Counteracting Stress By Counting Blessings

I have a feeling that the next couple of days are going to be stressful.  Today I will meet with a caseworker from the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  He is going to do my pre-screening and talk to me about whether his organization (or any partner organization) can provide me with some help at work.  I am cautiously optimistic that something good will come out of our meeting.

Then, tomorrow, I will get an injection of Avastin in my right eye.  I’m not too worried, since my last few shots have been fine.  What’s one more shot after getting so many?  I seem to be on track with my vision.  Everything seems stable. I never know, though, what tests my rs will want to run and what he will find. So, there is a little stress around going to the appointment.

Because I am facing a couple of stressful days, I thought that this would be a good time to look at the things I have gained during this journey into low vision living.  It’s easy to dwell on the losses that come with deteriorating vision (no more reading “real” books and newspapers, losing my part time job, not having good depth perception that helped me go down stairs), but it is much more helpful to think about blessings that have come along instead.

1)  I have a new attitude.  I am able to look at a situation I am facing and, very quickly, find the grace.  I have spent most of my life being a glass-half-empty kind of girl, and I find it remarkable that I now see the glass as half-full.  I still have bad days when I face unpleasant procedures and difficult decisions, but my overall outlook is so much more positive than before.

2)  I love writing this blog.  The daily writing, itself, is a blessing.  I have always wanted to be a writer, but I would look at my words on a page and find them clunky and graceless.  Somehow, when I write about my experience of transition, the words flow in a way that pleases me.  It is a joyful and healing process for me.  Plus, it is so wonderful that the tool that is helping me understand my journey is also helpful to other people.  I feel connected to family and friends through this blog.  I have made so many new friends and received so much positive feedback.

3)  My husband, John, and I are having so much fun exploring Rochester parks.  We love the amazing amount of green space in this city and going to parks to take photos for the list is a great pastime.  I don’t know that we would have taken the time to visit all the city parks without the impetus of my vision loss.  I am so proud that our relationship has not been harmed by the stress of my deteriorating vision but that we have, in fact, grown closer.

Three blessings out of many.  I feel peaceful now.  I am ready to face today and tomorrow and whatever they may bring.


8 thoughts on “Counteracting Stress By Counting Blessings

  1. You are a blessing to me and others with your optimism, you are blessed by GOD’s grace.
    Be as happy as you can and wishing you and your family everything good.

  2. John told us about your blog yesterday. What a wonderful gift you have given us, because (as you well know) we are all of us to one degree or another dis-abled…as well as (alas) disabling. (At least I know this is true for myself.) We all struggle with vision, thinking we see reality much better than we do, and certainly better than the other fellow…Your blog keeps all of honest, especially those of us with so-called 20/20 vision .

    • Hi George. I know it is when I think I am seeing most clearly that I am most likely to make false assumptions. The same thing happens with my eyesight – when I stride ahead thinking I know exactly how the sidewalk in front of me looks, I am likely to trip and fall. I’m not sure which kind of assumption does more damage! Thanks for your comment.

  3. So helpful, Belinda. Today, I read the post from Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Christian professor from the University of Bethlehem. It is filled with difficult news of his recent detention by Israeli forces for protesting the wall. He tells of the ongoing construction of the wall and the consequent destruction of ancient olive trees and the separation of Palestinians from the graves of their ancestors. Sad videos.

    My personal blessings are many. But the blessing of seeing the courageous nonviolent protests and your clarity in showing how hardship can give birth to eloquence lifts the discouragement. You add to my hope.

    • Thank you for your kind words. And for pointing me to Mazin Qumsiyeh’s story at His post is very distressing. My visual difficulties are so small in comparison. Thank you for helping me keep things in perspective. I do have so many, many blessings that my post today could have gone on and on and on. I am extremely blessed. Peace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s