Recently I read a Facebook post that in essence asked readers to offer some encouragement and advice to those who’ve faced setbacks and aren’t where they want to be at this point in life. I, being the unofficial queen of “Setback Land” 😃, had some immediate thoughts.
“Don’t be ashamed if your life isn’t how you want it to be…THINGS HAPPENS!!! You can recover. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll get there! #whatIknowforsure”
Don’t continuously beat yourself up about whatever it is that helped get you in the situation. Take inventory. Be honest about EVERYTHING! And this does not have to include others. You need to be honest with yourself, first and foremost. Don’t be alarmed, there will probably be pain. It’s a necessary pain, that yields growth.
It may also take awhile, as well as bring up some issues that you thought were unrelated. Whatever you discover, deal with it. Feel the feelings and keep it moving. Your mission is to restart your life.
After you’ve gotten yourself together, look around. See what’s in your immediate possession that will help you get started. I’ll share a bit of my story as an example. When I was first faced with my “eye situation” I could barely see anything. Most of my days were spent in my room listening to music or watching television. This was doing absolutely nothing to fight depression nor anything that would help me move forward. In a matter of weeks, I’d gone from being independent to having to have someone drive me around everywhere I went.
I would spend some days sitting outside for hours. But that quickly becomes very uncomfortable during southern summers. Reading has been a joy of mine for years. I knew if I had some good audio books, that would help keep my mind sharp and the depression at bay. The library was the perfect place to go but I didn’t always have anyone to drive me there. So, I decided to ride the bus.
I wasn’t totally blind and knew the neighborhood like the back of my hand. I grew up there. All I had to do was figure out how I could make it to the bus stop, without being hit by a car. Thankfully, I only had one street to cross.
For many years, I’d heard that if a person is lacking in one of his/her five senses, the others are very keen. Yes, this is true. I’ve always had great senses of hearing and smelling but when my eyesight started to diminish, they were magnified. So I decided to use this to my advantage.
Keratoconus had caused me to develop a lack of depth perception, among other things. So when it came to safely crossing a street, I could only see vehicles if the headlights were being used. But as they got closer, I could see the shapes of them. This, along with sound, allowed me to calculate some distance.
I developed a system. I would go to the corner. While listening very attentively, I’d stare at the road. It’s a neighborhood street, not that busy. So it wasn’t the kind of traffic you’d expect on a major highway or in a commercial part of town. After a few seconds, if I didn’t hear or see any vehicles, I would make a mad dash across the street. It kind of comical thinking back. I do not recommend this for anyone. This is just something I needed to do.
The first time I did this, I can remember feeling such accomplishment. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but this really brings home “never missing a good thing until it’s gone.” Some people around me thought I was doing too much. I listened to their concerns but didn’t stop going. Because of the success of that quest, I started taking the bus all over town. Autumn, my favorite time of year, came and I started spending time in the downtown square…books, music, and lunch or snacks in tow.
It was good for me. I was regaining my independence which in turn gave me a glimpse of hope. This situation was not the end of my life. I became reacquainted with my hometown as well as a lot of my childhood friends. I also made friends with the bus drivers. It was the start of me getting over my embarrassment. I told them about my condition and how I could barely see. I also asked for assistance. I was learning to ask for what I needed. It’s funny how, at that age, I didn’t know how to effectively do that. This led to them offering me extra help.
This was during the summer of 2009. I have come a long way since then. I’ve had to not be ashamed, start where I am, use what have, do what I can, and not be afraid to ask for help many times over.
I’m currently working towards not restarting my life but creating a new and improved version. The way I see it, even when I get to where I what to be, there will always be more achieve. I will always be working towards something. It may not be recovering, but these steps will definitely come in handy.
Thank you for stopping by…blessings! 🌸😃💚