Loss of sight is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can go through. In many cases, whether you have gone blind suddenly or experienced a gradual diminishing of your visual ability, the impact is often similar to bereavement. You can feel angry, depressed and even suicidal as you try to come to terms with it.
Many people find themselves in a state of shock, trying to get on as normal and not fully accept what is happening to them. There can often be panic as you realise there is nothing you can do and you may search frantically for various ‘miracle’ cures that have no scientific basis. You can find yourself getting angry with those around you as you try to adjust to the condition and get over your initial trauma. Many people talk of their sense of loss of control and the deep worries about how they are going to cope in the future.
How you cope with the situation will depend a lot on what type of personality you have and how much support you get. It can be difficult to deal with emotions such as sadness and grief, the anxiety and fear that you won’t be able to function normally in the future. You may have had so many things suddenly taken away from you that it is difficult to adjust – you can no longer play sports like you used to, you can’t see a computer screen or check your mobile phone, you can’t even cook dinner for the family.
All these are perfectly natural responses. There is going to be a period of readjustment but the good news is that there is plenty of help and support out there that can make a big difference.
First of all, check your local area for support groups that help people with visual impairment. You’ll find plenty of help, advice and support here which you should take full advantage of. Members of your family and close friends will also be feeling a little lost about what has happened and support groups can help them to develop ways of providing assistance to you and getting you back on your feet.
Many areas now run sight loss courses that help individuals gain confidence and live with their disability better. They cover practical issues such as managing money and accessing aids for living with a condition such as blindness. You may have to learn some new skills or coping strategies that enable you live a fuller life but there are people out there ready and willing to provide the support you need.
Rebuilding Your Life
It’s important to point out that no one person is the same. One individual might decide to take control and push forward almost immediately, others will need more time to come to terms with their condition. It’s important to acknowledge and accept your own feelings but know that you are still the same person deep down. Pursuing new ways of coping can help empower you and make you feel less isolated and more confident.
Using Assistive Technology
While, learning to cope with being blind is going to take time and effort on your part, the good news is that there is plenty of technology nowadays available to help you around the home and in the office. From talking clocks and colour indicators, there seems to be a gadget for everything. All this can help you be more independent. While some things may not be available to you any more, a large part of the world is still highly accessible.
There’s no doubt that becoming blind is a major upheaval that is difficult to cope with for many. There is, however, more support out there than at any other time and reaching out for it is easy to do. Being blind doesn’t have to mean a prison sentence, you can still work and enjoy life, if in a slightly different way.