Post count: 1324

    I no longer have active eye disease, thank goodness, but I do empathize with your current ordeals. When our looks change, it is very hard to feel OK about ourselves.

    Unfortunately, when we no longer feel OK about ourselves, our behavior can change. My mother, who had the eye disease as well, withdrew, wore only dark glasses when she went out, etc. It was ironic to me because she had always talked about inner beauty being more important than outer looks. So, I actually got two "lessons" from my mom, and they were both helpful. The first is that inner beauty matters the most, and the eye disease had not changed who I am as a person. The second was that withdrawing, becoming shy, allowing yourself to feel freakish over something that is totally beyond your control, is NOT helpful. Withdrawing did not help my mother’s moods, her sense of well-being, or her relationship with her friends and family. It diminished the quality of her life.

    We only get one life. So, I wore a patch, because prisms did not correct my double vision. I thought about (but did not pursue) "color-coordinating" my patches for my outfits. I went to the cosmetics department and asked for "industrial strength" make-up and laughed with the sales clerks who tried to help me find the right concealers, etc. I made faces in front of the mirror, and discovered that I looked much, much better when I smiled. Not good, mind you, but "better." (And, yes, I also wept a lot, and said the Serenity Prayer a lot, just like lots of other folks who get the eye disease. )

    I truly encourage you to "forget" how you look right now. The disease is a horrible trial, but it does end and often there are surgical procedures which can restore our looks. I’ve met lots of people who had horrible eye disease, and were treated and "fixed." They may not look like they used to, but they look (to me) terrific — their eyes look normal to others. Try, one day and one step at a time, to be the "real" you, regardless of how you look. I think you will find, as I did, that friends accept the patches, or the heavy concealers, much more easily than they accept being shut out.

    Bobbi — Online Facilitator