This is a short post to share a little bit of my experience going to a diabetes meetup for the first time and why I really think you should go out there and do it too !
I saw a post on Instagram about a T1D Brighton meetup and decided its the right time to do this ! I went ahead and bought tickets! and then quicker than I thought the day came along !!!
There were plenty of firsts for me that day ! It was my first time going to Brighton, ( dunno what I was thinking for the past 8 years, go to Brighton people!!! it's amazing !) my first time vlogging, ( yes vlog is coming up on YouTube soon ) my first time going to a diabetes gathering and my first time going to meet up with diabetes influencers who I am looking up to !
I was actually really nervous to go out with these online strangers and be completely weird with my oversized camera gear and well ... just my usual weird self ...
As I got to Brighton, right out of the station; I saw the sea straight down the road and just went for it .. the meetup cafe was the other way around! but oh well ...I love the sea! It was sunny and beautiful and I needed something to calm my nerves and excitement ! .. It was a bit further than I thought and getting back up through the narrow and crowded streets full of quirky shops and lovely people took me quite a bit. I was really late .. almost everyone was there already .. (sorry guys)
I found the lovely cafe place and went in ! There was a big table that was full of people and I recognised Claire from Organising.Chaos straight away rocking her I > /\\/ tee ! She helped me grab a chair and I joined in !
It was a bit strange in the beginning I couldn't really hear everyone and didn't really know what to say, but then we started going around the table answering some basic stuff about ourselves; like our name, how long we had T1D for, where we are from .. I started feeling more comfortable and asked if I can take some pics ...I love taking pictures so that really calmed all my nerves straightaway!
I particularly remember the moment the waitress brought up a normal Coke to someone on our table despite him asking for a diet .. for such a classic thing to happen to someone else in front of me !!! You guys know what I am talking about ... seeing my experiences of the world around me; are not just my own was somewhat a bit sad but also exciting !
After a bit we moved outside and we sat on the grass in a circle. That's where we all really connected and we started sharing stories; showing off our glucose management gear, insulins, hypo treats and diabetes swag; everything was so relatable that all of a sudden I felt like I've known these people my whole life !
It was a very special and unique feeling to be around others who really are like me; so much so that even though I knew almost nothing about them I could so quickly feel comfortable and safe .. like being around your best friend you've known forever ...
I absolutely recommend everyone to go out there and meet other diabetics ! Diabetes might feel like a strange thing to connect over but its such a great experience almost therapeutic. It completely transformed my weekend and gave me so much positive energy ! I used it to explore the city and only got back to London close to midnight ! I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet everyone there!
We are totally doing this again ! so check out all these wonderful people I meet in Brighton on Instagram by clicking their names below ! >>>>>
And also ... Brighton just WOW!! Love this place I am coming back !