How To Talk About Your Vision Loss – A Short Video

You need to talk about what has happened to your sight, but you also need to protect yourself especially at first. Here are tips on who to talk to and who to stay silent with, as well as how to “manage the message”.

Here is a section from Chapter 4 of my book: When You Can’t Believe Your Eyes: Vision Loss and Personal recovery.

The Talking Cure.

“Acceptance  of  your vision loss often starts by needing to tell your story over and over again.”* I talked and talked about my loss of sight, often to my long-suffering boyfriend, now husband, to friends nearby, and my cousin on the phone. Endless talking, so I could begin to believe it. My loss was overnight. With slow sight loss some people can take a more detached approach. DeAnn from the Focus Groups said, “I told people about my vision as a way to process what was happening to me. I got different perspectives from different people, so I could map out this new terrain.”

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Take advice and think carefully at work or on dates, however. Your boss or new boyfriend may feel more alarmed than sympathetic. (More in Chapter 12.)

To begin with, you naturally talk to your close friends and any café or bar strangers, but they aren’t enough. I did not understand that I also needed professional help—a counselor or therapist who knew about life-changing loss, so I could open up to grief and find resources.

You may prefer to start with your pastor, teacher, or a social worker. A weekly appointment to talk in person is often best, but phone or video chat dates are also good. All that talking does help the process of believing what has happened and getting some sense of how your life can proceed. Private conversations also allow you to discuss issues about relationships or money matters.

Your sibling or minister may be the best listener for general problems, but when you are ready, you will need to talk to someone knowledgeable about serious disability, also to someone expert in vision loss, such as a vision rehab counsellor. Serious vision loss is so all-encompassing that whether you were born with it or are only acquiring it in later life, you do need to talk it over for many weeks and months and find people who can listen with real understanding.

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