Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing really well.
Today’s post is all about ten things I’ve learned from living with a vision impairment. Just to clarify, I am not completely blind however my vision is continuing to deteriorate and I am registered as being blind/severely sight impaired, I just thought I’d clear that up.
There are many lessons to be learned from being blind/severely sight impaired and I’m writing this post to share a few of the ones I’ve learned. I just want to say that I in no way speaking on behalf of all blind/VI people by writing this post, these are purely things that I’ve personally learned and I know that they don’t apply to every other blind/VI person out there. Everyone has their own experiences and will learn different things from them.
I hope you enjoy today’s post and without further ado let’s get started.
Not everything is black and white
There is so much grey space in the world of blindness and vision impairment. People always seem to think that someone is either completely blind or not but this is so far from the truth. I’ve mentioned so many times before about all the statistics surrounding visual impairment therefore you can go have a read of my previous disability related posts if you want to find out about those. But most of the people who are registered blind/severely sight impaired have some form of vision and that isn’t something people realise. I’ve definitely learned that living with a visual impairment isn’t black nor white, there are so many unanswered questions, will my vision deteriorate further? Will I ever lose my vision completely? Will there ever be anything to correct my vision? These are not questions that anyone can answer at the moment and that can be frustrating at times but I think it’s important not to dwell on these too much. I’ve learned not to consider anything to be either black or white, there are so many things that we don’t know and I think it’s important to remember that nothing is ever as simple as it may seem to be.
It’s important to ask for help
The saying “You don’t ask, you don’t get” couldn’t be more relatable in my opinion. Something I’ve definitely learned over the years is that it’s so important to ask for help/support when it’s needed. No one will ever know that you’re struggling with something unless you tell them and ask for assistance. Please don’t struggle/suffer in silence as it won’t benefit you in the slightest. Some people may help you regardless if you ask for it or not but those cases are on only rare occasions. Living with sight loss has definitely taught me that asking for help is so important.
Positivity is key
It’s easy to get swallowed up into a world of depression or anxiety when living with a vision impairment or any other disability. But that’s understandable since someone is losing or has lost a sense that so many sighted people take for granted in my opinion. I personally suffer with anxiety because of the fact I’ve felt isolated in the past because of my sight loss and the fact that it’s stopped me from doing certain things before now. However, I think it’s so important to focus on the positive aspects and not to dwell on the negatives. I know that this can prove to be difficult at times, I know from personal experience but maintaining a positive mindset is key in my opinion and it’s not a difficult thing to find once you start searching for it. Thinking of one thing that makes you happy can make such a difference and may change that one negative into a positive. I’ve learned that dwelling on the negatives doesn’t do anyone any good and staying focused on the positives allows me to approach life in my desired way. It might not always be easy but it is possible.
How to trust
Trusting people is one of the main things I have to do as a blind/VI person. I am not one that can trust people very easily because of past experiences with friendships etc but I have to learn to trust people when it comes to giving me sighted guide, learning to trust that they will tell me when there is an upcoming step (some don’t always remember but that’s forgivable I guess!). I’ve had to learn to trust that the right support/assistance will be provided when I ask for it and so much more. But I now believe that I am able to trust people much more than I used to (it takes time of course) but I now know who are the ones who are always willing to help, who are willing to make sure that I am ok. My vision impairment has taught me how to trust people and the best way of knowing who to trust.
How to be patient
“Patience is a virtue” as they say and it’s probably one of the hardest things to gain. It’s required to have a lot of patience at times when someone is blind/visually impaired. We have to learn to wait for other’s assistance at times, we have to be patient when thinking we can’t do something because of our eyesight but I’ve learned that having patience is such a valuable thing. As a blind/VI person there are times when I will make mistakes and have mishaps but I learn from them. Some things can take a bit longer to accomplish but that’s ok. Some things call for steady perseverance. Take your time and be kind to yourself when you are working on a new skill or task. Progressively losing my sight has taught me that patience is such an important thing to have, don’t worry if you can’t complete a task to start off with, learn to have patience, give it another shot and it will come with time.
You don’t need sight to have vision
This is something I’ve dedicated a post to recently, you can read it here if you are interested. So many people are driven by the misconceptions and the stigma surrounding sight loss and often don’t steer away from these percieved ideas. One thing I have learned by being a blind/VI person is that losing sight doesn’t mean that my vision deteriorates along side it. I still have vision for the things I’m passionate about in life, I love things such as beauty, fashion, music, writing and I don’t let my deteriorating eyesight stop me from expressing and sharing these passions. As I said in my post about this topic, I might be losing my sight but I can assure you that my vision is perfectly intact.
Fear can be controlling
I’ve often felt isolated because of my vision impairment and I’ve often let fear get the better of me. I have no idea what the future holds for me and my vision and one of my biggest fears is completely losing my vision. My sight has deteriorated so much over the past few years and even more so in the past few months and that is such a daunting feeling for me. Although I’ve learned that fear can be controlling, I have learned ways to think in a more positive way and to prevent the fear from getting the better of me. Although it can be controlling and although it will always be in the back of my mind, I will never let the fear get the better of me and in a sense, I feel stronger because of it.
Nothing is ever impossible
I won’t deny that I have thought that some things must be impossible to accomplish in the past because of the fact that I am severely sight impaired but now I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. Some things might be harder to achieve because of sight loss or any other disability but that doesn’t mean that those things are beyond your reach. I have been able to achieve things and reach goals that I never thought would be possible and although I might have thought they were impossible to reach in the past, something I’ve learned over the years is that nothing is ever impossible. You can achieve anything you want to achieve with a little bit of drive and determination. Never let your disability stop you from reaching your goals and dreams.
It’s important to push yourself
I’ve never been one to push myself to do things but recently I’ve realised that this is something that is so important to do. I’ve always tended to say no to things because I don’t think I’m capable of achieving them or I feel too anxious to do them but I’ve realised that this kind of thinking won’t get me anywhere and it won’t be beneficial for me in the future. I recently pushed myself to do something that was outside of my comfort zone but I’m so glad I did as I feel so much better for it and it has definitely boosted my confidence for the future. Step out of your comfort zone from time to time, I can assure you that it will probably do you the world of good even if it does seem like the most daunting thing to do at the beginning.
Having blind/VI friends is important
I would never used to believe this, I would always say that I was happy with having just sighted friends but since gaining fellow blind/VI friends I’ve learned that they are so important to have. It makes such a difference when you can talk to someone who is in the same boat as you. I never knew how important it was to talk to others who were in the same situation but now that I’ve made blind/VI friends, I regret not making the effort sooner. I would always be reluctant to go to social groups or events, firstly because I’m quite shy when it comes to things like that but secondly I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am so glad that I finally made friends who are also blind/visually impaired as I find it so helpful that we can talk to each other about our experiences, what we find hard etc. I find that I can talk about things with my blind/VI friends that they will relate to and understand so much more than any of my sighted friends would. It’s always nice to know that I’ll have that supporting network who will always be there for me and I will be for them too. It might have taken me a while to learn/realise the importance of having blind/VI friends but I am so glad I finally found that realisation as now I would never look back.
Are you blind/visually impaired or do you have any other disability? If so, what are some lessons you’ve learned from living with it? Be sure to leave a comment below or contact me via social media, I would love to hear from you.