Please welcome my friend and coursemate, Rebecca. Rebecca and I have known each other for the last three years due to our course in Creative and Professional Writing. Today, Rebecca has agreed to write a guest post on her disability. Please remember to visit her blog afterwards.
Guest Post by Rebecca Yeomans
You don’t get to see any of this beautiful world around us
This gave me pause for thought recently. It was said to me by a passer buy whilst I was doing some volunteering with Sponsor a Puppy for the Blind. For those who don’t know, I’m registered blind, though I prefer to go by visually impaired as I have some sight. I’ve been this way since birth so I don’t really know any different. And that’s the way I want it to be, I’d rather be VI than have full sight because it has allowed me to adapt at things others may not, for example, I use a lot of auditory and tactile description in my writing and it makes it very unique as a result.
Now, I also suffer from severe depression and anxiety, the former I am struggling with at this moment in time but I have some energy to do some work. Combined with my disability makes life hard and very debilitating.
But that’s not to say I want sympathy, that’s the last thing I want! Sometimes I need a nudge to get back on track. I need a routine to keep me going and after finishing university, I’ve lost my way a little and not been able to get much done. Referring back to the comment above, there are times when I can’t see the beautiful world we live in. Both actually and figuratively.
I do take joy in whatever I can as it keeps me going. I love going on walks and exploring new places, I recently went to Oxford with friends and loved every second of it. But I get affected by some of the darker things reported in the news. When the terror attacks happened in the UK last year, I couldn’t leave the house properly for a month. I didn’t know anyone personally who was affected but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was overwhelmed with emotions that I didn’t know how to handle. Even now, I get anxious when I go out but I have to push past that otherwise, I would never leave the house again.
The conflicting emotions I have to deal with on a daily basis is exhausting, I’m permanently tired, bone tied to the point I can’t function properly. Yet here I am, still trying to continue life even though all I want is to lay down and never get back up.
I set myself goals, my most recent one was waiting for my grades to see what I will be graduating with. The goal before that was meeting Stephen McGann, an actor who has inspired me and who I have always wanted to meet. And I did meet him, I got through it and I can look back with very fond memories. My next goal is graduation in less than two weeks. And I know I can get through that too because I will have my family and friends with me. There will be crippling anxiety and I won’t want to go closer to the date, but I will force my way through it. I refuse to give three years of hard work and effort to be beaten mental illness.
Even my visual impairment won’t stop me, if I trip or stumble when I go onto that stage, so be it. Because I never thought I would get this far, there is beauty in the fact I didn’t throw in the towel and give up. I can take pride in the fact I tried my best.
There is beauty in this world if you acknowledge and look past the doom and gloom. I carry the darkest events with me until I’m ready to make peace with them. You don’t need to have perfect sight or good mental health to see the pure beauty around us. It can be found in the little things. A message from a friend, that first sip of hot tea. The warmth of the sunshine or that one song that never fails to make you smile. Those are the things I live for. I’ve always said in my blogs that if I can make at least one person, just one individual smile then my job is done. Even though I am not at my best right now, I know there is some hope, I still haven’t seen all the beautiful things around me unless I keep moving forward, even if that means laying on the sofa and not getting anything done for a day because tomorrow might be different. I might have the energy to get work done or go for a longer walk than usual. I’m still here, still battling on. And I can still see the beauty in the world around me.