It’s been just over 2 years since I lost my remaining useable vision, and although I have accepted what has happened to me, and know that there is nothing medically that the Hospital can do to change it, I still have moments or fleeting thoughts of things I miss from being sighted, and in turn blind but with some useable vision. This isn’t a pity party, or a moment of feeling down, I am just wanting to put my thoughts into writing, and in doing so, expressing that it’s OK to miss what you had, or have moments where you feel; “If I had a bit more sight…” or “I miss being able to see…” letting others know it’s OK to have those thoughts or feelings, as long as you don’t dwell on them. No matter how hard it is, humans are wired to adapt, and not allowing a disability run your life is what is important.
Here is a list of things I miss most about not having sight or useable vision.
Being able to see family/ friends/ meeting new people.
I miss this because I want to see the physical changes in my family: seeing what my nieces’ and Nephews’ look like as they grow older. What my friends’ look like on their wedding day, and see them beaming with happiness on their special day.
I loved colours, the brighter the better. I miss it especially when i’m shopping as I have to rely on my partner or other people to describe the colour, and preferably the specific shade, so I can then get a better perspective. I still feel like there have been times that I’ve bought something I may not have particularly liked; If I had seen it with my own eyes I would have not chosen that particular item as I didn’t like the specific shade. But as i have to rely on others explanations, if they say the colour suited me(and I liked the material) then I would buy the item.
I have always adored the colours as you watch The Sun rise or set, and i do think this relates majorly to my love of bright colours. And in the grand scheme of things it’s probably not that important, but strangely, after the list above, it was one of the main things I felt sad about not being able to see again.
As strange as it sounds I miss seeing steps mostly because of the practicality of being safe, as my arthritis is extremely prevalent in my knees and ankles, i’ve always found steps strenuous, and being unsteady on my feet puts that extra bit of strain and stress into my day. Train gaps are probably the things I still stress about, and in some ways i’m glad i’m still vigilant with being on edge, as only a week ago I nearly fell down the gap trying to get onto the train, because a friend tried to hold my hand and get me on, but because I wasn’t ready, and not holding a handle, I couldn’t judge the distance of the gap and my foot went down the gap, thankfully as he was holding my hand I wouldn’t have actually fallen but my heart did jump into my mouth at that point.
I would love to pick up a book and read it, as there is nothing better than to physically hold a book in my opinion, but as my sight had deteriorated quite a lot, I had been using the Kindle App to read books for atleast 2 years before my remaining vision went, and this is where my bug bare starts. Speech cannot discriminate between the words read / read, or wind / wind, and continuously says the word only one way, even when it’s literary meaning is the other one. But most frustratingly and most importantly is that it does not pronounce made up words properly, for example, Harry Potter is one of my most loved book collections, and I refuse to buy them on the Kindle App because VoiceOver/ speech cannot say half of the words properly! Slytherin is pronounced SLYTH There IN.
If you read books using speech you’ll understand my pain!
This probably sounds terrible, but I loved walking through town and watching all the people in their own little worlds’ doing their own thing. People watching in a restaurant or Cafe is particularly enjoyable.
I’m lucky that my partner, and Sister love to people watch so I get audio descriptions of what’s going on around me, but i miss being nosey and see what people are wearing; especially if it’s a woman in her Pyjamas, Ugg Boots and her hair in rollers out in public!
Take off and landing at an Airport:
I loved watching planes come in and taking off when I was in the Airport waiting for my flight, but specifically I loved being on a plane staring out the window, having a birds eye view of what was below me, watching it shrink away the higher and higher we climbed. Landing/ taking off at night was always quite exciting as it was truly pretty seeing the landscape lit up with all the lights, and they always looked liked they were twinkling when you got further away.
Being able to see my food on my plate:
I can pretty much see a blob of contrasting colour on my plate when I eat my dinner, and it is annoying not knowing where food is on my plate. but mostly I despise having to chase the last few bits of food around my plate, I seem to miss it completely, and when I finally win the battle of finding it, I put it on my fork and it just seems to leap back off my fork onto the plate.
Food is a stressor for me, not only because of what i’ve explained above, but because I don’t like to touch my food and make my hands dirty, but because I hate chasing my food knowing people are watching, and i’m the typical blind child making a fool of myself!
Looking at photographs, old, and new. I miss being able to see what my family or friends look like in pictures on FaceBook, but I also really don’t like having my picture taken anymore because i don’t know what I look like, and if i’m looking directly at the camera. I can see the flash but if i’m not looking dead straight, the light can bounce off my eyes and make it look as if I cannot see.. This seemed to happen a lot even before my sight went fully,, and I would look back at the picture always looking slightly off centre,, even when I could see the camera and looked directly at it. So it’s given me a complex about having my photo taken now.
Not knowing where people are in the room:
I do listen out and figure out by the sound of their voice as to where a person is in retrospect to me, but i’m talking more specifically about when they move or try and hand me things. I’ve noticed this particularly in the last 6 months, my Niece is 15 months old, and doesn’t understand I cannot see her, and i can’t judge where she is if she doesn’t make a noise. She’s at a stage where she likes to share everything with you, and tries to hand me/ feed me food, and has managed to poke me in the eye or face as she’s doing so. Which can be quite uncomfortable as well as a shock if i’m not expecting it. I don’t want to stop interacting with her or not share with her, but as she isn’t fully talking she isn’t giving me a verbal cue, and therefore giving me time to react and interact.
So there we have it, the things I miss most about being sighted. As I said previously this isn’t a “down day” but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there, to let others know it’s completely acceptable to miss the little things that matter to you as an individual. I am also very fortunate that I have an extremely supportive network of family and friends, and although I miss these things, I know I’m blessed that I have their love kindness, and understanding, better yet, they laugh along with me when I make a blind faux par, and don’t make me feel uncomfortable about making mistakes.
I also know that in this day and age blind people are extremely lucky that we have access to brilliant technology, peer support groups, and public general knowledge so it makes our lives run a little more smoothly.
Although I have put these down as things I miss, in the grand scheme of my life they are of little significance and not something I dwell on. I’m extremely grateful for what, and, who I have in my life, and in a lot of ways I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without going through the trials and tribulations of having a disability.
If you have anything you’d like to share, things you miss due to having a disability, write below, i’d love to read them 🙂
Thank you for reading you lovely lot!
Much Love, Sassy x