By Lynda Jones, CVRT, VisionAware Peer Advisor

Many of us at the time of vision loss seem to memorialize our former sighted selves. We forget that our sighted selves ever burned the toast, wore two different shoes to a business meeting, got on the wrong commuter train, or committed any other faux pas.

Some of us, visually impaired our entire lives, wrongly think sighted people rarely burn the toast, never wear two different shoes to a meeting, and will always correctly read the track signs for the commuter trains. These misguided perceptions, along with societal stigmas, too often prevent us from recognizing that everyone—blonde or brunette, short or tall, young or old, blind or sighted—makes mistakes and those misperceptions hinder us from accepting and valuing our visually impaired selves.

Why We Developed This Series

The idea for our Laughter Is Often the Best Medicine series began to germinate when a blind colleague told me about a blunder she’d made the night before. While preparing dinner, she pulled out a bag of Tater Tots from the freezer, spread them over a baking sheet, and popped them in the oven. When she removed them from the oven, her Tater Tots were Brussels sprouts!

We got a hearty laugh out of that one. No doubt anyone could have made the same mistake; after all, Tater Tots and Brussels sprouts look and feel the same when frozen. The VisionAware Peer Advisors discussed this story and decided that we should develop this series.

Difficulty Laughing at Situations

We find it difficult to laugh at such situations if we are struggling to find our equilibrium of adjusting to life’s demands along with vision loss. In time, we realize one of the best therapies for learning to accept and value our visually impaired selves is to laugh at our faux pas.

Laugh, Learn, Accept

The contributors to this series hope their stories provide a chuckle, an “aha moment,” or dispel myths about visual impairment for all readers. We hope that in reading these articles, you can laugh at your blunders and celebrate your victories, as does each writer. We hope that you find our stories amusing, if not downright hilarious, and equally encouraging.

Hopefully, our personal experiences will give you potential solutions for coping with your vision loss. And, please note, these faux pas occurred while we were doing normal everyday activities. Our visual impairment, in spite of our blunders, never deters us from living life to the fullest, and so can you! If you have an amusing experience you associate with your vision loss, please share it as we post each Laughter Is Often the Best Medicine story on the Visually Impaired: Now What? blog.