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Thursday, November 5, 2015

An Inaugural Return! Complain and Opinion-ate #1

Two things before we start;

1. Jesus it took so much longer than expected to re-organize all this and even gain control of my blog(s) back.  Google, why you so difficult?

2. You probably thought my blogging career was dead.  You'd be partially right, because it has been for like a year, but partially wrong because I did a few posts over at my 'College Blog' (sadly my days as a teenager are numbered; very, very sad).  Why I didn't think to post on this blog and say I had a new blog is beyond me; I don't think of obvious solutions to problems a lot.  Either way, this blog for some reason has 11,000 (hoooooow!?) views, and I can change the name of it, so we're re-establishing blogging here!  And it starts now.  With a rant.  As you do.

Now then!

Okie dokie, this is volume two of the newest segment I’m calling ‘Reed Complains About Social Media Perpetuating Unhealthy Advice For People With Illness And/Or Diseases, and Gives You A Worthless Opinion On How To Correct Them.’  A mouthful I know.  I should also note that this is my second post on the topic.  Where’s the first one you may ask?  Well, long story short, I waited too long to finish it and by the time I found it again it was old news we didn’t need to hear about.  Oddly enough, though, it was still about breast cancer.  Beside the point, though.

Moving on; SO!  It’s November.  That means it’s Diabetes Awareness Month; cool!  I’m trying to wear blue everyday as a personal challenge.  I’ve gotten every day so far which is nice, but it’s only the 4th and I count denim as blue, so we’ll see how that goes in the future (I'll keep you updated, maybe start posting pictures here?  Yes?  Yes.).  Many cool things have happened now that it's Diabetes Awareness Month.  Tons of Facebook profiles went blue on November first, my dating diabetic friends (DDF?) did a picture together with said blue to remind me I am single and lonely...what else?

Oh yeah, this started circulating:

Yeah!  Representation!  Yeah, trending Facebook picture!  Yeah, putting down breast cancer awareness!  Yeah - wait, what?  

Oh.  Oh no.

Part 1: Reed Complains About Social Media Perpetuating Unhealthy Advice For People With Illness And/Or Diseases

So, yeah.  I've seen this picture posted on three separate occasions by people in my life who have no relation to each other at all.  I'm not mentioning them, because they've all been good friends/people I love (and you posted this do not think I am calling you out, because I'm not trying to!).  I'm also not posting a direct source to the Facebook page, because I'm sure the comments there will echo my own (gosh, I hope they echo my own).  But I can summarize this photo in one word, and one word only!


Just no.  This is super uncool.  Why would you post something like this?  I mean I get it; T1D is not a run-of-the-mill thing.  We don't get tons of ad campaigns or fancy shirts everywhere or our logos on 5 Hour Energy bottles.  Yeah, we get a lot of ridiculous complications and I've been up at 3AM before to test my blood sugar.  Does that mean T1D is more important than breast cancer awareness (even though it isn't directly named, this is a jab at the breast cancer awareness; I mean the picture's even pink for crying out loud)?  Is it better?  Maybe in the sense that T1D isn't as fatal as breast cancer, but beyond that?  No.  I would rather have my Type 1 Diabetes than even think about cancer; I feel like I'm jinxing myself typing it.

Maybe ironically, I haven't actually seen this posted by someone with Type 1 Diabetes.  I'd like to think means I know good people.  Or, more likely, I know people who recognize putting down others is wrong.

Also on a side rant, who the hell thinks breast cancer awareness is sexy?  Have you seen what surgeries to remove that caner/mastectomies/other operations do a person's body?  Breast cancer isn't sexy.  Cancer awareness isn't sexy.   It's supposed to be a serious thing.

Part 2: Reed Gives You A Worthless Opinion On How To Correct Them [Them Being the Bits of Unhealthy Advice]

Now I sound like I'm on an intellectual high horse or something; I'm not, I promise.  Because I used to think like that photo up there.  I mean, people are tired about hearing about breast cancer awareness month.  Everything's pink, we get it.  You guys have tons of money anyway from this; who cares?

When this issue first came up, I decided to do a quick search about all of these companies that do breast cancer awareness things every year.  It turns out, sadly, a lot of them aren't really associated with any organization, and are just looking to cash in on a very sad and serious disease.  It even got so bad people had to start an organization to remind you to look into what breast cancer awareness organizations/products you supported; talk about inception.  So not only do people with breast cancer get less money for life-saving research, the general population gets sick of the marketing and goes on to make ridiculous photos like the one above, denouncing their fundraising efforts.

Reading the above, you know I'm supposed to give you a worthless opinion on how to correct these ideals.  I say worthless because I am a random person on the internet with a blog; my opinion, in the long run, will be worth very little.  Despite this, I am going to give not one, but two worthless opinions on how to combat this unhealthy advice.  I know; hold your applause.  This is just an apology for not posting my first rant.

Worthless Opinion 1: Do not treat diseases/illnesses like it is the flipping 'Who Has it Worse' Games

Please don't do this.  I used to play this game.  It sucks.  Everyone loses.  Diseases and illnesses suck for different reasons.  They aren't not all the same.  Some carry more risk of different things, but at the end of the day they all interrupt a person's life, just in different ways.  It's like that anti-bullying campaign they teach in school; putting someone down to raise yourself up does not make you a better person.  Likewise, Putting down cancer does not makes T1D better.  It makes you a jerk, and it makes the T1D community look like jerks.  Don't do it.

Worthless Opinion 2: Do your best to treat all of these different diseases/illnesses with respect.

It's hard, I know.  You're sick of pink T-shirts and pretty women flashing their boobs for 'Breast Cancer' even though they probably don't have a tie to it (there's so much more wrong with this trend anyway, but my soap box is high enough for this blog post).  Likewise, you may be sick of that Wilford Bremley 'Diabeetus' meme that for some reason still exists.  It's hard, but please try to remember there are people behind these diseases.  People who do not fit the molds these advertisements/memes lead you to believe.  These people are sick, and they need your help.  And working together we can get a step closer to helping.  It may not be easy, you could slip up (I've slipped up), but acknowledging those mistakes is the first step to learning from them.

Let me be clear: I do not think you are a bad person if you reposted that picture.  I think you just didn't realize it's actually really hurtful to a lot of people.  If you're upset, go back and delete it.  Find a cool organization that actually donates money to breast cancer research and drop off a few bucks, if you want to.  Then go drop of a few more bucks to JDRF, because hey World Diabetes Day is coming, and I am a T1D blogger, after all.


Okay?  Okay.  Wow that was a long post.  I didn't really expect to finish it either.  What do you know.  Anyway, I'm going to try and do this fairly regularly again.  Even if I do just post pictures for November or do more rants like this (who doesn't love a good rant on the internet, right?) or just post a paragraph now and then.  I'm going to try and do something, is my point.  Though I may just update in another 6 months with a picture of a raccoon wearing and Omni Pod or something.  That'd be adorable.

If you have taken the time to read through my ramblings on this topic, I salute you.  Thanks.  Opportunity to agree/yell at me is down below in the comments section.  Thanks in advance.