Life is too precious to waste feeling sorry for yourself or fearing what nightmares may be waiting ahead of you on life’s journey so you have to change your outlook.
You wake up on a Monday morning. What is the first thought that comes to your mind?
When first diagnosed with visual impairment it is almost certain that your mind was tormented by not just what has happened but the damage it will cause to your future. Everyone around you feels sorry for your restricted vision, the loss of your sight, but few have a clue about the emotional trauma you are facing. From my experience this holds true for the doctors and consultants that are in charge of us. They seem incapable of understanding that our sight loss is only part of our problem, and our feelings, the emotional trauma we experience is probably the most damaging thing we need to deal with.
Everyone’s outlook on life is different. Different outlooks lead to different journeys, goals and dreams for life. You are the one in control of your outlook, and no matter how dim your vision may be, your outlook needs to be crystal clear, positive and believing that you can still live a great life.
You can be positive or negative. Excited or fearful. Full of doom and gloom or excited about what you can go on to be, do and have unstopped by simply losing much of your eye sight.
It’s time you break through those barriers holding you back, overcome the obstacles standing in your way and resolve all the conflicts you’re facing, so you can succeed in your personal and professional life when faced with visual impairment. Yes it may well have knocked you back, but I assure you that you can still do so much afterwards.
The most important message I feel compelled to deliver is that to enjoy a life of success and happiness you have to open your mind to the multitude of possibilities and opportunities still available to you after visual impairment, instead of focusing on the limitations it brings.
The moment I realized my vision loss was permanent, I understandably sank into a deep, dark, lonely and seemingly endless depression. I thought losing so much of my sight meant I would never have or experience all the things I wanted for my future. All I could feel was how handicapped I was, and how much I’d force others to have to tend for me. I didn’t want to be a nuisance to them. Without my vision and the things I now couldn’t do, I thought, what’s the point of life? I didn’t just lose my sight, I lost all hope and vision of a future. I disengaged from everything− family, friends, work, my hobbies−everything.
Perhaps you feel this way at times, right now. Well I want to tell you that you don’t have to feel lost or helpless. There is a way to re−engage yourself and go on to create a wonderful life.
On Boxing Day 2014, my emotions spiralled out of control, alone and in my mind abandoned on this special day. The thought went through my mind that I didn’t want to go on. A voice deep within began to echo through the negative torrent in my mind telling me that I had the strength, skills and knowledge to go on and live a life demonstrating what I was capable instead of choosing to lay down and quit it all. We all have this choice. To allow ourselves to reinvent our lives and move away from the feeling of hopelessness we’ve been experiencing or give up.
So you now need to change your outlook. Outlook is how you choose to see yourself, situations, other people and the world. By shifting your outlook, you change your world and how you live in it by grabbing life with both hands and living it as fully and adventurously as possible.
Other than losing your sight, what, if anything, is now truly different about you? I’m not talking about external, physical changes or activities you think you can or cannot do, but you−you, as a person. Think about it and be honest with yourself. What, if anything, is truly different about you? Your health may be ailing in the aftermath but you’re pretty much going to be the same person, and capable of doing so much.
In the early days of visual impairment the emotional effects are often far greater than your inability to see. It’s so common to be down, very down and feeling like life is sort of over. You find yourself isolated staying at home fearful of stepping out of your front door. Many of you will have become more and more depressed, feeling both hopeless and powerless about your situation. Yet there is hope for you and you can take the road of empowerment.
We as visually impaired people certainly find our vision can limit the things we can do. So many things we’ve taken for granted are now so difficult. We have to overcome many obstacles and jump over many more hurdles. Disability isn’t just about making technical changes, or about using a particular assistive technology, but more to do with making internal changes altering our mindset.
We all want a happy life, and we all know that having a positive attitude feels better than a negative one. But for some reason, we are all easily drawn to the negative side. How do we go about to establish a more positive attitude as a daily habit?
Even for someone like me, who thinks about and writes about positivity on an almost daily basis, having a positive attitude is not always easy. Visual impairment for a while pushed me to focus on the bad and ignore the good. The minute I focused on changing, I concentrated on being positive and striving to make every day a joyful experience. That’s all it actually took, making a decision to change, choosing to go from negative to positive. Well together with developing a big vision of my future supported by goals to get me there.
There have been many challenges, yet nothing could now turn me back into the negative spiral that nearly took me to the end. You all can transform your outlook from negative to a more positive one. No longer allow yourself to focus on the negative. Nothing good can come of telling yourself that your visual impairment will stop you from living a meaningful, happy and successful life.
Make this the moment you decide to begin your recovery from the emotional and mental trauma that you suffered from when you first lost sight or became partially sighted. This first step will require great effort, & won’t be easy. But soon you will see change happening to your life, positive change. Know that if you don’t change your outlook, making this one of your priority goals, you will stay where you don’t want to be.
Your change in outlook will enable you to turn your life around and go on to make not just a full recovery but make the most of your life. This one goal will motivate you, enhancing your self-worth and confidence, giving you the belief that you can aspire to better, much better things.
Life changes are often scary and the question “Where do I start?” normally draws a blank. Well the answer for you is simple – change your outlook.