I had been playing with the demons in my head for a long time about acceptance of going blind especially the battle of using a white cane and I'm now sad to say the demons won for a long time. I'd started to use my cane reluctantly in my home town its like a stigma almost a burning shame but I knew I was strong but needed the right push to do it.
Ive spoken to my closest friends and the advice I got for a long time was ,whats the problem. There is no problem it was easy for them black or white straight down the middle they could see the only person to suffer was me.
I have a great friend who pulled no punches he well and truly kicked my arse, what's the problem you're losing out your letting life pass you by your making excuses not to come with the boys, we want you there you are our mate we will look after you we don't give a shite what anybody else thinks, it's like this he said its only a piece of plastic and they will talk about you today ,you will be chip paper tomorrow.
Of course he was right but it was my piece of plastic and I did give a shite. One thing made me change though, I'd been to Portugal with him the previous year, just the two of us but I refused to use my cane he said he didn't mind constantly taking me to the toilet you know that. That was it had I become so self reliant on other people that I couldn't even go for a pee on my own, how selfish had I become! I felt I owed it to him for his self respect as much as mine.
He said to me right its Monday I'll meet you in the commercial later Monday club is karaoke and all the lads from your old work will be in and bring your stick. Part of me wanted to make an excuse that demon lost before I knew it I'd agreed I loved the crack, why should I lose out.
That night I got ready my heart fluttering like a moth at a light I must admit I wasn't brave enough to walk I got a lift to the pub door.
I know a lot of people in my home town and quite a few were standing smoking at the door! Shit time to extend that cane and squeeze past from daylight to sudden darkness with my cane extended with all of the town watching my every move, my mate piped up drinks on the bar nothing said about the cane surely they've seen it I'm blind and I know its there whats going on.
I folded it and stuck it in my pocket and placed myself beside the bar the drink started flowing the gossip was good we laughed continuously as the singers sang poorly I knew this was the tonic that I needed. after quite a few Smirnoffs I plucked up the courage I've got this cane now.
There was a silence it seemed to last an eternity but must have only have been no more than 3 seconds - yes we all saw you come in with it, we all knew your eyes were getting worse we've noticed over the years they said even when you worked with us years ago you'd fall over things or trip up.
so how does it work I explained all about rp tunnel vision night blindness etc then about the cane and how I sweep to avoid things they were a captivated audience and intrigued I was totally at ease I was with my friends they hadn't judged me only i had judged them and boy was I wrong.
What happened next was like a demon killer this literally changed my total perception of how other people see me.
So how does it work give us a go with that cane my mate piped up so they tied a jersey round his head and sent him on his way it was hilarious I hadn't laughed as hard in ages my sides ached. Soon there was a queue for blind mans buff. That night I destroyed my demons and my friends will always be friends I don't worry about walking in to any bar with that cane any more because it is like my friend said only a piece of plastic and any ways I have the advantage of always winning blind mans buff.
The only person you are fooling is yourself and that is a fact.