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Social changes that come with sight loss

Posted 24 August 2016
Topics Accessibility, Lifestyle, Living with Sight Loss
Comments 3
Author Guest blogger

Jane shares her very honest experiences of how her social life has changed after losing her sight and how she has had to adapt to these changes.

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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.

One step behind

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.

Never give up

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!

Your thoughts

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.

About the author

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Guest blogger

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Action guest bloggers are extremely precious to us and help us keeping alive our blog section with great new posts.
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Comments

Posts
Joined in 2016

Illuminate Freedom

Hi Jane,

I completely emphathise with your frustration. Two years ago, I was in the pub with my new blind friend Linda, and she talked about how she's been blind all her life and never been out dancing at to a club! I was devastated for her.

As someone who loves to dance but finds it hard as I've suffered from Fibromyalgia (daily pain and fatigue), since I was 18, I knew there was something I had to do! So I founded a organisation called Illuminate Freedom and we go out and do fun things every month at our Freedom Events - and I audio describe everything as much as possible!

Come join us! Our last Freedom Event was three days ago to Notting Hill Carnival - I called it Freedom to Carnival.

I believe we need more people willing to be in the moment with visually impaired people, and who understand that audio description is not just about the "brown chair" or the "tall woman", it's about the joy and passion of a situation and the things that make it so. I audio describe that! Feel free to look us up, we do audio described dance classes for visually impaired people too, we have so much fun :)

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Joined in 2016

Melanie

Jane I found your post very helpful. It summed up my recent feelings of loss. I try to stay positive but isolated is often how I feel I will be as my sight is deteriorating. People avoid socialising with me as they don't want to give lifts and support.

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Joined in 2016

Geoff

Hi Jane when I had good vision in one eye things where great. Loads of mates lots of activities but when I began to loose sight and had to stop some of my hobbies friends started to thin out a tad now I cannot see to do anything I have become a social recluse due to the lack of so called mates (boohoo) lol living in the middle of nowhere I find it hard to get away and do things and meet people maybe it's just me but keep getting knocked about by folk followed by abuse asking if I am f*+?~'*g blind has anyone else come across this? Regards Geoff