Blindness, Anxiety, and Humor
I am going to tell you part of my plan for being blind, going blind, and fully embracing life as it is. I was actually accused of being a "Pollyanna" by my older sister who was also blind. She would always say to me, “Now Mary Ellen, you are just not being realistic to think that you can keep doing that.” She might be referring to continuing to wear mascara as my vision diminished, or continuing to cook for my family. It used to infuriate me because I had no intention of ever stopping anything I wanted to do. My sister died two years ago, and I think she was just worn out with living with her regrets of what she might have become if she could have see. She was a creative, incredibly intelligent person, and I admired her greatly. She had so much to offer but the frustration of living in a sighted world in a time when technology was not nearly as advanced as it is now wore her down. I have lost much more vision in the past two years, and I have no judgments any longer. I get tired too.
It has become clear to me that I must create for myself a lifestyle that is sustainable for me and my personality type. I am a sensitive, and a natural introvert. I enjoy my own company more than anyone else I know. This is fortunate for me because I spend the vast majority of my time alone.
Here comes the anxiety part. Being out in the world as a blind person is tough for me. I am vain and self conscious, and I do not like thinking that I have dog hair all over me or seem awkward and unsure. As a result, I’d rather stay home. Isn’t this silly? I know it is, but it is real for me. What I am trying to say is that I am pretty sure humor is a large part of creating a sustainable lifestyle.
I am consciously cultivating a frame of reference that allows for a life view that shows me all the absurdity in this world. It is a funny place, and I can laugh and laugh—and I can even laugh at my tears and my bruises. I can laugh when I put chicken stock in my coffee and when I jump out of my skin when my husband suddenly appears next to me. I can laugh when the expensive knife gets cooked along with the sweet potatoes, or when I put a can of beer in my five-year-old's lunch. I am going to laugh and laugh and laugh!