How are you all doing? I have had a great week. I have had a lot of feedback on my blog and things are moving forward with one part of my new career. Things have been very positive, with a few bumps into doors and trips thrown in for good measure but they somehow felt less stressful. I think a positive, happy and encouraged mind is the key to coping with those bumps.
Part of my good mindset at the moment was my recent trip to Alton Towers. Yes, me a blind woman went to Alton Towers and yes I did go on the rollercoasters! I was working it out with the hubby, it has been 25 years since I went to Alton towers, so which of you feels old now! I was 13 and it was a school trip. I didn’t go on any of the big rollercoasters then. I guess I was too scared, like a few things at that age. I didn’t tell anyone and just got on with it. As an adult I visited other amusement parks including Disney Paris and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I never went on the big rollercoasters then either. I guess seeing how high they were and how they rolled upside-down, that put me off. I also think a lifetime of people telling me I couldn’t do certain things because of my sighting that it may cause damage to my eyes was an underlying factor. I never really recognised that this was a thing until now.
Well, now what do I have to lose! I made a promise to myself after losing my sight that I wouldn’t miss out on things and creating memories. I do look back often on things and wish I got around to doing that project or visiting that place. Feeling disappointed I will never get the chance to see any of those things again. I decided stuff it! Even if I don’t get to see them I will get to experience them. All the good and the bad, because that is what it comes down to is the memories. Memories are experiences you have. You never see that thing you done or saw again when you are sat at home remembering. You visualise it in your mind and that is what I can do. For example, my trip to Bali, even though I didn’t physically see the beach and my friends sat in the beach bar over looking the sea, I remember it like I saw it.
Back to the rollercoasters, I am not going to lie to you I was so nervous. My hands were sweating my knees wobbly but I knew I had my amazing fella and great friends around me so I knew I was going to be fine. I thing the nerves were more to do with my age than my lack of sight. The first ride we went on was the Nemesis. This ride has you sat and strapped in over your head with your legs dangling free. Steve guided me into the seat, helped me strap in and held my hand. The floor droped away and zoom, we were off! At this point I was scared but thought there is nothing I can do about it now, it is happening! Zoom, twirl, loop at what felt like one hundred miles an hour but was only a mere 49 miles an hour. We were going left, right and then I felt it we were going upside down. I knew it was that as I felt my tummy turn upside down and my legs kind of floated upwards. But as soon as I realised we were upside down we were straight again and then a second loop then it was over. That first ride felt like forever but it actually lasted one minute twenty seconds. We came back into the station and after screaming my head off with exhilaration my throat was so dry. The harnesses lifted and we moved of the seats. My legs were like jelly and my hands shaking with the amount of adrenaline pumping through my body. We got out of the ride and I was feeling so ecstatic. I felt so empowered and so strong. That was it, over and then we were off to the next ride for the next adrenaline rush.
Since losing my sight I have experienced two different kinds of adrenaline rush. A good one and a bad one. The good one is from the above plus some other more adult situations and the bad is from accidents, including my eye accidents. I recently missed my footing on the ramp in our back garden that leads to the grass. I know it is there and I have walked down it a million times. I am not sure maybe this day I was distracted and went off the side of it landing in decorative stone and plant pots. A friend was with me so I jumped up quick as not to worry her and out of embarrassment. At first I felt fine but within seconds I started to go dizzy and I felt cold. My friend grabbed a seat and I felt like the blood was draining from me. I went from cold to really hot and my body felt limp. I had experienced this before but on a higher level when I had my accident that resulted in the loss of my eye. This time I guess I was a little more aware of the effect on my body. I was fine within five minutes I had water, a wet flannel and took deep breaths This was actual shock! When in shock adrenaline is pumped through the body causing these effects. The similarities with the rollercoaster are the adrenaline was pumping and I felt light headed and wobbly. The differences were that I was happy and not sad and worried. I find it fascinating how the body and mind work together, even when it produces some of the same effects the outcome can be different depending on the mind.
I guess what I am trying to get at is that the more we experience mindful things and just how we relate it back to the body. When we have a bad experience, the mind will remember the good and that will in turn help you to deal with the bad better. I will continue to face my fears because in doing so I will gather more good association with the outcome.
I will continue to create memories even if I can’t see as all these memories are stored for when the bad happens to help me through. I want to rewrite my coping mechanisms and this is a way I have found works for me. I am not suggesting everyone takes to a rollercoaster, although you might surprise yourself if you do! I am simply saying that allowing yourself to experience more challenging things helps you to create resilience and builds sturdy supports for when those bad times come.
Laughter is known to be a great medicine and we laughed so much in Alton Towers so surely it has to be a good thing? I created memories with my family and friends that will stay with me and in my sight forever. I enjoyed myself so much and felt empowered, included and stronger for allowing myself to take part, despite my fears.
So why not allow yourself to have a go.
All of these thoughts are my own and I don’t want to impose on anyone. I hope you enjoyed my musings and please take care and be kind to yourself.