I have been writing my blog for almost a year now. My first post was on March 19, 2010. I started my blog as a way for family and friends to understand what was happening with my vision. I thought that, if I kept it updated, people would not have to ask me to explain the different procedures I was going through. I hoped that by writing down my thoughts and feelings, I would better understand where this low vision journey was leading me. I decided, right from the beginning, that my blog was going to be positive. Even if I was writing about a struggle, I would try to find some good in the situation. I hoped to inspire myself and others to look for God’s grace in the world. I hoped that this blog could help people.
I have written a post almost every day since I began. I have missed a handful of days, but for the most part, I write something every day. Some evenings, as I sit in front of my computer, I do not know what to write about. I wonder whether the world needs more words, whether I am being self-centered to think that my story can help anyone. Usually, though, I have a starting point and the words just tumble out of my fingers onto the keyboard. I write about my daily life, the joys and struggles that come from trying to make the best of this low-vision journey. I write about my experiences and the ways I try to keep growing and learning, even as my vision deteriorates. The discipline of writing every day has been good for me. I have learned so much about myself and I have grown so much, as my words have appeared from deep inside me.
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition. – Graham Greene
This quote has never been more true than for me with my blog. I don’t know how I would have made it through all of the ups and downs of the past year without processing everything by writing. It helps that I set out with a bit of a mission. I wanted my blog to be both honest and positive. So, I write about what is really going on in my life. But, no matter how a post begins, I force myself to find something positive to write by the end. Sometimes I sit for a long time, thinking about a blessing that might come out of a struggle or an experience. I try to accept all of my feelings, happy or sad, angry, frustrated or elated, but I try not to allow my actions to be ruled by those feelings. In my writing, I can observe my spontaneous reactions and learn from them. I understand myself so much better now than I did a year ago. I also am beginning to be able to see a bigger picture. It gives me so much hope to think that there IS a bigger picture.
Because I have grown to love writing about finding grace in action in the world, I now take a lot more time to look for grace and beauty. I enjoy unexpected blessings so much now. I try to see the blessing inside the cloud. While this is not always possible in the short term, I keep looking for the hidden blessings as time passes. It amazes me to look back over my life and see how each step has led me to a particular point.
This blog has brought me into relationship with people from all over the world. I hear from people with vision loss, some who are just beginning their journey and others who are much more comfortable with low vision than I am. I hear from people who enjoy photography and music and quotes and scripture. Some people comment once and then I never hear from them again. Others become faithful commenters, encouraging me (and even challenging me) every step of the way. I recently had the experience of meeting a woman who said “Oh, Belinda Brasley, the blogger.” It turns out that she subscribes to my blog. This gave me a strange but wonderful feeling. People tell me all the time that something that I wrote was meaningful for them. That never fails to make my day. Still, I must admit, I would continue to write this blog even if no one read it. It has been so good for me, so therapeutic, so transformative. Writing has become my lifeline, my way of making sense of the world. It has truly become the way I “escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in” my transition to vision. I have come to a place where I love, embrace, and rejoice each part of my life. I have my moments of fear and self-pity, but always, I can see better days shining through.