The Concept of Time: Reflections after this Month’s JDRF #t1d Support Group

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What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Ah that old mantra meant for bachelor/bachelorette parties that leave little, if any, scandalous photo evidence.

That motto serves as the unspoken pact between the group. Everyone knows that anything that happens during Vegas time is off limits.

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Same goes in our JDRF #t1d adult support group. Logic would tell you it’s hard to trust a bunch of people who for some, are often strangers, but there’s something about these people that make me feel safe.

There are times where I ask myself, “Why am I here? It’s out of the way and really, I think I’m managing okay.” Sometimes I even proclaim, “Nah, I don’t need to come back”. But EVERY. SINGLE. TIME…I end up returning.

 

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The benefits can’t be explained well, because I can’t even describe the feeling I get. It’s just comfy. And nice. And I can say whatever without explaining. And I can be totally distant and quiet, loud and angry and it doesn’t matter. There’s really no judgement.

I’m sad to hear that these types of group don’t exist everywhere. How can we change that? What is the best way to make sure that everyone is able to be part of something like this?

Becoming a JDRF Adult Support Group Regular

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I’m committed to going on the regular. 2016 is the year of consistency, and for me, that means attending the JDRF adult support group every month. I went in December and tonight and I can say for me the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Perspective: Although I still feel new and often lost at times within the bunch (in person and online)-I get to meet others who are at all different stages: the veterans, the newly diagnosed, it’s really a mixed bag and it offers a lot of different perspectives.

The greatest advantage is walking away after a few hours and knowing I was in a room with a bunch of people who just get it. I can’t really put a price on that or even describe the magnitude of that pro but let’s just say it’s pretty big for me. Let me stuff my face with cookie crumbs hanging from my lip. Taking 5 pee breaks during the session. No explanation needed.

Mentally, it gives me a power up. Like in Mario!

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And now that I’ve been to the meetings enough times, my name card is set out on the table and I know a lot of faces who come to the table. I’m not as nervous as before and I can tell physically that my body is more relaxed. I’m not worrying about how I look or if I’m slouching. I’m just Jess.

That type of familiarity is especially important to me since there has been so much change in my life the last while.

We all want to feel we belong. We all want to be acknowledged. And this group does just that for me.

Next week I have a date with two type 1 friends and when I take inventory, a lot of my close friends now are people living with type 1. That, including some of the interaction I have with people on social media, I have to say there’s a community in-person and online that adds up to something I can’t take for granted in 2016.

This will be a big year for me in so many ways, and with a good team, new endocrinologist and hospital (which I have yet to meet, fingers crossed), place, and fresh new business adventures, it will be one big ride.

Has a support group helped you? Who is part of your diabetes community?

Sending lots of support to you need it, and even if you feel you don’t.

I will do everything -right- and my blood sugars will still do whatever it wants. I will have huge victories and sometimes feel defeated. no matter what though, every day i'm going to set out to try. i will think about how i want my life to

XO,

Jess

 

 

Smashing meters and eating ice cream: Toronto JDRF adult support group does things Joe Solowiejczyk style

A blood glucose meter that was demolished by a meat mallet.

I’m home from a type 1 diabetes support group meeting where I was encouraged to eat ice cream and destroy a blood glucose meter with a meat mallet.

The idea to do this came from popular diabetes speaker Joe Solowiejczyk. He closed the show at the JDRF infosium in Toronto recently.

Read my post on the event here

During his talk, Joe explained what he calls “diabetes depression days”.

He calls in sick, plops in front of the TV to watch his favourite movies, eats ice cream and spends time sulking about his diabetes.

Our facilitator Ana used Joe’s diabetes depression days as motivation.

Last night, she and outreach manager Sherry greeted us with ice cream! This may be a generalization but I’m pretty sure everyone was happy about it.

 

Ana also encouraged us to roll up our sleeves and break an old meter to bits. She brought rolling pins but in the end, her and another attendee hammered the meter with a meat mallet.

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What’s the craziest thing you’ve done at a type 1 event or meeting?

Although I didn’t take part in the meter hammering, I could see its therapeutic benefits. And the ice cream (for me dairy-free), well… I’m going to advocate for that to be a regular part of future meetings.

Tummy happy, waist elastic on pants (not so much),

Jessie