Leave Me To My Pity Party

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Leave Me To My Pity Party

Today’s post is aptly named leave me to my pity party. When I was first diagnosed as being visually impaired this was the only party I wanted to go to.

When you first try to recover from illness or the early days of a disability the whole world is upside down and you believe life will never be the same again and you expect to be miserable from now on fighting your illness or disability.

Coming to terms with any illness is not easy and can take a long time. We will go through the grieving process and have to get to the point of acceptance before we truly can adapt to our new circumstances. But adapt we can no matter how hard it will be.

For a time everything seems to be falling apart. All kinds of scenarios may come up; you might no longer be in a position to support your family financially, you could lose your job, simply your dreams are falling apart. How long this ‘pity party’ lasts is down to you.

If you show resilience and determination to recover to learn how best to adjust you will, if you surrender to your difficulties you will struggle for ever more. Look I know how difficult it is, for you things may be far worse than they were for me. But what I do know is we owe it to ourselves to refuse to give up and fight with everything we have to make the best ‘of what we’ve got.’

This is the hardest time and naturally you will be down about it, yet with a few changes you might still be able to live your life to the full. For you to recover you have to believe it is possible to do so. If you are only thinking negatively then you simply can’t.
I was reading a blog post that was the result of its author being brought to anger by something she had read.

Anger is a very self-debilitating emotion. Anyone who has been through the grieving process will know all about it. They’ll also know that it brings no benefits.

For way too long after my initial retinal detachment and its consequences on my health, I let everything get the better of me and I just wanted everybody to leave me alone to my pity party. In my mind I was entitled to feel sorry for myself and the things I had lost. To be angry with the world, my doctors, family and friends.

Crazy really how badly my life was affected when at that stage I’d only lost partial sight in my right eye. It was another few years until my next detachment and loss of almost all its vision. But by then I’d learnt how to cope.

The amazing thing is that for many of us it’s not the level of our disability. I know many who had a lot worse condition than me some total blindness yet they coped so much better and so much quicker.

Let me explain. The day will come where we wake up to how we are being and at that point we have to make a decision. Do we kept ourselves going on struggling, winging, destroying our lives and our future or now do we fight back. That’s what determines what’s next in our lives.
Yes life’s unfair. It has now become so difficult. We have every right to surrender to what has happened. But what will the end result be. More misery. More difficulties.

I read a remark the other day in a Facebook group that questioned the advice that visually impaired people should be positive. It continues that such advise shows ignorance of what it is like in our lives.

In a way she’s right. How can you stay positive when you face so many difficulties, such as:

  • Not able to leave your house.
  • Not able to get the resources needed to support you.
  • Abandoned by your family and friends.
  • Forced to quit work.
  • Unable to get a job.
  • Can’t afford technological adaptations would be able to support you.
  • Difficulty with mobility and travel.
  • Don’t let’s forget personal hygiene. Even now I struggle with showering and shaving. My toe nails would put a lion claws to shame. Then there is trying to hit the target when standing at the urinal. Oh the shame.
  • That brings me to another difficult area. Keeping your house clean when you have badly restricted eyesight. There’s a battle I’m struggling with.
  • Of course there’s cooking and the things it involves. Chopping up vegetables is always fun, seeing if your meat is fully cooked. I’ve written before about how pouring water from the kettle at one stage nearly made me give up my fight. I’m still often missing my cup or burning my hand.

I also appreciate everyone of these becomes even more difficult the less eyesight you have. Yet here I am telling everyone to be positive and brave.

My mind interprets some of what I read as though I should apologise to fully sighted people for being a hindrance to them. Apologise to the blind that I’ve retained some vision and to the visually impaired…

I believe I have something to share with others like me who are visually impaired. I say we can cope and positivity is a dam site better than living life sad and depressed. And I’ll apologise to nobody that I not only believe I can cope with the things I was forced to accept but I can help others to do the same.

Thinking positively is no easy matter but it is important to be enthusiastic about life again. There are only two choices for you to make. You can stay depressed and complain about your problems for the rest of your life or you have the option of trying to make most of your life even with all your limitations.

Do I really want to live a life where everyone feels sorry for me? No I dont. Where I’m reliant on others? No I don’t. Where my future will be empty of my possibilities or opportunities? No I don’t. Can I find solutions for myself? Well I’ll dam well try and try again till I succeed.

Do I want to be negative and sad all my life? No I bloody don’t.

Let me assure all of you that there are many stories of blind people who have created fulfilling and successful lives. Don’t let anyone tell you there aren’t.

Any hardship in life is difficult to cope with. You wouldn’t wish sight loss on anybody. But one of my usual sayings is: “What’s happened has happened.”

For me when my eye sight significantly diminished after my second retinal detachment having gone through my period of grieving I wanted to take the road to recovery. To do this as I said earlier you need to be brave and positive. Know the journey won’t be easy but be positive that you will get through.

To me every problem has to have a solution. And no matter how difficult it is we have to find what that is for us.

I know there are people who are in a far worse place than I am. Others in a far better place. What I’m hoping to find is there are many in the visual impairment world who I can help and others who can help me. We are part of a community and you either we should very seeking to bring hope belief and yes positivity to each other.

Whether born fully blind or becoming visually impaired in later life we all have something to contribute. We all have battles to face too. And I believe positivity helps us to get through successfully.

Anyone who thinks life can be nothing but a struggle with visual impairment I suggest you read the story of Helen Keller.

Was she exceptional? Of course she was.

Does she show us possibilities? Dam right she does.

Helen Keller was able to overcome her disabilities, inspiring millions that they too could overcome obstacles in their lives. She dedicated her life advocating change for people with disabilities, proving that they were also equal human beings.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”

Turn your back on a pity party and let your positivity build.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.

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