The Secret of Survival: Time and Memory #2

I remember a few years back driving somewhere, probably to a meeting, and catching a snatch of a novel read on the radio.

A character that had trained as a lawyer found he was unable to practice because he was too shy in court. So he made a new career as a proofreader. He was very successful and enjoyed being a proofreader and rose to the top of his profession.

But then one day after many years he had an eyesight problem. He cried over the proofs he had to check. Long exposure to printer’s ink had made him allergic to it. Another character asks, “What did you do?” He answers:

“What can anyone do in such circumstances? Accept it and go on. Please always remember, the secret of survival is to embrace change, and to adapt.”

I liked that a lot and have always remembered it.

But I didn’t really make the effort to find the book until today. Then just last night I spoke to a student with visual impairment, far more serious than mine. I was really gripped and impressed by how he managed and said so. He laughed and said

“Well you just have to get on with it. What else can you do?”

That prompted me to search harder. The book, I now know, is “A Fine Balance” by Rohanton Mistry. I’m ashamed I left it all that time to get my hands on it.

It’s a lovely book. And that little bit I got from the radio years ago really helped me when I had a stroke. An eye specialist at a famous hospital said

“It’s always a blow…”

and I thought

“The secret of survival is… to embrace and adapt”.

So that’s what I’m doing.

About partialinsight

One evening I had a stroke. Half my sight vanished overnight. Adapting made me grasp how amazing the visual system and brain are. It also taught me to understand disability completely differently and I'm grateful for the lesson.
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4 Responses to The Secret of Survival: Time and Memory #2

  1. jemmabrown says:

    Reblogged this on Through My Eyes and commented:
    Even as someone born with visual impairment I know for a fact that we never stop having to adapt and learn new ways of doing things.

    For me it’s coming up to a year since I lost all the vision in my right eye and I still sometimes turn around and forget that have to turn my head further than I used to and that I can’t look over my right shoulder.

    We all have to carry on and adapt to our circumstances at a constant rate.

  2. Rebecca Butcher says:

    Inspiring words in the face of adversity. Always good reading your blog 🙂 we have dreaded eye tests tomorrow – they always seem to bring bad news but like you said we adapt and move on. Take Care.

    • Sorry slow to answer Beccy, my bad! Still getting to grips with comments, even after all this time.

      So glad you like the blog!

      Hope eye test were OK, not too bad. You take care too. 🙂

  3. I read your story, I think you are very courageous!

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