It was nice to have met me. He was sorry he couldn’t help. Did I have any questions?
When I practice meditation, thoughts bounce in and out of my mind, and I constantly have to remind myself to return to my breath. In that moment though, it was empty—blank—nothing.
No, I had no questions. It was nice to have met him too, I said and thanked him for his time.
In an instant, my life had been thrown back into uncertainty—again.
Last year presented me with three major challenges: I lost my job, my driver’s licence, and my home. I struggled through each situation, desperately seeking a solution and gradually coming to terms with these forced life changes.
Uncertainty is a scary thing; mainly, I realised, because we feel out of control. Had I chosen to look for a new career, stop driving, or move house, I would’ve been excited about the prospect.
Thankfully, change offers opportunities, and I quickly found a role I enjoy at a business I can commute to by bike and train, and my children and I moved to a nicer house in a good location.
We were settling into our new normal, when, after waiting months, it was finally the day of my hospital appointment. I returned to see the consultant I met last July. After reviewing my latest test results, he advised that my sight had deteriorated to a point where I would never be able to drive again. He could not tell me why. I needed a referral to a specialist.
After being diagnosed with a genetic stationary condition at the age of 20, I didn’t expect to find that I now have only 42 percent of normal field vision in one eye and 40 percent in the other.
That night, I felt numb. The next morning, I woke with a persistent throbbing in my head, a sickly feeling, and hands that shook slightly as I tried to carry out the most simple of daily tasks.
All day, I carried around a weight in my stomach as my body struggled to digest the comfort food I’d eaten when too submerged in feelings to cook a nutritious meal.
I cried—a lot.
After a good night’s sleep, I began to come to terms with the news, and the what-ifs and maybes. I met my emotions with compassion and my reactions with kindness.
I focussed on what I could control: practicing mindfulness, readdressing my diet, ensuring I drink plenty of water each day, meditating, and getting to bed in time to enjoy eight hours of sleep every night.
Practically, I researched the specialist I’d been referred to, the conditions that she treats, and the potential impact on my life if my sight cannot be restored.
I’m grateful for all that I have, and all that I’ve learnt about myself through these moments of adversity.
My world may literally be darkening, but while there are actions that I can take to gain some control of the situation, I will always be able to see the light.