Ask the Advocate: Reflections
This time of year is filled with reflections of our experiences. Taking the time to consider what we have learned and some of the positives in our lives can make life with a visual impairment easier. In this article, we ask MacularDegeneration.net advocates to share what they have learned from their experiences living with visual impairments and whether there were any positives.
Can you relate to any of our experiences?
"Macular degeneration has taught me so much about myself that I am often grateful that I have it. I have learned how strong I am and that I can conquer anything if I can conquer this!
There are so many positive aspects of macular degeneration including gratitude, acceptance, bravery, living outside of our comfort zones. But, it takes some time to get there, and rightfully so.
I know that at the beginning of a diagnosis it can be really hard; debilitating even. However, if a person is determined enough, there can be so much joy in our lives no matter what gets thrown our way. You're in the right place. Our amazing community is a great place to find resources and inspiration through our experience and strength in numbers."
"I learned that there was a career for me outside of bartending. Sounds crazy, but I didn’t think I deserved anything better. I thought as my vision deteriorated, I would lose value. My doctor forced me to see otherwise. I get to skip the long lines in the airport! It’s not huge, but I celebrate the small victories!"
"Absolutely! AMD has taught me that just because my mother was legally blind, that does not necessarily mean I will be too or that it will progress as quickly as her’s did. Plus, I can choose to react differently by keeping active and involved. It was her reaction to her declining vision that made her more miserable than the diagnosis. I know many today who are upbeat and productive in spite of their diagnosis. It also taught me that it is alright to ask for help.
Macular degeneration creates an urgency to do what is on your bucket list with no further delay. It also helps you be more compassionate toward others. Plus, sharing experiences with others with similar challenges helps you just as much as the receiver of the message. It’s a win-w,in!"
"I truly believe that macular degeneration has made me appreciate the beauty in color and shape so much more. Having to really focus to see these things just makes me take and a minute and appreciate it all that much more.
Looking for positive aspects of macular degeneration centers around, for me, appreciation of the beauty in the world. That beauty has always been there but now I strive to see it all, as long as I can."
"I have learned that I can cope, for now, with the anxiety that having a life-changing disease brings. My main challenges with my eyes are still in front of me. I hope that my coping mechanisms will see me through. I have my parents' examples to help me.
The positive aspects of macular degeneration are those that go with the necessity to face any challenges that life throws at us. We have to look inside ourselves and try to find courage, determination, and resourcefulness. We have to overcome anxiety and find ways to cope. If we can do these things, it will help us to manage all areas of our life."
"I have learned that I am an optimistic person. I choose to believe a treatment, or better yet, a cure, will be found for dry macular degeneration.
Having macular degeneration has helped me live more in the moment. I take the time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds me making memories. I have become more resilient finding new ways to continue doing things I love to do."
"My macular degeneration has taught me that I am more resilient than I thought I was. Perhaps stronger too. I’ve also learned not to “sweat the small stuff."
"One positive to come out of this is I’ve become more appreciative of friends, happenings, life in general. But more importantly, I now notice and enjoy whatever view is available to me. Spending more time seeing, and less time looking. I take the picture in my mind now, more often than with the camera."
"My AMD has humbled me quite a lot. I no longer think I’m “bullet-proof” and have a sense that each day is a blessing for me and I had better enjoy it while I can. I’m not scared anymore really. I know what’s happened and what my future has in store to a large degree.
I do not take things for granted like I used to. Each day I am more aware of the beauty of life, love, nature, human interactions, and many more things that I took for granted. Having low and declining vision has allowed me to see things I paid no attention to in the past."
What have you learned from living with a visual impairment? Have you found a silver lining to life with MD?
Find support, ask questions, and connect with others living with a visual impairment.
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