Your voice. It matters. Yeah- it definitely does.
Your voice. Your (respectful) opinion. You story. Your experiences.
It all matters.
(Not my image)
It can shape things. It can make other people feel like they’re not alone by creating more “me too’s.” Maybe you feel like it’s just you- but I promise- it’s not true. When you share- that’s when the me too’s come out of the woodwork plus all of those silently nodding in agreement you might not even know about. (They’re there. Maybe you’ll find out later.)
It doesn’t have to be everything or all the time. Sharing your story doesn’t mean putting it all on the table for the world to see. It doesn’t just mean social media, letters, or calls. It can be a conversation. It can be listening.
Your involvement can vary- with hills and valleys along the way. Sometimes it’s a lot and sometimes it might be just a little bit. Maybe even a break every now and then.
Maybe it’s part of an online community- like the diabetes online community (the DOC), but maybe that’s not for you- and you know- that’s okay. Maybe it’s watching in the background.
It can be at key times or certain events.
It can be loud. It can be quiet. It can be spoken. It can be written. It can be drawn.
It doesn’t matter who you are either. Maybe you’re still a teenager or younger. Maybe you’re in college. Maybe you’re from the south or another country. Maybe you grew up with money or struggled to makes end meet. You don’t have to have letters behind your name yet (or at all). It doesn’t matter what your experience is. Actually, it’s needed. Various voices are needed.
It matters. Whatever it is. Your involvement and your voice matters- whatever that may mean. It’s not all or nothing either.
There’s so much to be done. There’s a need for advocacy at every corner- the big and the little. The day to day to federal levels. It adds up. Your story- you’re involvement can help with that.
Sometimes what you need is to also hear your own voice.
Maybe it’s with your doctors. Yes- they might have letters next to their name- but they don’t have your experiences. They aren’t you. Sometimes you might need to say something or walk away. It’s making sure that you have a good relationship with your healthcare team.
Maybe it’s with health insurance.
Maybe it’s at school.
Maybe it’s with people in your life.
But whatever and whenever and however-
It’s making sure you share your story. As honestly as possible when you do.
“When we tell our stories – and reframe the narrative – the truth comes out.”
“There is an art to storytelling. We do it every day that we tell our story. We do it every time we put words on a page for a blog post, or in a diary or in a letter, ot when we stand up and tell it like it is. Some do it far more elegantly and eloquently, but the things is; it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re authentic.”
And the thing is- I’m asking for help. We need your help- no matter the community you are involved in. Each community has work to do- we can do better. Your involvement is needed- it really is. Varied voices and experiences and opinions need to be present- because sometimes- I do feel like it’s the same voices again and again with the same opinions. I want to hear and read it all. We cannot all fit in a box.
There are so many ways to get started (and it’s okay if it feels a little daunting).
There are so many avenues to utilize.
So yes- even if you think it doesn’t- your story and your voice- they really do matter.
Hey you! Yes, you!
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