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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

  1. 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.
  2. I’m at home here. My peers are like a warm blanket. They surround me with warmth and comfort.
  3. My peers offer suggestions and ideas that I hadn’t thought of for the sole purpose of helping me cope. They teach me.
  4. 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.
  5. My peers on this and other social media platforms cross boundaries. They cross countries. That makes the journey less lonely.
  6. 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!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Mental Health Commission of Canada. Peer Support. https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/focus-areas/peer-support. Accessed March 5, 2018

Comments

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    11 months ago

    I like this. Very well written. There are many groups out there. And as you said there’s the ‘trolls’. Also the ones that tell you that you must do this or that. And of course those who will tell you that your team, doctor or what have you don’t know what they’re doing, that they’re wrong in their approach, you must do it this way instead.

    I get mad when I read things like that. They’re not in that individual’s position nor do they know what is going on with the individual and the reason their team is following a certain path with them. So wrong for this to happen.

    But to have true genuine support from peers is great, because as you say, they know what it’s like from the very get-go. They were in that position just like you at the beginning, hence the understanding, empathy etc as it should be.

    And I’m really liking this place too.

  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hey Riddler. I’m really glad this has been a positive place for you, it is for me too. I’m always amazed at the trolls that come out of the woodwork or the ones who see themselves as the ‘authorities’ who have decided their advice is the only answer. I love hearing suggestions and how those suggestions have worked for my peers. But not every suggestion is an answer for me. A healthy offering of information is always welcome. My peers…they are the ones who keep me going when my diabetes gets tough. My peers get it. Thank you for your kind words!

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