Monday, 17 March 2014

It's been a year

March 3rd 2013 was when I wrote my very first blog post.

I can't believe how quickly time has flown and how much my blog has grown. During the early days of setting up my blog, in every post I would comment about how many page views I had, at this point it was around 200 in the first couple of weeks and I would get so excited. Now just over a year later it's at 22,500 page views. That's so crazy but so amazing at the same time.

When I set it up at first the name was something along the lines of 'The Life of a Diabetic Teenager' but I wanted to be more creative with the name and so 'My bitter sweet life' was born. The reasoning behind it is that diabetics call themselves 'sweet' because of the sugar in our blood when our blood sugar is high and when you call being diabetic being 'sweet' it sounds as though it is a positive thing and it is in regards to the fact that type one makes you stronger and it has lead me to meeting a lot of wonderful people, the person I am most grateful for type one diabetes leading me to is Paris; and type one has given me some amazing opportunities like going doing a speech in Parliament with both JDRF and Diabetes UK. Then on the other hand having type one is 'bitter' because of all that it entails, the complications, finger pricking, injections, insulin dependence, DKA, high and low blood sugars, hospital appointments, the worry, the strain on a diabetic's parents and family and more. Combined, all of those things make My bitter sweet life.

I had no huge expectations for what I wanted to get out of this blog, I just wanted to document my life with diabetes regardless of whether or not anyone saw it. As it got more and more views I realised I had new aspirations for it, to raise awareness for type one diabetes. I would see lots of bloggers and people on Twitter working to raise awareness and it helped me realise my passion for being an advocate for diabetes. It's strange how much social media has played a huge part in my life with type one. I always share my blog posts on Twitter and people share it and favourite my tweets and I feel like Twitter and the Great Britain Online Diabetes Community really played a massive part in my blog and it's growth.

My blog made me realise how much I love to write and it helped me develop skills in my writing too. Reading other people's blogs gave me inspiration and I know a lot of my skills in the way in which I write my blog is largely down to seeing other blogs within the diabetes community. As well as writing this blog for the benefit of others it has become therapeutic for myself. I like the fact that I have a place where I can come to rant and rave about all things diabetes; I can share so much on my blog; letting out my frustrations in regards to diabetes has been a huge help and I realised just how many other diabetics there are and that there are so many kind people in this world. It doesn't seem like it but amongst the bad there are good people.

As well as it being a year since I first created my blog, it has also been a year since I first began talking to my diabetic best-friend, Paris. I mentioned her earlier in this post as being the person that I am most grateful to diabetes for leading me to.

She is 17 years old, born in July, has a twin sister and has type one diabetes. Just like me! Except for the fact that she is a year older than me, I'm 16. I first came across Paris when I saw her post a photo on Instagram about how her diabetes was getting on her nerves and she replied and we talked for a little bit on the comments section of the photo...introducing ourselves etc. She then gave me her Kik messenger username and from there on out we began talking. We have talked almost every single day for a year.

Paris gives a whole new meaning to the words "me too". When I tell her my blood sugar is high and I don't feel great she replies "me too" and in just those two words lies a whole lot of understanding. She understands exactly what I go through everyday and I understand exactly what she goes through. Her struggle is my struggle and that is why we are so close; but type one isn't the only thing we talk about; we can talk about everything and anything and I know our relationship extends further than just sharing the same disease. I go to Paris when I need some diabetes advice and she comes to me. I am so grateful to have a friend like Paris. I don't know THAT many people with type one diabetes but Paris makes up for that. I don't need to know that many people with type one, as long as I know Paris.

Blogging opened me up to a whole new world, the world of the diabetes community.
And one year on I can safely say I am proud of how far my blog has come; and one year on I am happy that I am friends with Paris, and that I am friends with all the diabetics that I have met over the years with type one. Here is to many more years with my blog and many more years of friendship.

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