The Diabetes Unconference happened this past weekend and I am not sure how to write about it with any sort of clarity. Since I left Las Vegas I have been thinking about the weekend nonstop. It was incredible but difficult to put into words.
Why was it so incredible? Here are a few of the reasons.
1. I was a facilitator and able to help Christel in her vision of what the UnConference could be. And the rest of the facilitator team was amazing!
2. Most of the participants were people who I did not know which meant meeting a bunch of awesome new people!
3. Some friends I have only met online were there and we were able to give irl hugs!
4. Seeing old friends is always great and especially when they introduce you to new friends they met. And vice versa!
5. The safe space we all created and respected that allowed everyone to feel valued, respected, and welcomed. This gave people the comfort level they needed to share and listen and react and laugh and cry and swear and whatever else they needed to do.
6. No judgement.
7. Sitting at a table with someone who had never sat at a table with even one other PWD and now had 7 other people toasting to celebrate!
8. Being reminded that I am not alone and never will be again.
9. Almost 2000 years of people living with diabetes in the same room!
10. Vegas baby!
I wonder if any other patient group has done something like this before? I was honestly a little freaked out about how it would all turn out. Who would come? How does an UnConference work? Will people connect and share? Will they like it?
Everything I hoped for it to be feels like an insult to what it actually was.
Thank you to everyone who attended, the sponsors, the facilitors, Christel, and everyone who encouraged someone to attend.
I cannot wait until next years UnConference.