When I was in my early teens, I once helped my dad clean out the gutters on our house. One of my jobs was to stand behind him when he was on the ladder and place my flattened hand in the small of his back. I wasn't holding him up, I was just steadying him, just providing enough support for him to feel a little more secure.
As I got on an airplane the other day, I became just a trifle unsteady crossing the little bridge from the gate onto the plane itself due having my hands full of carryon, magazines, ID, and boarding pass. The flight attendant just reached out and lightly touched my elbows - it was enough to steady me.
For those of us who participate in the Diabetes Online Community, the nature of the help we can offer distant friends is kind of limited. I can't give my anxious friend a hug, I can't give someone who shouldn't be driving at just this moment a ride home from work, and I can't distract a toddler while Mama gets her blood sugar up. But it seems to me that the 'steadying' I've described is a good word for an important way we CAN help each other. In a hundred different ways we tell each other: I'm here, I care, I think you're handling this correctly, it's okay to ask your doctor about that, that guy really was a jerk to you, and (most of all) YOU CAN DO THIS.
These little messages can make all the difference. While it's unfortunately the case that sought support isn't always available when we need it, these reassurances can provide is with the hand on the back we need to stay on the ladder and keep at it.