What Global Warming Can Show You About Change and Life With Low Vision

Paper cutouts holding letters saying Dont Panic
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If you are new to vision loss and dealing with fear and confusion, please be reassured. It is not the end of your world but an opportunity to turn things around.

With the recent world focus on the historic climate change agreement held in Paris, it is striking to realise how we can compare our special personal life-challenge with that of global warming.

It might help you to see the similarities between a call for action for our planet and what you may be experiencing when the diagnosis of pending blindness is threatening your future.

Both alarming situations have the potential to push us over our threshold of comfort. Where once life seemed predictable, losing your eyesight can trigger many changes which seem irreversible and  can impact your life in terrifying ways.

The message here is … Don’t panic!

Like people seeking to work toward building a more sustainable and greener economy , you can personally take action to avoid throwing away all thoughts of a meaningful future.

It is all about developing strategies that aid you to move forward in a critical time in your personal evolution.

First, let’s take a look at what Naomi Klein (renowned world speaker and author) says about climate change. “When it comes to climate change, the trick is recognizing that the best cure for the terror caused by an un-liveable future is the real prospect that we could build something much better than many of us have previously dared hope.”

I find this inspiring because when you delve into her sentiment here, she reveals something very special.

The ability to recognize the ‘terrible threat’ while seeing the opportunity to move ahead on a green energy path.

6 Life-Strategies to Turn Low Vision into an Action Plan for Personal Sustainability

1: Move out of Denial When Everything Changes

It is extremely confronting to admit you might be losing your vision.

Rather than seek help, it is quite common for most people to go into a phase of denial. I know I certainly did at seventeen; it just wasn’t a cool image I wanted to embrace.

It is easier to look away rather than confront the terror of the unknown because Fear makes us feel vulnerable in times of great change. But if you can  see it is denial stopping your evolution, dealing with the ‘crisis of going blind’ will change everything.

2: Adjusting to Change is the ‘Trick’

People are all different and the ways in which we come to accept the newness of this life-challenge with low vision will vary too. The best approach, however, is to confide in someone. Tell a close friend, a loved one, work colleague or better still, a person who works in the field of Orientation and Mobility (O&M).

By sharing your fears and concerns, you  begin the process of adjustment.

 3: Becoming Aware of Options

By allowing yourself to be open to others who care and want to contribute to your survival with low vision, you begin to realize you are not alone on this path to adjusting.

There are always options, even if they seem dim at first.

You don’t have to like it or accept your inevitable life-style change but if you know what options are available, like developing new skills and training the other senses, you reduce the risk of personal catastrophe.

4: Mindset Turns Your Life Around

Losing your vision is not just a physical reality but it will also affect your thoughts, attitudes, perceptions  and challenge your outlook – on a daily basis.

Take heart. “The best cure for the terror caused by an unliveable future” (Naomi Klein) is to dare to believe in yourself again. Harness your mind and set it to a new way of thinking. Build on one positive thought per day and you will build your future with increasing hope for the possible.

5: New Skills in the Face of Change

Confidence will grow day by day, seeing just how adaptable you have become on this journey towards vision loss. If you find yourself sliding back down the slippery slope of doubt and frustration, remember it is OK to feel these emotions too.

The main thing is not to be merely a spectator watching the change coming but a person who can take action. Never give up, or be put off doing, those things that will serve you best.

6: Trust Your Plan & Future with Low Vision

Finally, as nations of the world prepare a plan for future generations to survive the effects of global warming, you can also adopt a personal plan to mobilize your present situation. Start by living effectively and trusting you can have a rewarding future as sight fades.

Living with low vision may not be the life-style you were expecting but taking a positive stand for your future, well, this changes everything!

Naomi Klein’s book 'This Changes Everything'

New Edition of  Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home after Vision Loss

By Maureen Duffy

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