Six Reasons Why I Love Type 2 Diabetes Peer Support
Peer support is defined as ‘a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common.’ It’s origins appear to have begun in the 1970’s within the mental health community more specifically with substance misuse and addiction. Over time peer support has expanded to support other relationships: parenting, breastfeeding, dementia, cancers, and of course, type 2 diabetes, as well as many others.
According to Dictionary.com a peer support is ‘a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background and social status.’ In the truest sense, yes, but sometimes not all of those characteristics need to be present. Peers do not always have to be in the same age group or have the same background or social status to be effective.
Peers have also been defined or described in archaic terms as a ‘companion.’ That fits with today’s definition as well. Companions are not always in person in today’s world. We are connected in different ways.
But, my favorite definition: a ‘nobleman.’ Oh my. Yes. All those who visit this site and help others are truly noblemen. They do it selflessly. With their only intent to help. I read and reread all the helpful supportive comments on this site almost every day. There are also the honest comments that talk about the reality of living with type 2 diabetes. It is not easy to live with and some days are really tough. Peer support makes the journey so much easier.
Here are my reasons why I love and believe so deeply in peer support
- Almost everyone here walks the same walk I do. I don’t have to explain myself. People just understand. They understand the ups and downs. They understand the good days and the bad days.
- I’m at home here. My peers are like a warm blanket. They surround me with warmth and comfort.
- My peers offer suggestions and ideas that I hadn’t thought of for the sole purpose of helping me cope. They teach me.
- My peers offer support that comes when I least expect it and very often, when I need it most. It’s never long before my questions or concerns are answered.
- My peers on this and other social media platforms cross boundaries. They cross countries. That makes the journey less lonely.
- I can give back what I take. I feel good supporting others because others have been there for me. Yes, there are the nay-sayers, the trolls if you will, who are angry at their own situation and wish to make others feel bad but they cannot rob us of the support we give each other. If they would let us, we would be there for them too. I only hope they can find their own peer support group. If not, they are welcome here.
For people with type 2 diabetes, peer support is not only great, it is essential for our coping, our healing, our happiness. Thank you to all of you who give of yourselves to help others. Hugs!
Do you know someone living with kidney cancer?