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When your emotions are out of control, logic dictates your intellect should be in charge. We all know how well that works with depression. Not that I haven’t been trying to bring my logic on-line. It’s just the whole eye thing has really pushed me to the teetering edge. Everyday tasks are now an epic trek through the Land of Unending Frustrations.

Here’s how my vision would normally be (with glasses, of course) before all this drama started:

test-pattern

Now here’s what I’m presently dealing with (still with glasses):

Both eyes                           Left eye                                                      Right eye

And those things in the right eye are not stationary. They are constantly moving. I mean CONSTANTLY. Independently of each other. In direct opposition to the movement of the eye. You have no idea just how much your eyes move until you have something floating around in them. Reading/writing is the worst. Watching videos can be tolerable because there is less eye movement involved and the floaters will, for the most part, float out of the main line of sight. But not always. Which usually happens in the middle of a critical scene with important details.

And because humans have binocular vision, now superimpose the right eye over the left and add in a bit of headachy eyestrain as everything tries to normalize. Then go try to sew a straight line on the sewing machine, keep your edges even while weaving, do a piece of delicate needlework, or follow a recipe for dinner. Yeah, that’s how great my days have been lately.

Just trying to get this blog entry done makes me want to bang my head on the desktop.

Speaking of desktop, here’s a screenshot of it:

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 9.42.20 AM

I have a 27” iMac. Those capitals are half an inch tall. And while my lovely computer does have a text to speech function (which actually seems pretty decent), I tend to constantly hop back and forth reading things for flow, and that “pretty decent” electronic voice quickly becomes a nightmarish flashback to the scene with HAL from 2001:A Space Odyssey. I just hope it doesn’t start singing next.

The rational adults among you are probably sitting there thinking “Suck it up, Princess.” There are millions of blind people in the world and more losing their sight every day. At least I have SOMETHING to work with. I can still see color and gradient and textures. I can make adjustments on my expensive HD computer screen to allow me to see well enough to do this thing called writing. And this situation is relatively temporary. Once the left eye stabilizes from the surgery, I can get a new prescription that will largely mitigate what vision change is left. And the floaters will either go away by themselves or be taken care of in a few more years when I end up having cataract surgery. If they’re not heralding another retinal detachment, at which point just rinse and repeat the left eye procedures.

Yeah, bite me.

My weaving and needlework are the only things I’ve made any money at these last few years, and we have a big event coming up at the end of February that I need to have stock for, so I can make more money and pay off the medical bills this whole drama has left me. (We won’t get into all the other things I’d like to get taken care of, like some basic household maintenance, car repairs, overdue dental work, a new treadmill, etc., etc.,) Because of these damn issues, my projects are taking about four times as long as normal to complete so I can maintain my level of finish.

Plus there’s all the writing stuff I intended to get working on. I need to revamp my blog site, send out queries and submissions for my fiction, research and set up my freelance copywriting and editing service, get involved in some writer forums. I wanted – NEEDED – to shake things up this year in the hopes of shaking something positive loose. I’m going into my fourth year of “full time writing” and have nothing to show for it but a handful of meandering musings on a blog seen by fewer people than were in my college marching band. (Though you guys are definitely quality, and I would rather have that than quantity.)

Boo hoo. See, you’re trying to be rational with somebody who isn’t. I keep trying to explain that to my husband when he’s sitting there being the cheerleader trying to fix things. It just doesn’t work when your brain is telling you everything is shit and you are doomed.

Harvard researcher and obvious caffeine addict Shawn Achor postulates that people are successful because they are happy, not vice versa. Instead of waiting on our various random definitions of success before we are happy, he goes on to say that we can train the brain to be more positive, which will allow us to be happier, which will lead to success. His tips are common cognitive techniques used by therapists to help deal with a variety of issues. I agree with his basic premise, and for a lot of people those tips can work very well. But for chronic depressives, they’re just another version of “Just think happy thoughts and get over it.” While the positive, successful people are at one end of the bell curve, we depressives are at the other and need a whole different set of techniques. Intellect alone isn’t enough. If it were, I’d have won this fight by a long shot years ago.

As it is, the fight is far from over. The logic centers keep trying to point out why this situation is manageable while the depression is telling me to go fuck myself. My usual “therapies” to help get myself out of a down period are the very things I can’t do very well right now because of my vision. It’s an ugly game of catch 22 and I’m the ball, deflating with every toss as my threads ravel away. Sitting on the bench never looked so good.

© 2015   Cheri K. Endsley   All Rights Reserved.

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