I Don’t Need Fixing
Lately I have run into a bunch of people who seem to think I need fixing. But I am not broken, I am not sick, I am quite well thank you.
There seem to be two types of people: those who accept my vision loss and those who don't understand vision loss at all and pity it. There is nothing to pity unless one pities themself. I do believe my condition has led me to be the woman that I am today, which is not a bad thing. I choose only to see the positive attributes. Hopefully it will help me grow stronger as a lifter too as I use my senses, such as feeling the muscles fire, to grow stronger and lift more.
There is no cure for my eye condition. I have a few of them, all genetic from birth, and degenerative. Myopic degeneration: my eyeball is way bigger than the average human eyeball and everything in it is stretched very thin and has started to break down. Macular degeneration: my macula has started to degrade. I have fewer rods and cones or they are more spread out due to the size of my eye. I have a lack of colour and detail perception. Light is hard for me to take in and changes between getting moments of sun or light blindness and sometimes getting that in the dark. Central vision is pretty much non-existent. But this is who I am. They can fix aspects of it but that would destroy other parts on useable vision I have, making it worse for me. It is better for me to stay as I am and learn to function, which is exactly what I do.
I get a lot of “Aren't you sad?" or “Don't you wish….?" Nope. I have better things to do. I do get angry once in a while. It's more frustration – I would equate it to what a child probably goes through when they are trying to attempt something and it's frustrating. A learning curve. All I simply have to do is figure out a different way. I am not unwell or broken, I am quite well. Those who know me accept me for who I am and all that I am and am not.
I am very blessed to be a part of such a great group of athletes welcoming me in both sighted and visually impaired aspects. All the power lifters I have met have been so happy to make any adjustments I need to train or compete. It has been fantastic. I am very proud to be a part of this group.
People should not always look at a disability as something that needs fixing or changing. Take a good look at the woman or man that is beneath that. I accept me, and my family and my lifting family accepts me too. Enough said. Now to use all the little things that make me, me, to become the best lifter I can be. Tuning into my body, feeling through the feet, I do what I have to do. I will deal with the frustrating days just the way everyone else does when they have a bad day, but I am not broken. I do believe it's all the things we go through in life that make us who we are. So if it took vision loss to make me who I am, so be it. I am a mom, I am a wife, I am a power lifter. None of that is bad. In all those respects I choose to be strong. Nothing broken there.