Its an interesting topic…burning out from your social support network. It sounds silly but it happens. It has happened to me many times.
I first entered this world 15 years ago. I was very alone and I found an online community that let me know that other people knew exactly what I was going through. Over the years, there would be squabbles but in the darkest hours there was always support.
I would step back and remove myself from certain groups. I would feel attacked and even though I knew that some of my core support were there. I would step back. I would unplug. I would disconnect.
15 years later there are so many more ways to connect to people online than I was using back then. The mailing list that was once my lifeline has been replaced by Twitter, Facebook and other outlets.
As the way we connect changed, so have my connections. I offer advice now and then and provide support through Facebook groups. I share Tweets and take part in blog weeks. I post to my own website and Facebook page but not the extent that I once did.
Am I gun-shy because of the attacks I have taken? No, that is not it. I have taken some vicious attacks, have shaken my head, and simply continued with my life and my work. Sometimes that has been easier said than done but the DOC has given me a core group of people who always ground me and remind me of my truth.
So how would I advise people to handle Diabetes Online Burnout?
- Walk away. It sounds easier than it is but seriously, sometimes we need to unplug, unsubcribe, un-visit places that are hurtful for us.
- Find your core peeps and keep them close. Whether you frequent Facebook groups, Forums, or Twitter, you will find a group of people who click with you. They understand you and you understand them. Savour and work on that relationship. They offer real friendship. Remember that.
- Don’t take it personally. You can’t tackle every issue. You won’t be an expert in all realms. Its okay not to be a part of every battle. Offer whatever support you have available even if its just a retweet, but don’t allow yourself to feel that you have to do more or that you aren’t doing enough. You are doing what you can and that’s amazing!
- Its not a contest. If you make a difference in one person’s life, you are a super star! There are many people in the DOC that we would love to get to know better but out there, someone really wants to know you better as well. Everyone is amazing and has something to contribute. Don’t feel that you are any more or less than someone else.
- Make time to enjoy the outside world. There is more to life than the online world. We can become enamoured because we have found a place where people “get us” and then we are devastated when someone doesn’t. Take time each day out for your family, your pet, and for YOU!
Burnout isn’t a bad thing. Its just a time to regroup so that you can move forward stronger and more confident than ever!