Blindness can be depressing, I always knew it would be difficult, I guess my number one frustration is knowing no matter what I do I will probably need help setting it up or doing it first. Going from complete independence to absolutely none at all is hard at no matter what age, the horrible feeling when you get out of bed having just lost your sight and not being organised is probably one of the worst feelings ever as you have no time to organise anything around you, blindness has just arrived and it’s not going away any time soon. Then there is the acceptance, which some people I know haven’t been through. They are still walking around without a cane while clinging onto any remaining blobs they have in their vision. I am not criticising this by any means as I was this person, I used to refuse to walk with my cane, I used to hate learning Braille, I hated the idea of actually accepting that I need a teaching assistant in lessons, when I was visually impaired I used to refuse to look any different so I would not ask for enlarged copies of things and would not entertain the idea of having a laptop in class. At this time many people were telling me to use my equipment but I refused as:
- I was young and everyone who had been through school was telling me to accept that being somehow different to everyone else was ok, but I thought it wasn’t.
- They weren’t going blind themselves so I felt like they didn’t understand.
- I hadn’t actually admitted to myself that I was losing my sight, at appointments would be the only time I would talk about it, I would dismiss people who wanted to talk about it for ages at a time as I thought that if I blocked it out it would just go away.
It didn’t go and I ended up in hospital in March with two types of retinal detachment, not fun! It hasn’t even been a year but I managed to accept all the help I could get, not because I wanted to necessarily but I was forced to. I wanted to continue my life but I had no motivation and doing anything felt like an effort. I did used to sit and cry, I gained quite a bit of weight in 6 months and didn’t feel like I could just get help from one organisation, after I was starting to come to terms with things I wanted to get everything sorted all at once in the frantic determination to be ok again but even though I wanted it to be only a couple of weeks in reality it was a lot longer to get everything around me sorted. I started by organising all my clothes into sections and frantically buying more as I still wanted to look good, I bought an exercise bike and went a bit mad, I would cycle everyday with the hope of happiness. I phoned guide dogs, Humanware and other organisations in a longing to get my independence. I learnt Braille in 4 months and I was starting to get incredibly tired, trying to get everything sorted all at once is very tiring, I felt like I was starting to get my life back when all these things were in place. It was just the time factor, I wanted everything done instantly and I also had to come to terms with the fact that this wasn’t always possible. Having to chase up different companies to do things for me was hard because nothing seemed to be done in a timely manner. My frustration was building as I felt like the people behind these companies didn’t understand what I was going through because they weren’t blind themselves, they were just running a blind organisation. Companies I thought would help me let me down or took too long to bother following up with. People don’t understand what it’s like to be blind and that is also the harsh reality of things, not even my closest friends and family relate to me however hard they try, I obviously wouldn’t want them to relate but that doesn’t stop the feeling of being alone. I wanted to create a blog and YouTube in the hope that my experiences help others to keep going in the times of despair and that in fact no one is alone as I’m sure there is someone out there like me. I wanted to show people that life goes on even after such tragic things life has to offer. Every day is hard but my advice is to take every day as it comes, it’s ok to feel bad because if you didn’t you wouldn’t be human. I believe that letting emotions out is key to feeling better and accepting who you are. If you want me to talk about anything in particular let me know on my YouTube comments or on here, I will answer as many questions as I can or alternatively if you find twitter easier to access my username is ycul underscore underscore (ycul__) with no spaces.
Quote of the week – ‘Believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities, without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy’ – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking.