Learning to live with sight loss and telling people, is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Feelings of being afraid, isolated and ashamed are what hold you back first. Pushing down the fear and moving forward not only takes bravery but people. It’s the people around you that make it happen. Help you move to a new and bright future…
After years of negative comments and ill educated people, I felt like dying. Not in the corpse-like sense of the word but hiding from life. Existing. That was all I wanted. It got to the point if only half of me was up for it but bit by bit, that half went to quarter, then a tenth…until I reached the point of merely existing: it was all I could do. A bright flame stuffed out. Smouldering. Gone.
However, existing was all very well and good. Hiding away and burying one’s head in the sand can suffocate and the fight or flight instinct kicks in. You see, I’m a survivor. I realised I was being suffocated. I pulled my head out and after some large gulps of air, some respite, some oxygen, I just wanted to feel alive again. I wanted my life back.
Coming to terms with losing your sight, isn’t about self pity and tears, it’s about loss. Losing something always makes my stomach turn. I’ve always hated losing anything, no matter how small. The very fact of this makes me fastidiously tidy. Also, I have a way to commit things to memory: a mind palace so to speak. Therefore, mostly I can cope with not losing things. Unless one of the loved ones has moved something (cue irrational battle axe response), Sp I rarely lose the little things. Although, this makes the loss of bigger things come much keener.
In times of loss we turn to the ones we love. We use each other as a crutch and channel strength like waves. I am incredibly lucky to have had such people around me. When I was expecting fire and brimstone, sackcloth and ashes, I have been covered in a blanket of kindness and wrapped in good advice.
So what now? With loss comes a need for solution. A catharsis to help face the future. I know there’s not always a longed for solution. I’m not stupid:you can’t redirect the dead and you can’t reverse irreparable damage. But there is always a solution. I’m here to love my life and I’ll find a way through.