4 Warning Signs You Are Blocking Your Own Progress With Vision Loss

Horse refusing to jump
Jean Frooms/Getty Images

It’s natural to feel uncertain when you are coping with a visual impairment but you may also be blocking your own progress and making life harder than it need be.

In a previous article, 5 Mistakes People Make as a Rookie with Low Vision, I shared some thoughts on how people can:

  • Think the worst and give up before they have begun
  • Stay stuck and feel victimized by the situation
  • Be too proud to tell anyone their sight is failing
  • Allow others to do too much for them
  • Be afraid of the stigma surrounding vision loss

If you want to feel in control of life even as your sight gets worse, you can!

To continue living a life with a sense of personal empowerment, it helps to identify the ways in which you may be barring your way forward so you can jump over those ‘hurdles’ and see clearly in order to take a different approach to life with low vision.

Here are 4 more attitudes which could be hindering your progress.

1: Believing You Are Too Old To Learn New Skills

You have most probably heard the saying, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, but indeed you can. It is more a matter of will power and how much a person wants to attain a particular goal than their age or physical disability.

The exciting tool most people can access is the Internet, where a wide variety of courses, support groups and training programs nationwide are awaiting your perusal.

Knowing it is not age but a matter of will, the active repetition of doing a task is the number one key to boosting your self-confidence.

2: Putting Your Passions To One Side

If your eyesight is getting worse and you feel you have to put your life passions to one side, let me assure you that having low vision is a time to consider your alternatives.

For example, if you are passionate about cycling, then why not become a member of a tandem bike club and get involved with social events with other passionate cyclists?

Perhaps you love walking or skiing. Many people who are blind or visually impaired practice these outdoor activities too. One such person is Mary Highland, who shares an informative account of Ski for Light, A Thrilling Experience. Once you read her inspiring story, it will be hard not to fill out the application form for next winter’s event!

3: Losing Your Sense of Humor

Losing your eyesight isn’t funny.  It’s an ongoing challenge to adapt, adjust and accept the different ways things are done with and without sight.

But, retaining your sense of humor is paramount to help you cope with those times when you are feeling deep indignation, frustration and even rage. Try not to let life upset you so much that you leave behind the soothing world of humor.

When something is too ridiculous to cry about, I allow myself to laugh and retell my story of woe to my friends in such a way that, after the event, we can laugh at it together.

4: Being Too Independent and Refusing Help

I believe there is a subtle difference between being stubborn and being determined.

Refusing help from others when you are struggling emotionally or physically with vision loss makes the suffering worse. Being determined to solve a problem by yourself, however, can boost a sense of confidence and independence.

If having low vision is your reality now, it is good to know that your friends, loved ones and work colleagues probably want to understand exactly how they can help you. Let them know and accept their assistance from a sense of your own inner strength.

Recognize those times when you can lean on another in order to gain more independence.

One final recommendation I would like to share with you if you are new to vision loss and want to move past your perceived barriers is: seek support from a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT).

These professionals can not only offer emotional support for you and your family but can also suggest resources to aid your continued independent living.

Whatever aspect of your life you want to continue to enjoy, there are many support groups waiting to offer their tried and tested methods of successfully coping with a visual impairment.

Being the novice with low vision is not being on the losing side of life – it is all about helping the rookie within, to gain a sense of victory by taking small steps of action in ways that suit your comfort level.

Continue Reading