and connect with others. nothing is written in stone. Oh, and despite all the “newspaper guy” stuff (thanks for the shout-out on that), I STILL have not done my YCDT video either… like Lee Ann said, I feel more assured that it’s a continuous thing to add to eventually. Keep doing whatever you want to. And don’t let anyone tell you differently… except one itsy bitsy little suggestion I have, that you really SHOULD listen to: Avoid that Hypo Squirrel and all its offspring. You know, for self-preservation. That is the only thing. :))

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