Losing ones vision is without and doubt a very horrible experience, one that no one should have to go through but one that so many of us do. The feeling of isolation, dread, fear, anxiety, depression… I could go on is truly terrifying.
I have been severely sight impaired now for 13 years, I have adapted my life and the way I do things to cope with everyday life.
My job is to help others that are going through exactly what I went through, It is a job I have been doing for nearly 11 years now, I really enjoy helping others and I am very passionate about giving people the options in life that I never had.
There was such little support for people of a working age in the area I grew up in that I decided to do something about it. It is that passion that drives me to do all that I can to ensure no one is left alone with sight loss and that people have options they can turn too and that they don’t feel all of those negative feelings I mentioned before.
It is very easy to give up and feel bad about life, I did it myself, for a while I didnt even leave the house. It wasn’t just because I couldnt see properly, it was because I had lost more than i ever thouhgt i could. I lost my sight, my job, my girlfriend and now I was about to lose my mental state.
Then it hit me, if i don’t get up and do something for myself, no one is going to do it for me. It was literally me doing something in order to achieve my goals, or just stay home like a hermit and probably giving up on life completely. I had always been a go getter before, why not now?
So, I tried to get a social group going, with no contacts and no social media to use and not really any idea of what to do, I set about trying to make it happen. Amazingly one person turned up, I will never forget the first thing she said to me, this is my first step into the sight loss world, all I could think was, yes, mine too.
It then occurred to me, there has to be so many people that haven’t taken their first steps into the sight loss world. There must be so many people out there who are too nervous to take the first step and there must be so many people who could gain so much confidence from having the courage to take that first step.
I don’t want to say it was like an epithany or like a light bulb moment, what is was, was the moment I realised it was going to be me that has to do it.
I have since set up social groups, sports groups, coffee morning meet ups amongst others. All of these groups are designed for Visually impaired and blind people to get together, to share idea’s, to share experiences with, to stay active with but most of all, to gain friends.
Out of all of the negative feelings expressed at the start of this blog, I have not only felt them myself, I have worked with so many people who have gone through the same. But then they take the first steps into the sight loss world, they join one of the sports teams or simply go out for a pint with like-minded people and they never look back.
I have seen the difference being around others with sight loss can make, I still experience it myself. There are so many people that I look upto that I couldnt even begin to mention them, they know who they are.
If you are reading this and you feel isolation, dread, fear, anxiety, depression…, then make sure you take your first steps into the sight loss community where ever you are. There are some truly incredible people around all ready and willing to offer you there time, support and friendship.
That’s it for now
Until next time