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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Habits of Mind and Body



How is it that I can fall so easily out of the habit of writing? Imprecise. Out of the habit of blogging? I get stumped on the question of how to handle a topic uppermost in my mind. I get caught up in the idea of providing entertaining offerings. I get out of many habits, including contacting friends and frustrated by trying to communicate with some family. So I retreat to my own little world, mope a bit, then remember how much more fun it is to chatter away and gab back and forth.

I am home from a most revealing two months spent finding new ways to live with being functionally blind. This has gone exceedingly well for me. I shut my eyes, protect myself from the pain of over exposure to light, and in a relatively short time, my energy levels go up, my depression subsides, my capacity for work and my overall productivity shoot WAY up, and my confidence climbs. I can be much happier and more successful functioning as a blind person than struggling to use the sight I had despite the pain I was in.

It seems like common sense now, but honestly, a person doesn't make these choices unless she's up against a wall. No one chooses to shut their eyes unless they cannot live a good life while trying to see.

Dealing with the reactions of other people has proven to take the most energy. I've many excellent supporters, both friends and family. But explaining to people what is happening, what has happened, can be draining. For many, it's not something they can grasp -- they look to me to explain what I don't really think can be explained unless you've had to make similar choices. I can still open my eyes, see my niece and nephew and watch their faces as they discover the world. But for work -- using the software that describes everything at high speed so I can keep the monitor turned off is far preferable to the headaches and constant exhaustion I've known for more than a decade.

Hope. I have hope, and joy, and they are much easier to touch when not fogged by pain or clouded by doubt about whether there is any way to get through the mountain of each day with my eyes open. With my eyes closed -- a habit of mind and body to be acquired -- I have no trouble seeing either. They are tangible, vivid things, with my eyes closed.

2 comments:

Kristin said...

Glad to see you writing again!

KnitNana said...

Ah, Shelob, I have missed you much! Such a simple thing, huh? Closing one's eyes? Had I thought of it? No. Once again you teach me just what I need, so desperately, when I need it. Like turning down the lights around my monitor... You think, "I can't see, more light, more light..." but that's not what you really need... Like turning down the volume when the radio "noise" gets too much, it's music, how can it be distracting? But, of course, silence is least distracting...

Now, don't disappear, and write soon, okay? Need ya, pal!
(((hugs)))