Life is full of challenges and trying moments, but it is how one encounters those trying moments that will determine the impact it has on ones’ future. The loss of a person’s eyesight can cause them to experience a variety of emotions such as: fear, frustration, sadness, anger, devastation, etc. But most importantly there is that enormous sense of loss of what was once there and the longing to have it again. Like any other loss or major life transition, a person who is blind might go through the grief process as they learn to adapt to their new situation. The grief process is comprised of five stages which are shock/denial, sadness/anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. A person might not experience all of these stages and they may appear over and over throughout a lifetime.
I can honestly say that I grieved over the loss of my eyesight by experiencing shock, sadness, and eventually, acceptance. What helped me to cope with my situation, was knowing that I could express my feelings to my family and have them listen. However, although my family listened to me with a compassionate ear, they enabled me not to feel sorry for myself. Over time, I accepted the reality of my situation and began asking myself what am I going to do to overcome the devastation of the change within my life? In my case, the answer was returning back to school. I enjoy learning and being knowledgeable about a variety of issues. In addition, continuing my education and obtaining the goals I set for myself. Enrolling back in college, allowed me to continue on my path of one day being able to help others. Throughout my education, I realized that not only was I learning from the professors, but they were gaining knowledge and experience from me about teaching students who are blind. Many of my professors have told me that I have helped them have a new perspective on teaching and they will carry that on with them in future classes. As a person who is blind, I realized that a lot of my co-workers, friends, peers, and professors have learned a lot from my experiences. For example, one of my friends wanted to hang out with me, but she was hesitant in asking me to go see a movie because she didn’t think it would be fun for me. After my friend had professed her feelings, I told her that I go to movies all of the time and I enjoy going to the theatres. As a matter of fact, I still engage in a lot of the same activities that I once did before; the only difference is in the way I do them. Some activities that I enjoy are listening to audio books, going to the movies, playing computer games, hanging out with family/friends, and going shopping. Whatever your interests are, try to find some alternate ways where you can still enjoy them. It is important to remember that everyone is an individual who copes differently and at different paces. The point is that we all have some inner strength within us, and as my mom always says, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Stevie Wonder once said, “We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.” Everyone has the potential to overcome their obstacles; it’s just finding that inner strength to do so.