Tuesday, 19 August 2014

"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision."

(Maxi Jazz)

As the pads were removed from my eyes I felt as though a whole new world were opening up to me. The world was suddenly brighter, clearer and stunning as I saw for the first time the beautiful intricacy of the natural world.

I was born with cataracts and in my late twenties I opted to have them removed. Had I realised the difference it would make to my life I’d have done it sooner, but having only ever lived a life with partial sight I had no conception of what real vision was. 

At first many things about the world shocked me; the first time I properly saw my hands I had to be told that everybody’s palms have lines on them and they didn’t look ‘wrinkly’ as I thought. I remember being fascinated by simple things like tiles on roofs and leaves on trees. I saw the world in a detail I never imagined.

Trees were no longer a blur of brown and green; I could see the texture of the bark, the beauty and depth of colour in the leaves, the sheer number of delicate tiny little twigs on every tree. The world literally came alive to me, both in it’s grandeur and it’s delicacy. As we drove along for the first few weeks after the surgery I’d stare out of the car window in wonder of the intricate pictures whizzing past me. I was aghast and suddenly appreciative of this new found gift of vision I imagine I’d have just taken for granted if I’d always had it. I suddenly enjoyed reading and devoured books and I spent all my spare time and spare money learning to drive, something I never believed I’d be able to do. 

When you suddenly find yourself removed from a dark place into the brightness and wonder of our beautiful world it is nothing short of life changing. Just like I didn’t realise how blurry and dim my vision was before I had my surgery I didn’t realise how sad and empty my life felt before I left my husband. I always thought I couldn’t imagine living a full life without him but what I didn’t realise was that in reality I was only living half a life with him. I had no idea how numb I had become, how little joy and excitement I felt in my life, how repressed my other relationships were. I had no idea the difference freeing myself from abuse would make to my life. I actually thought I was happy, in truth I had forgotten what happiness felt like.

Now from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed I feel alive, the sun is brighter, the air is fresher, the flowers are prettier my children are cuter- everything, the whole world is just more beautiful. I had no idea how fun life could be and how many amazing and fulfilling friendships I could have. I get up now and smile, I do something fun with my family not on special occasions but every single day and every single day something makes me laugh, makes me smile and makes me feel grateful, even on bad days. I have a ton more energy than I ever had and I feel able to do anything: I feel I could take on the world. I really am amazed daily at how much richer, fuller and more joyful my life is compared to how it was only 18 months ago. 

When the pads were first removed from my eyes the world seemed a daunting place, it took a lot of getting used to and was even painful for a little while. But it was most certainly worth it. If you’re in a dark place, don’t delay, seek the light, crawl your way out, even if it’s slow and painful I promise you won’t regret it.

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