Living with sight loss: My story

My name is Elin, I am a 19-year-old UK based student and blogger who just happens to be visually impaired.

I started having noticable issues with my vision when I was three years old, this lead to many trips to the hospital and after numerous tests were carried out over a course of three years, I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP for short) at the age of six.

When I was first diagnosed, I was registered as being partially sighted but as my vision gradually deteriorated, I was registered blind/severely sight impaired at the age of twelve. I have since been diagnosed with another condition called Optic Disc Drusen which I was diagnosed with shortly following my 19th birthday. For me, this means that I suffer with vision blackouts meaning I lose my vision for about a minute or so at a time and this can occur several times a day.

Growing up with sight loss has proven to be difficult at times but it’s encouraged me to live my life in the most positive way I can. I was bullied at school and experienced a feeling of isolation on more than one occasion and this knocked my confidence badly, I am still trying my best to build on it everyday.

There are many misconceptions and stigmas surrounding sight loss and as I became more aware of them as I grew older, I decided that I wanted to do something in order to challenge them. So, I decided to create my own blog back in April 2015, my space on the internet which I called My Blurred World.

I created my blog (myblurredworld.com) in the hope of raising awareness of vision impairment with the aim of tackling the misconceptions that surround it. I also wanted to create a platform where I could share my experiences in the hope that it would help others in a similar situation as I know how lonely living with sight loss can be at times.

My blog proved to be a great success, something that I never imagined would happen and it has allowed me to share my story with so many others who are also living with a vision impairment.

I also write about a number of other topics I’m passionate about on my blog, ranging from beauty to fashion to general lifestyle topics. I often talk about how I make things such as beauty and fashion accessible to me as a visually impaired person, this is something I extremely enjoy as I love educating others on subjects that aren’t widely talked about.

After leaving sixth form in 2016, I worked as a Trainee Community development assistant for the RNIB (Royal National instiute of blind people) for a period of 50 weeks. My role included a number of duties from writing a quarterly newsletter and conducting 1-to-1 iPhone and iPad demonstrations for fellow blind/VI people. I enjoyed my time working for the charity and was quite sad when my contract came to an end but I’m so grateful to have had that experience and it gave me a great insight into the world of work.

I am now studying a BA honours degree with The Open University, something which I’m finding to be rather challenging but it is also very interesting and enjoyable. I started the course in the hope to expand on my skills and qualifications as I aspire to become a full-time writer in the future.

I’d like to think that I am quite a positive person. I am passionate about spreading the message that living with a disability isn’t all negative and I want people to realise that it doesn’t have to be a barrier if the world around is made accessible to us and our needs.

It can be hard at times but I have never let my vision impairment define me as a person and I try to live my life as normal as possible despite the fact that I’m losing a little of my remaining vision everyday.

I am passionate about helping others, especially those who are also living with sight loss or any other disability. I strive to challenge and change the perceptions that some people hold with regards to vision impairment. I am also determined to prove that living with a disability isn’t entirely debilitating and it is possible to lead a normal life and to have a positive outlook.

I’ve never known a life without sight loss and since I’ve grown up with it, I’ve found the best methods of coping and what are the most accessible ways for me to go about my day-to-day life. I can’t deny that it can be hard at times and there are many negative aspects but living with sight loss has brought a lot of positivity to my life also. I have learned to accept my disability and I try my best to embrace it in every way I can.

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