RIP: The Parts of Macular Degeneration I’m Ready to Bury
Last updated: October 2022
I don’t know about you, but there are some things that I am so tired of carrying around with me. Things I want to be done with for good. Things I want to bury. I thought that since it’s spooky season, now would be a great time to intentionally put these hard things to rest.
Accepting my MMD
Do any of us want to have macular degeneration? No. Do we want to experience severe vision loss or the threat of it? No. Can we change any of it? No. So, therefore, we have no choice but to surrender to what IS and not what we planned. I call this... giving it to God.
Resisting what is
To do this, we accept and move forward WITH it. Something that really helped me understand the concept of surrendering is this: surrendering does not mean submission. Surrendering means acceptance. It means healing can begin.
I have been battling this one for so many years. And, a diagnosis of myopic macular degeneration really fueled my feelings of self-doubt (and not being good enough) at first.
Through therapy and another self-help group, and by working here at MacularDegeneration.net and being vulnerable with all of our community members, I’ve been able to really put this one to rest. Most days. It also helps to tell myself that I am more than enough whenever I feel in doubt, and I surround myself with friends and family who believe in me as well.
Fear of the unknown
This.one.is.tough. A diagnosis of macular degeneration and the constant impending threat of possible severe vision loss is SCARY. But, when I was emotionally healthy enough to really understand the concept of the unknown along with the uncertainties of life that we all experience, macular degeneration or not... I was able to really put my fear in its rightful place.
You see, NOBODY knows what their future looks like. Nobody. We can all plan and hope for one thing or another, but the honest truth is... life happens and things change. In fact, the only certainty in life is uncertainty. I choose to believe that life is unfolding for me exactly how it’s supposed to.
Ignoring difficult feelings
Acknowledging my difficult feelings (fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, shame...) has not been easy, but it has been imperative to my healing process. When I say healing process, I don’t mean my eyes. My eyes NEED me to be healthy mentally so I can do what I need in order to keep them as healthy as possible.
I learned very quickly (kicking and screaming of course) that taking care of my mental health and emotional needs allowed me to take care of my body and eyes. I wanted to ignore my difficult feelings, but all that did was cause them to fester and eventually explode.
Dwelling on the negative
For years, I played the victim card and truly felt sorry for myself. The whole "why me?" mentality did absolutely nothing for my well being. Life isn’t fair, friends. That’s a really tough truth. Macular degeneration can really suck and cause all kinds of difficult things to come up to the surface of our lives. But... we can’t change it.
Dwelling on the negative only allows the disease to complicate our lives further by adding emotional hardship on top of the vision loss. Am I saying that we can’t feel what we feel? Absolutely not. This is hard stuff, friends. We WILL have negative thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Just don’t stay there too long. Find the joy.
For me, it really helps to visualize the literal process of burying these hard, self defeating ideals I’ve placed upon myself over the years.
Visualization is a way to use mental imagery to reset your mind. It allows a person to focus their mind in a way that facilitates a change in mindset. For example, some find it helpful to visualize their worries being removed from their physical person and washed away down a river or lifted up into the sky, away from them.
This may sound a tad strange, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. It’s sort of like laying in bed before you fall asleep and thinking of being in a serene or happy place in order to relax and get rest.
It’s okay if you’re not ready
I don’t know what you’re burying personally, but I’m here to encourage you and give you my support. If you aren’t ready to surrender to your diagnosis and bury all of these things, that is more than okay. Give yourself some grace... you’ll get there with time, when you’re ready.
Putting anything to rest is never easy... it involves a lot of grief. When you’re ready remember the ‘peace’ part of Rest in Peace. We try to put things to rest, lovingly... and detach from them so we can live a more serene and joyful life, despite our hardships.
Do you have eye healthy recipes you like to make for the holidays?