Literally seeing more clearly is a wonderful thing. I recently went to have my long overdue eye examination. I should have gone for my check-up around the time I became ill almost three years ago, but each time I scheduled an appointment I had to cancel it because my pain was too intense for me to push through it to travel to the appointment. I was forced to go now because the changes in my vision couldn’t be ignored any longer and my old glasses finally stopped helping me see things better. I started developing a pronounced vertical line between my eyebrows from squinting my eyes to see just about everything. It didn’t help that I had to hold things up close to my face for me to read or see details.
When I picked up my new glasses a few weeks ago, the improvement in my eyesight amazed me. Even in dim lighting, I can read small print from a significant distance away, which means it might be less difficult for me to get through reading a book now, instead of only reading articles online with a high level of zoom. Drawing and colouring aren’t as frustrating either because I’m having an easier time connecting lines with the fine points of the pens and pencils I’m using as I build my creative skills. I’m seeing details in things I had completely forgotten existed. Although, I’m not sure I need to see all my new grey hairs or every pore in my face. An added bonus is that the line between my eyebrows is fading because I no longer have to squint while holding things against the tip of my nose to figure out what’s in front of me.
I also connected – however loosely – what I’ve decided to describe as a “metaphysical vision improvement” to getting new glasses because I’m seeing some things from my past more clearly. Having as much time on my hands, as I do these days, makes it difficult not to spend some of that time combing through past events and painful memories. Even though the moments are long gone and I know I can’t change them, it’s hard not to replay them. A few weeks ago, I spoke with a cousin about our past romantic entanglements and some of the lessons we’ve each learned from our respective relationships and breakups. After that conversation, I couldn’t stop thinking about one situation that years ago caused me a lot of unhappiness. I turned it over in my mind so many times that if it had been a living, breathing thing it would have developed a severe case of motion sickness.
I was fortunate enough to be able to reach out to someone who, after all these years, was able to give some helpful insight. What she told me confirmed that as much as I was hurt by what happened, it was the best thing for me. In that past relationship, I didn’t have the freedom to express my true self and I was forced to lie to people who love me to hold on to someone who could never fulfill my needs and made me doubt myself and feel insecure. The conversation we had helped me to let go of any lingering doubts and reminded me how easy it is to allow emotions and thoughts to suck us into a downward spiral where it’s almost impossible for us to see the truth sitting right in front of our noses.
Freeing up that emotional/psychological space and energy made room for something more enjoyable. The one thing that has been constant during the ups and downs of relationships and illness in my life is poetry, and each poem I write shows me truth I’m not always aware I know.