This is likely to be one of those posts that will be void of humour, but one I feel I wish to share with you. I have eluded to it in the past, but never been so upfront; however now I feel it is important to share.
As someone who is called ‘inspirational’ and ‘stubborn’ and wildly independent I am not the sort of person people would think could face isolation.
But I am.
Maybe it is because I am fiercely independent. Maybe it is because others see me as strong. And yes; I am both of these things, I am also many other things too.
Isolation doesn’t mean someone is alone. It doesn’t mean someone isn’t surrounded by others.
To me; isolation is what it is to be in my own mind because of my sight and hearing loss; and in a way because of how these affect my mental health.
Sight loss is such a complex condition and so very individual that you will rarely find anyone who experiences it in the same way. This also makes it tricky to explain to those who are sighted.
And for me, isolation is only something that I feel will increase as my disability changes. This in itself is a very fearful time for me as I learn to adjust to this and put in place coping strategies to minimise the impact to myself and those close to me.
I find myself thinking of how with my sight and hearing loss I will also loose my independence, the very same independence that I fight so hard to keep, for as long as I can.
However loosing my independence feels as if I would loose myself. The life I have built, the relationships I have created.
And that in itself is isolating !
I already hold certain limitations in my life because of my sight. Having never been able to drive I have always felt limited by not having the freedom to just get in a car to take myself to the beach…. If I wish to go to the beach I either have to wait for a friend to take me or go at a time when I can get there myself on public transport.
However the thought of more limitations being placed on me, as my independence dwindles is what fills me with this feeling of isolation.
I have thought and rethought (I have even over-thought) this post. However I needed to write it as much for myself than for anyone who is reading this.
Although maybe, just maybe one of you reading this will find it helpful to you too.