5 Mistakes People Make as a Rookie with Low Vision

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Being at the beginning phase of a major life challenge such as losing your eyesight, and not knowing how to cope with the changes this will bring, can make you feel like a helpless rookie.

Where you were once confident with full vision, now you are unprepared and require retraining like a recruit who has been given orders to enter a foreign land.

But here’s the drill: a lot of what you might fear in the beginning phase is not necessarily going to come up for you to tackle.

For example, living with low vision doesn’t mean:

  •  You will lose your sense of independence altogether
  •  Your life will collapse into a dark abyss
  •  You will find it impossible to retain a positive outlook on life
  •  You will have to let go of career ambitions and personal aspirations

As a rookie, however, you may believe all these things are natural aspects that come with the territory of losing eyesight.

If you are caught up in any of the following belief patterns, identifying where you may be faltering will help you to take the next necessary step forward.

The top five mistakes you might be making as a rookie with low vision:

1. Thinking the Worst & Giving Up Before You Have Begun

It’s a natural reaction to want to throw your hands up in the air and surrender every aspect of your life to the agonizing concept of going blind – but nothing is ever gained by giving up hope and losing sight of your future.

What it does mean is that you are at the beginning phase of a challenge you weren’t expecting to tackle. In fact, it is totally possible to learn other skills that will strengthen your resolve to thrive within the new physical limitations of having low vision.

2. Staying Stuck as a Victim  

If you find yourself reacting in anger or feel depressed and stuck in the groove of being a victim to your circumstance, the fear and frustration you experience is most probably triggering deep feelings of injustice.

The important thing to remember as a rookie is to turn to those who know the territory. Read stories of those who have learned to maneuver around potential ‘landmines’ that could have blown their hopes of living a meaningful life sky high.

3. Too Proud To Tell Anyone

Having a physical disability of any kind is a difficult truth to admit.

You might be one of those rookies who do an amazing job of hiding your visual impairment from others by bluffing your way around…for a while.

It can often seem less complicated and far less embarrassing to explain to others that you are a clumsy person rather than admit you can’t see properly.

But putting off dealing with the reality of your situation can be dangerous. When others are not aware of your vision loss, you experience more episodes of being verbally abused and it creates confusion that may lead to awkward misunderstandings. Worse still, your refusal to accept vision loss can lead to unnecessary accidents.

One of the best things to do at the early phase is to reach out to someone you trust.

Give up self-pride to adopt self-worth. Talking enables you to express your concerns and to see that asking for assistance is a sign of personal strength, not a human weakness.

4. Letting Others Do Too Much For You

As a rookie with low vision, it is wonderful to have the support and care of your family. This allows you time to recuperate emotionally, for healing and thinking more clearly.

But for everyone’s sake, if you don’t keep a healthy balance and allow your loved ones to do too much for you, you set up an exhausting situation of total co-dependency.

So, when you are ready, reset your mind to retrain in areas of your life that really matter, such as developing daily living skills, learning independent techniques and taking an online course in technology for the blind and visually-impaired. Empower your way forward!

5. Fear of the Stigma

There is no doubt that it does take a huge amount of courage to fight the stigma attached to being seen as disabled when every other part of you is still that of a ‘normal’ person.

What you will discover, however, is that when you can accept your limitations as a rookie with low vision, you step out with courage you never thought possible. What you receive in return for your boldness is admiration and well wishes – not judgment and criticism.

Once you are willing to let go of the stigma based on self-doubt, you’ll experience something remarkable: envisaging a pathway forward. Your life opens up to a whole new perspective and with each small step, you discard another myth as to what it really means to be a person with low vision.

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