Finding Meaning in the MD Journey

You are being watched.

I know you are because I am being watched. I am not paranoid. Really. I might legitimately lay claim to a variety of mental health diagnoses but paranoia is not one of them. I know I am being watched because people tell me they are watching me.

Vision loss and work

I never thought a vision loss would be an asset to my job. It is. I have had people tell me they have decided if I can tackle vision loss and keep on going, they can tackle their problems too.

My lack of ability to see people across the waiting room has become fodder for good-natured banter. “No, client, I really did not see the glow emitted from your angelic face from across the room. Glow brighter next time!” If my short-comings can just be accepted, maybe theirs can be too.

Look, ma! I’m a role model! ...and you are, too.

Dialectic behavior theraopy

As I have said before, my school of therapy is primarily DBT, dialectic behavior therapy. In DBT there is a section that deals with distress tolerance. If you cannot fix the problem you must find a way to accept and tolerate the problem. You either do that or remain miserable. That is just the way it is.

Victor Frankl

One of the ways to accept and tolerate an issue is to find some meaning in it. Viktor Frankl said, to paraphrase if someone has a why they can stand any how.

Frankl was in the camps during World War II. He observed people who had a reason to live, lived. Because they had a why, they could live through the how of the Nazi concentration camps. No reason to live? Those people succumbed quickly.

If you want a thoughtful and even uplifting read, try Frankl's "Man’ Search for Meaning". It is in BARD and you can download it for free if you are a subscriber. Not a subscriber? Ask your doctor if you qualify as legally blind. If you are, you qualify for BARD and Talking Books.

Finding meaning

But back on track. Meaning allows you to tolerate pain. It allows you to keep going. Frankl also said, “ If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.” Where is your meaning in the pain of vision loss?

My meaning is in pages like this one. It is in going every month for the clinical trial. These are my lemons into lemonade strategies.

Roy T. Bennet

Since I am into quotes today, I will share one by Roy T. Bennett. I have no idea who he is, but I like his quote: "Learn to light a candle in the darkest moment of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” Something to strive for; yes?

Finding meaning in vision loss

So, the question stands: What is the meaning in the pain of your vision loss? Can you help others who are just starting on this road? Can you help those who are more impaired than you?

Or perhaps you can show others how it is done. The Bible, as well as many sacred texts I would assume, suggests that handling our suffering with grace can be an inspiration to others.

Go ahead. Find the meaning in your vision loss. Maybe be a role model. After all, you are being watched.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.