This morning, I checked my various emails and messages and found that several of my “blog friends” had written to make sure I was okay. They were worried because I did not post anything last night. I guess they see me as being reliable with my daily posts. I rarely miss a day, mostly because I find my writing to be very therapeutic. But, last night I did not post.
I could say that I did not post because I was having computer problems. It is true that my computer is acting up and every task takes longer than anticipated. I could say that I had nothing to write about. This is not exactly true. I started a post about my children, a post about my dogs, a post about a scripture that I find helpful. I wrote a couple of paragraphs on each of these topics, then reconsidered and deleted the posts.
What really kept me from posting was that I have been feeling very troubled by my visit with my eye doctor on Monday. Hearing that my vision has deteriorated so much in the month since I saw my Retina Specialist gives me a worried feeling that I just can’t seem to shake. Last night, as I was attempting to write my post, I was not ready to admit that I have been feeling really worried and sad. I could not even begin to approach this topic within myself, and so I could not seem to make any satisfactory words flow from my fingers to the keyboard and onto my blog.
This morning, I canceled a Mobility Training session with Kasey. I was not even honest with him about why I was canceling. I did not tell him that I am sad and overwhelmed by this continuing deterioration. I could have shared these feelings with him, because he would have understood, but I had not come to terms with them. It was only after I hung up from talking with him that I realized why I could not face the session. It was the same reason I could not write a post last night.
I thought all day today about the possible reasons for canceling that session and about not writing last night. I finally realized that I have to be honest with myself about my feelings. Even though my journey into low vision has been filled with blessings, I was thinking that I had arrived at a plateau. I wanted to rest a while at one level of vision, before I travel further down the road to lower vision. For a while, things seemed to have stabilized. I have not needed a shot of Avastin in months. My retina scans look great. I was looking forward to staying stable. Hearing that the eye doctor thinks removing the cataract will improve my vision did not fill me with hope. I heard his hesitation when I ask how good my vision will be after the cataract is removed. I understand that there is more than one problem occurring with my eyesight. I keep reminding myself that my corrected vision in my left eye is only 20/400. I feel sad.
So, last night, I did not write a post. I could not deal with my feelings until I had admitted them to myself. Now that I have acknowledged these sad feelings, I can begin to move forward. Yes, it is too bad that my vision has not stabilized. Yes, the future is unknown. Yes, it is normal to feel sad and worried and frustrated. Acknowledging all of this today has been very freeing. I can look at my feelings and accept them and accept myself for having them. And, I can decide that I do not have to let my feelings rule my actions. I can continue to learn to cope with my vision loss. I can continue to believe that, despite vision loss, my life is very wonderful. I can be thankful for the many, many blessings that I have, instead of dwelling on this one area of sadness. I can choose to think about all the good that has come from this journey, the lessons that I have learned that I might not have learned any other way.
And this is positive attitude is the option I choose. Once I acknowledged my feelings and accepted them, I could sense a real change in myself. It was as if a burden had been lifted from me. The world turned from bleak and gray to cheerful and colorful pretty quickly. I really changed my attitude. I even had a wonderful gift. One of my friends from work came to see me. She told me that she has been reading my blog and loves my photos. She told me that she feels inspired (by me) to take a class in photography and start working on her photography. That really made my day. The conversation made me think about the fact that without my vision loss, I would not have known that blind photography existed. I would probably not have started a blog. I would not have inspired my friend. I would not have had people contacting me to say that they missed my post for yesterday. Yes, my vision loss is sad, but it has brought so much joy into my life that the sadness is left behind in the dust. So, thank you to those who wrote me to say they missed my post. And thank you to Kasey who made me reschedule right away for next week. And thank you to Christy who told me that I have inspired her. And, I even have to say, thank you to my eyesight for the many, many wonderful blessings it has brought into my life.