Although written in diary form, John reflects upon his recent sight loss and the impacts it has on his everyday life, at times illustrating clearly some of the less thought about implications. We talk loads on our training that sight loss isn’t just about not being able to see as well but all of the effects this may have on someone’s life including in different social situations, relationships etc. Although one interesting part was his comments relating to the weather and how wind or rain can create an audible landscape otherwise not available, we found his reflections about social situations were of most interest to us. We can’t (and wouldn’t want to) re-create his words but a sample of his thoughts that resonated with us or made us connect with him the most were:
- Having to prearrange social events – i.e. not being able to just call in to a pub/social club to socialise due to not being able to see who was there
- Not being able to ‘mingle’ easily at a social event and so being dependent either on people engaging with you (and then feeling awkward about leaving you alone if they need to leave) or relying on someone else to introduce you to people around the room
- How being blind affected how much you smile with this being thought to be due to not seeing other people smile at you
- How accepting assistance may make people assume an on-going need for assistance…John’s example was being walking on his own to and from work, a familiar journey to him, but once someone joins him and is chatting to him how he then needs their support as talking to them takes away his ability to concentrate on the route. His concern was that they would then assume he needed their support on another occasion whereas without them he was independent!
There’s loads more that we could mention but wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t read the book yet. However, if you have read the book, then please share with us your comments and which particular bits stuck out for you.