I tell myself that serenity is not determined by how much I see. I tell myself to forge ahead, keep the faith, shine a light. I tell myself that, even if my eyesight doesn’t improve, my patience and tolerance will, my acceptance will. I tell myself this beautiful lie, this lie that things get easier. Right here, right now, my bitter truth about blindness is that things are getting harder.
I write what I see and I write what I feel. I’ve written funny stories about planting pansies upside down and serious stories about finding acceptance. I’ve written honest stories born from despair and rejected by publishers because they failed to reflect the triumph of the spirit in the face of a disability. Yet I honor these last for being authentic and for their power to connect with people who struggle. Not every song in the concert can be “The Wheels on the Bus.” For every “Hallelujah Chorus” there is a “Requiem,” just as, in life, birth and death are necessary and inevitable.
Back in my formative years, I assumed my training as a social worker would steer me toward the fast lane through my personal stages of grief. I would race to the finish line of acceptance, with denial and anger only a blemish in my rear view mirror. Silly me. At this stage, I accept only that recovery from loss is a process. Anger is a natural and necessary phase of that process of victims becoming survivors. To deny or suppress that anger is to reject reality and derail what must and will occur.
This is the dark side of blindness. It will pass. I’ll again see the humor, even when the joke’s on me. I’ll value the irony of unintended outcomes. I’ll accept that grief is not a linear process but one that doubles back on me. I’ll get out of myself and gain perspective. But, for now, it’s all I see. And I’m tired of its tyranny.