I was talking to a colleague of mine the other day and the conversation led onto our mutual love of going to see live music. My colleague is sighted and I am visually impaired and I started to share how my lack of sight affects me when im doing everyday social things.
As a person, I consider myself to be sociable and confident in whatever I am doing and am always willing to give things a go. However, when talking to my colleague I explained that when I go to a concert or maybe a football match, when everyone is really focused in what is going on either onstage or on the pitch, although I enjoy the atmosphere of these occasions I feel lost inside. This is because the event is so visual and I feel frustrated and isolated because I cannot see what is really going on.
For some events I can access the audio description but this doesn’t make up for the fact that I cannot experience live, what everyone else is enjoying. I’m always a step behind, the crowd is cheering before I see or hear anything, im unable to join in the conversation about so-and-so’s dress, the amazing lighting or the fabulous stage. I feel alone when im in a crowd of friends.
I remember how I felt when I stopped Cycling, it was my bit of freedom, it made me feel alive, but sadly it had to go. I can only describe it as a sadness for what I’ve now lost, but at least I managed it for a few years.
I wanted to share this, not to bring anyone down but to show that despite the adaptations people, businesses and organisations can make, life is very different for me now. I miss out of some of life’s little things, despite being sociable and confident, I still sometimes feel isolated.
I do use a White Cane when out and about and most people are very helpful and sometimes they tell me stories about someone they know who is also Visually Impaired. Unfortunately, it’s something that you cannot turn off but you do learn to live with it, but I still live in hope that one day they might be able to give me some of my sight back with the surgeries that are now available.
However, I always say that if you dream about something, you are already half way there. Never give up!
Have you experienced feeling left behind at social events? Did anything help move you into a positive mindset? Please share your stories in the comments below.
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