The paperwork was signed and sent off to the state of New York to have me declared legally blind yesterday. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m happy because it means that I now have people who are not only trying to find the cause of my blindness but are working to make sure that while I endure this trial that I am taken care of on all fronts.
I have a fucking awesome medical care team now, whereas I didn’t have one before.
On the other hand, this makes it official. It’s like it’s real now. Not that it wasn’t before. I mean, you can only wake up blind so many times before you realize that it’s now a major part of your life. But I’m now realizing that my life is very drastically changed and it’s stressing me out and my sister, Cherie, who is like the world’s greatest big sister and who is helping to take care of me, in spite of the fact that it’s stressing her out so much.
Now I really am blind. Now doctors are acknowledging it and the State of New York is going to be acknowledging it and, oh shit, I’m fucking BLIND!
That was pretty much my thought process last night, but in the middle of the night my phone rang and it was a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known since my freshman year of high school. He was calling to check up on me and when I told him where my head was at, he sort of chuckled and reminded me that I’d been blind before they acknowledged it. And then like a bolt of lightning he got all wise and shit on me:
A: You know, you do that a lot.
V: Do what?
A: Don’t believe that something is true until someone else acknowledges it for you. Actually, until a bunch of people acknowledge it.
V: What? What does that even mean?
A: Remember when you made the Dean’s List back at Southeastern? You carried the letter around with you everywhere and people thought it was because you wanted to brag but it was because you needed to have other people confirm it for you before you would believe it.
V: That’s not true. It’s because I’m an arrogant, self centered bastard and I need everyone to acknowledge my greatness.
A: No, it’s because you need people to acknowledge you period.
A: It’s the truth. You’ve been walking around for almost three weeks completely blind, fighting off depression, trying to still be yourself and trying not to be a burden on everyone and it wasn’t until a doctor or two confirmed that you were blind that you finally accepted it? I bet you’re still not believing and accepting that you’re a bestseller on Arizona or whatever.
A: That’s what I said.
V: Okay Mondo, whatever.
A: I’m just saying that you probably tell people with that little disbelieving smile on your face. The one that says, “I’m so happy to be receiving this award/acknowledgement/opportunity but I’m not going to hold onto it too tight because I’m sure you’re going to realize that I don’t deserve it and take it away from me.” You did the same thing with Christopher.
V: I did not. I loved Christopher.
A: Yes you did. You loved him so much you didn’t know how to handle it, so you cheated on him at first, then you treated him like shit and when he still wouldn’t go away you finally started to treat him decently and love him the way you wanted to. I wish you could see what the rest of us see.
V: I do too.
A: I’m not talking just physical sight, dumbass. I mean I wish you could look at yourself and see why the rest of us think you’re so amazing. I wish you could see why you touch people, why people get upset at those who use you, who discard you, who mistreat you. You bring out these feelings of protection in people.
A: I’m serious. Ask Cherie. I bet she’ll agree with me. The biggest thing is that you have to start believing things when they happen the first time. You have to start believing the good things that people say about you the first time they say it because one day you’re going to get an opportunity and they’re only going to say it once and if you don’t believe them the first time they say it then you’ll miss it.
V: Thank you Obi-Wan. Whatever would I do without you?
A: Turn into a pillar of salt and blow away I’m sure.
So now that I’m blind my friends feel like they can offer all of this sage advice to me about my life and circumstances. The kicker is, I’m actually listening now… at least a lot more than I ever did before. And while being blind when I could see just a few weeks ago is different, the actuality of losing my sight is not as difficult as I might have imagined. I think that having those people who still see me as being me, the ones who still tease with me, still talk to me and support me, who aren’t afraid that it’s contagious… is amazing and made even more so because now, in my blindness I can actually see how very supportive and caring those people have always been. They are the ones who have always had my back and have supported me from beginning to end, they are the ones who are helping me get through this.
So thank you.
I am making my way downtown today with Cherie. We are going to get my official name change paperwork and then going to see my VA Vocational Rehabilitation counselor so I can get all of this stuff together for school.
I actually smiled this morning when I woke up. I’ve been waking up and crying when I realize that I’m still blind, but this morning was the first time I woke up and smiled because you know what? Things could be so much worse.
Another positive note: Elian, the first book chronologically in my “The Marriage Groups” series (the prequel to my LiAW story Steamy) is at over six thousand words according to my narrator. It is at six thousand nine hundred and fifteen. When I lost my vision it was at three thousand. So I’m back to writing and yes, it’s only about a thousand words a day or so, because it’s frustrating me sometimes, but at least I’m writing.
At least I can still write.
It could be so much worse.
I encourage you all to remember that as things happen in your life, whether they are craptastic or easy as apple pie, look at what you can learn from your situation. See how the lessons life is teaching you can actually improve your life and the lives of others around you.
Have a good weekend everyone.