Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing really well.
I’m writing today’s post as part of RNIB’s (Royal national institute of blind people) #HowISee campaign. I was kindly asked by a lovely member of the RNIB team to get involved in this campaign yet again this year (you can read last year’s post here, although a lot of things have changed since writing that post). But of course I instantly agreed to be apart of the campaign once more as I believe it’s a great way of tackling some of the stereotypes surrounding sight loss.
The campaign focuses on raising awareness of the fact that 93% of those of us who are registered blind/severely sight impaired have some form of useful vision whether it be light perception or something more than that. This is contrary to the common misconception that all blind/VI people see total darkness. The reality is that it’s not all black and white and this is what the #HowISee campaign aims to raise awareness of.
I was asked by the RNIB to create a short video or blog post describing my vision and my attitudes towards being vision impaired. I’m much more comfortable in writing so this is why I decided to write a blog post. Since I’ve written many posts in the past about my vision and how it affects me, I thought I’d write a post focusing on my attitude towards being blind/VI as it’s not something I’ve talked much about here on my blog.
I hope you enjoy today’s post and without further ado let’s begin.
I think that many people hold the idea that all blind/VI people must live a negative life, that we look at our vision impairment as being a barrier, something that prevents us from doing/achieving things and something that doesn’t allow any form of positivity. If you’ve believed in this ideology before then I can assure you it’s not true.
I personally have a positive attitude towards my vision impairment. Ok, I can’t deny that it’s difficult to live with at times and yes there have been barriers as I’ve grown up with sight loss but I try to focus on the positives as much as I possibly can as I believe that they are the most important things. Life is too short to dwell on the negatives, wouldn’t you agree?
I am now living with two eye conditions, the first being Retinitis Pigmentosa which I was diagnosed with when i was six so i haven’t really ever known a life without RP, I think because of this I’ve grown up with it and therefore learn to accept it, I think that accepting your disability is one of the main ways to maintaining a positive attitude towards being blind/VI. The second condition is one I’ve recently been diagnosed with which you’ll be aware of if you read my post on The reality of losing sight. The condition is called Optic Disc Drusen which also causes deteriorating vision and it causes vision black outs meaning I lose my vision for a minute or so at a time a few times a day, it can be more or less depending on how tired I’m feeling etc.
I don’t remember the process of diagnosis for RP because as I mentioned I was quite young but during the diagnosis of optic disc drusen which I was diagnosed with this summer, I maintained a positive attitude towards it at all times because that’s the way I deal with things. I’ve been back and forth to hospital many times during my life and been diagnosed with many health conditions and although it doesn’t get any easier when I have to add yet another to the list, I try to look at it in the most positive way I possibly can, even if there’s not much positivity within the situation, I hold on to that little glimpse of positivity that I can find.
I believe that everyone needs to be an advocate for themselves and even more so when they’re blind/VI because of the many misconceptions surrounding sight loss. Many people focus on these perceptions and stereotypes and don’t see the person behind them. This is why I believe it’s important to voice our opinion, approach life in a positive way so people realise that we are capable of many things and that our disability doesn’t define us.
I’ve been told in the past that I’m in denial when it comes to having a positive attitude towards my disability, that I should focus on the realities and the difficulties we face as disabled people but having a positive outlook doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring the reality. I know it can be hard sometimes, I know that there are many barriers, I’ve overcome so many of them myself but I believe that all the difficulties I’ve faced have made me a stronger person. I can’t deny that I have down days, times where I feel like the world is against me but I don’t believe in being negative all the time as that would make it all worse. I want to be happy and positive and I’m not going to allow my disability to prevent me from being those things.
I’ve never let my vision impairment define the person I am, yes it has brought negativity to my life at times and I guess it still does to an extent as there are constant hurdles and barriers but it has also given me the drive to become a stronger and more positive person. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it wasn’t for my vision impairment as I started it for the pure reason to try to raise awareness of sight loss and tackle the stigma and stereotypes surrounding it. I also wanted to create a platform to help and support others, to share my experiences by hopefully providing some advice, guidance and motivation along the way. I hope I’ve been able to do this and can continue to do so even more in the future.
It’s hard to ignore the difficulties and the negative aspects of living with sight loss at times but I’m still determined to approach life in the most positive way I can, after all, there are many positives to living with a vision impairment despite what people might think.
If you’re blind/VI or have any other disability, what is your attitude towards it? Do you focus on the positives or do the negatives get too much sometimes? Let me know in the comments as I would love to hear from you.
Don’t forget to get involved in RNIB’s #HowISee campaign if you’re also visually impaired. It’s a great campaign which I’m honoured to be asked to be a part of, thank you again to RNIB for asking me to get involved.
Be sure to share your stories, blog posts or videos using the #HowISee.
Thank you for reading.