Losing my vision was certainly not part of my plan for life, but God had a different plan. And oh what a plan it is. The one thing I see very clearly is the path that led me to where I am today, the Executive Director of the Ensight Skills Center. There were events and people which seemed to give me direction and support every step of the way and continue to today.
I have Stargardt’s Macular Degeneration which started at age 19 and has progressed over the years to legal blindness. Do I consider myself blind? Absolutely not! But I am low vision meaning I have enough remaining vision to function independently using the right tools and techniques learned through low vision rehabilitation. I feel blessed to live the fife I do. Not because I struggle to see, but because I can use my abilities to help others.
Thinking back of course like so many I experienced depression and denial. Anyone else ever say “If I just had the right glasses or doctor I would see just fine”? That was me. What the heck is wrong with these doctors? How hard is it to give me the right glasses? Well eventually we all have to learn to deal with the abilities we have remaining. Assess our strengths and life goals. We can accomplish anything we want in life; we just may have to adapt how we do it.
I am a believer and maybe a dreamer, but I refuse to be limited or defined by other people’s lack of imagination. I will have to say that a key component is support. If we chose to stay home and feel sorry for ourselves and refuse to seek resources and support just because a doctor said “there is nothing more that can be done”, well then “Victim” it is. But if we say “NO! As long as I have a breath I can learn and my life will go on,” then not only will you have a full life you will be an inspiration to others.
The point is you get to choose just like I did.
Victim or Inspiration?