Redefining Ourselves After Vision Loss, Living Our Stories

Try hard as we might in everyday life and we find no one can truly be like Clark Kent ducking into the phone booth and emerging seconds later clothed in a cape marked by the famous red S. Sure, people who see someone who’s blind walking down the street by themselves with cane in hand may view a nearly “finished product.” A spouse or parent anticipates the moment their blind son or friend comes into an airport’s baggage claims room following their new guide dog in supposedly perfect alignment. No, that new guide dog user isn’t Superman either. Bonding has just begun and will take up to a year to solidify.

The same thing is true when it comes to getting a grip on being blind or having low-vision. It takes redefining yourself, finding new goals and job or picking up previous work with new techniques and accommodations. Over time we will be able to explain how we adapt to new situations-a different office than where we worked before, why our income may be fixed instead of fluid if we have become unable to work. Friends and family who know us well and don’t put the world-beater sleepshades over their own eyes will recognize that redefining our lives takes time. Learning braille may come more quickly for some while navigating the internet may happen fast for others, particularly if you attend a VA unit helping blinded servicemen get back on their feet after being injured in combat.

On a recent edition of the Hadley School’s Coming To Grips With Vision Loss, we learn about Cara. She was an artist before going blind. It had been a hobby for her. The irony happened for her that when going blind, she began a more focused approach to doing her artwork so that it became a major part of her career. Listen to her story. And you might check out a couple other bios linked afterward. Of course, I make this disclaimer: We don’t have to achieve the top of the mountain in our field when blind or sighted to to maintain a positive sense of self-worth. We are all blessed with differing gifts and abilities, especially when it comes to the hobbies we pursue. Still stories like the following show how we everyday, average folks can be inspired to redefine our livelihood being blind.

So check out Cara’s story here. Also, read about Mike Armstrong’s journey to becoming a talented musician and mountain climber. For a fuller treatment of vision loss from start to total blindness, read a description of Erik Weihenmeir’s book, Touch The Top Of The World.
Being boldly blind, we do navigate those contours as we come to grips with vision loss.

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