As a generation, we’ve grown up hearing that we should be careful of what we share online, we shouldn’t share anything that’s personal about ourselves, who we are and where we’re from. Whilst that’s true (stay safe kids), I’ve been sharing my experience(s) of living with a disability on my blog for nearly three years now and whilst it’s quite a personal thing to talk about, I knew that’s what I wanted to do the minute I set up this little corner of the internet that I call my own.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while then you’ll know how passionate I am about writing and sharing my experiences of living with a vision impairment. I personally love writing about it but I also think it’s such an important thing to share and talk about.
Although it’s quite a personal topic to share, I have a number of reasons why I talk about my disability online so I thought I’d share those reasons with you today.
So why am I so open about my vision impairment online?
It gives me the opportunity to raise awareness
Using my blog as a platform to raise awareness of vision impairment has always been my aim, it’s one of the main reasons I created my blog. As I’ve grown up with sight loss I’ve learned that many people have misconceptions of disability, I’ve realised that many people have wrongly preconceived ideas about it so I wanted to create a platform that allowed me to possibly tackle the stigmas surrounding sight loss.
To give family and friends an insight into my disability
Explaining things verbally has never been my strong point and although it’s improved in a way in the last couple of years, I always find it easier to write about my thoughts, feelings and experiences. When I first started my blog, I didn’t tell anyone about it (you can learn why here) apart from my brother but he didn’t read it. I wanted it to be my own personal space where I could ramble on about all the things I was passionate about by hopefully raising some awareness. But as time went on and some of my friends and family discovered my internet space I realised that it wasn’t a bad thing. So I decided that I would take the opportunity to go into even more detail about my disability in the hope that they could gain an insight into how it affects me. Of course, they already have an idea and they’re so supportive in every way but sometimes it’s hard to explain everything in person so blogging about it was a great opportunity for me to expand on what they already knew just so they could gain more of an insight.
To make others realise that they’re not alone
I felt quite lonely when I was growing up in terms of not knowing anyone else who was also visually impaired. I was often encouraged to go to events and groups or gatherings where visually impaired people came together to talk about their experiences and do some activities but I was very reluctant to go to any of them. I went to a couple but they weren’t my cup of tea, mainly because of severe lack of confidence at the time, I wasn’t ready to step out of my comfort zone. Since starting my blog, I have come across so many other people who are also blind/VI and it made me realise that I’m far from being alone. I realized that reading others’ blogs brought me a sense of comfort and it made me realise that there are so many others out there who are in a similar situation to myself. Realising that gave me even more motivation to write about my own personal experiences because I know how isolating it can be and I want others to know that they are not alone even if it feels like they are sometimes.
To help and motivate others
I’ve always been passionate about helping other people and I realised that blogging was a great way to do this. Tying in with the last point, I think that reading other people’s blogs helps in so many ways as there are so many bloggers out there these days who are writing about so many relatable topics that a lot of people can gain a little motivation from. All that I can hope is that my writing helps people in some way.
It gives me the opportunity to talk to others in a similar situation
As I mentioned before, I felt quite lonely when growing up with sight loss and I didn’t realise until I started blogging that there are hundreds, even thousands of other people in a similar situation to myself. I felt a sense of relief when I realised that I wasn’t alone and I was quite baffled by the fact that starting this blog of mine and talking about my experiences lead to me finding and meeting others who are also blind/VI, people I can talk to about my thoughts, experiences and fears about being visually impaired, people who I could relate to. There’s something really special about that. It’s quite crazy to think that I probably wouldn’t’ know most of my fellow blind/VI people if I didn’t start blogging.
To talk about being VI from my own perspective
When I first started my blog nearly three years ago, I didn’t come across many resources or articles online that shared a disabled person’s story from their own perspective. All the articles I read seemed to be written by someone who had a second-hand experience. Although that was great, I didn’t feel like I could relate to them fully because I wasn’t reading it from a blind/VI person’s perspective, something I would have preferred to have done. This encouraged me to write about my own experiences online in the hope that fellow blind/VI people would find it helpful in some way. Of course, it’s always good to hear an outside opinion or experience but at the time and still to this day, I feel like it’s important to hear the voice of those who experience it themselves. After all, who can explain living with a vision impairment to you better than the people who live with it themselves?
To express what I’m feeling
Living with a disability can be challenging, it can come with its negative aspects and frustrations. If you’ve read any of my previous posts then you’ll know that writing has always been an escape for me, a way for me to convey how I’m feeling. Since living with a vision impairment can prove to be difficult at times, I often feel like I have a lot to say about it and sometimes when I want to relieve all those frustrations, I turn to writing to prevent it all from building up because I know how unhealthy that can be. Writing about my visual impairment on my blog allows me to share how I’m feeling whether it be negative or positive thoughts. My blog is a platform where I don’t sugar-coat anything and I think it’s a great place for me to talk about what’s affecting me and getting feedback on that rather than trying to deal with it alone.
It allows me to express my creativity
I’ve always been quite a creative person, I’ve grown up writing short stories, composing songs and now creating content for my online platforms. Vision impairment/disability can often be considered to be a boring topic to talk or write about and to be honest with you, I was quite worried at the beginning about how much ideas I could come up with that could make writing about my experiences interesting to others. But I soon realised that blogging about my disability allows me to express my creative side. It allows me to put my own twist on a topic that some might consider to be bland and boring. I love that blogging about my vision impairment can bring out my creative side and I can only hope that the content I publish is found interesting by you as my readers.
It gives me the opportunity to shed some light on being blind/VI
Many people hold the idea that living with a disability is a completely negative experience, I can assure you that it’s not. I write about my vision impairment in the hope that I can educate people on the positive aspects of living as a blind/VI person in a sighted world. Sure, there are negative aspects, there are hurdles and barriers that need to be overcome but in my case, living with a vision impairment has brought a lot of positivity into my life aswell and I’m grateful for that. I hope that by writing about my vision impairment online, I can shed some light on the topic of living with a disability and make people realise that it’s not all negative.
It gives me so much positivity
I can’t even begin to explain how much positivity blogging has brought into my life, especially blogging about my vision impairment. Hitting that publish button on such personal posts can be quite nerve-wracking at times but when I receive such supportive feedback from all the lovely people who take the time to read my posts, I realise how positive this little community of ours has turned out to be. The feeling of positivity I get from sharing my story on my blog is something that is really hard to put into words, the feedback and support I receive is beyond incredible and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to read my posts, it means the world. Writing about my disability on my blog also allows me to look at my disability in a positive way myself and sharing that with other people is even more worthwhile.
Do you write about your disability online? If so, why do you choose to do so? Or what was your reason for starting a blog? I would love to hear from you.