Values that are found in friendships (from my good ol’ reliable friend Wikipedia):
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other.
- Sympathy and empathy.
- Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart.
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support.
- Enjoyment of each other’s company.
- Trust in one another.
- Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
- The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment.
Do most of the members from the diabetes community interact “online”? I’d say yes. (Hence the name DOC) Does that stop any of the above values from existing? No way. Every single one of the values of friendship exist among the diabetes community and that is what makes it so incredible. And the meetings in person just magnify everything it is made of. Empathy, sympathy, honesty, enjoyment, positivity, non judge mental, compassion. It’s all there. I’ve been fortunate to attend numerous diabetes meet ups of various kinds. This past Saturday I attended the biggest meet up I have experienced yet. There were 17 people with diabetes in attendance as well as some type 3’s. All to meet and hang out with a fellow diabetic from very far away; Australia. Diabetes wasn’t always the topic of conversation. Probably more often than not, the topic was something entirely different. But there was a lot of fun being had. By all of us. The whole time. I love the friends I’ve had either growing up or since my adulthood began. But in the past 3-4 years I have gained so many more friends that just happen to have diabetes also. And these friends have touched my life in a way that is indescribable. For that, I am forever grateful.
To steal an idea from Sara, together the 17 of us had diabetes for 381 years. That is A LOT of diabetes experiences. A LOT of high and low BGs. A LOT of finger sticks. A LOT of insulin. Yet there were A LOT of smiles and laughing all day long. Diabetes isn’t always the pits. You can do this.