People Who Need People

Good morning. I got so excited about the great service I was getting from HMH publishing house I forgot to tell you about my trip to the massage therapist.

My friend gave me a gift certificate to this massage therapist (MT) who is not only a good massage person but also blind. I think there was a little method in the madness of the choice, yes?

The MT started to lose her sight at 6 months not 6 decades and she has lived her life being a person with low vision and blindness. She runs a very successful business as my trouble getting an appointment proved. The MT’s office is full of ‘toys’ and I hope to get her to guest post on some of those toys as well as other topics in the near future. Her visual problem is not AMD but feelings and accommodations related to vision loss and blindness appear to be all closely aligned no matter the ‘why’ of the condition.

But this page is about people. One of my favorite topics. After all, I is a psychologist!

The MT wanted to talk to me. What did my new MT want to talk? She wanted to talk ‘blind’! And not just for the benefit of this new kid on the block. She wanted to talk ‘blind’ for herself as well. My new MT has plenty of fully sighted clients and she talks to them all of the time. What she said she does not have is the opportunity to socialize with people who are also visually impaired.

Now, people are people but to put a twist on Animal Farm, some people are more equal than other. Some of them ‘get’ you and some of them don’t.

I have been living as a visually impaired person for a very short time and I assure you I am nowhere near ‘getting it’ totally. My being the closest thing to another, real, live, visually impaired person my MT has seen in a long time got me to thinking.

This vision loss thing is a lonely business.

I truly am a person “who needs people” (cue Barbra). Being around other people keeps me sane, or at least what passes for sane in my life. Community is important to me…and to you. Community with people who ‘get it’ may be even more important.

And the take away message from all of this? I guess for me it is, keep your old friends but keep reaching out, too. Check out both local and online support groups. Walk up and start a conversation with the person with the white cane. Open those lines of communication. Push back against the isolation. If not you, then who?

Be responsible for making the world a better place. You might find the biggest beneficiary is you.

Next: Do You Speak Technogeek?

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