How are you? I am doing well and wanted to share with you my achievements this last week. Those of you who have been following my blog know that I have been having rehab sessions with the sensory team in Manchester. The sensory team are made up of rehabilitation officers and low vision workers. When a person’s sight begins to deteriorates or they lose their sight completely then there second port of call would be a referral through social services to the sensory team. I say second port of call because making a referral is a personal thing and can only be taken on when that person is ready. When they have come to terms on a level with their sight loss because rehabilitation is an acceptance of wanting to move forward and regain some independence. It took me about 18 months to reach the point when I felt confident enough to start this process but it was worth the wait because I believe if you rush the decision, it will take longer and will be harder to face. I haven’t looked back!
When you start a referral, you have an initial assessment and a meeting with your rehabilitation officer. They come out and have a chat to see where you are up too and what you want from them. They assess your living skills and talk about what you want to achieve. I already had a lot of living skills from being visually impaired, things like how to cook safely, how to organise and navigate the home. Yes, it was a little different with having no sight now but the foundations were there so that part was not as time consuming or as scary. My focus was on getting out and about independently. I missed going for a coffee and shopping alone and wanted to do it again. I mean I know I can never shop totally independently again as even I go alone I would need to ask someone for support but I am okay with that. I have learnt that humanity is surprisingly nice.
Focusing on my mobility training we started with choosing three routes. One was the school run because I wanted to do this alone again. The second was the walk to my yoga class and the third was to walk to my mum’s ironing shop to have a brew. Nearly 18 months on I have the school run down to a tea and on Wednesday 19th May I completed the walk to my yoga class for the first time alone. Let me say it was a scary yet exhilarating journey. There were a few times before leaving that I had doubts in my mind and I tried to talk myself out of it. With the concerns from family about my safety, let me tell you that didn’t help much. I decided though that I was going to do it and talked with my inner critic and came to an agreement. I had a meditation about half hour before I left. This helped to clear my mind and to connect with my senses to help me create more awareness of my surroundings. This is because if the mind is chattering away with the ego and concerns, my focus is not on the job in hand and that can be dangerous.
Losing my sight has taught me to live in the present moment because losing my sight has definitely helped me to connect with my inner self. It has introduced me to meditation and open my connection with my body. I have learnt that the path to healing is to work on the things we have faced, what they mean and finally accept them as part of us. Sharing, talking and acceptance have been my three tools to living with the changes that have faced me, past, present and for the future.
So, thank you for allowing me the space to do this and share my journey with all you lovely people.
The next time you face a challenge whatever that may be, share it with your friend, family or neighbour. Just share it and allow the power of acceptance to help you move forward.