Last week was an emotional week for me. Together with OzDOC, we said farewell and celebrated the life of a good friend and valued member of the group #RIPEatYourMeter. In that same week, I resigned from my position as president-elect of the IDF YLD programme.
The decision to resign was one that I had agonised over for months. It was an emotional one as the Young Leaders are my family and my inspiration. They elected me to be a voice for the Young Leaders and to lead the programme from strength to strength. I took on the responsibility with great pride and honour. I knew it wasn’t going to be a stroll in the part. But I did not expect it to take such a huge toll on me; both mentally and physically.
Since Vancouver, the IDF has undergone major changes within the Board. With change comes uncertainty. As an executive council, we chose to be optimistic and saw change as an opportunity to improve and grow.
Instead we were met with more restrictions and barriers. More importantly, we weren’t getting the information and support we needed to move forward. Frustratingly, each time we were ready to give up, we would be given the faintest glimmer of hope that things were getting better. But the pattern simply continued and our patience wore thin.
I never expected to feel so powerless within a leadership position.
I was sad that the voices of young people with diabetes were not being heard. More importantly, the voices of Young Leaders who were considered a core programme within the IDF weren’t being heard.
After seven frustratingly unproductive months, four out of six executive council members called it quits (including myself) to focus on other diabetes projects. Our president also stepped down to prioritise her health after undergoing intensive treatment for cancer.
The resignation has been bittersweet. There are times where I feel relieved to get my energy back and other times where I second-guess my decision. But to me being a leader is more than just a title. It’s taking the action required to get things up and running. And I’m confident that I have made the right decision.
Despite all of this, I hope that the IDF won’t lose sight of the people they stand to serve. Because if anyone can make a huge positive impact on the world of diabetes – it’s a well respected international organisation representing the voices of people with diabetes worldwide.