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I need to note this before I go to bed, too. I don't have proper time to write like I want to about it, and I'm very frustrated about it. New dog day is officially three months away--well, not anymore by the time stamp. Three months from now, I will be sleeping in a bed in Morristown, NJ, with some other dog beside me. That is a strange thing to write.

I decided to reluctantly drop out of two things: choir and the small group I had joined which was studying discipleship. I will rejoin choir after the new dog gets home, and I'll pick up the discipleship group next time around. I had already missed two group sessions due to the field trip and being sick. Regarding choir, I just can't see making Meg climb those steps, and there's no question regarding the possibility of me going to church without her. It's not an emotionally comfortable decision on many levels; but it needed to happen. I keep getting behind in school because of being sick, and these are the two things I can give up. The frustrating thing for me is that my learning process really does take so much longer, and it isn't because of blindness. At this point it is because of my general learning style. I have very poor reading retention; so I need time to read and re-read, take notes and reflect. Someone exclaimed the other day when I mentioned taking notes, "You take notes??? Just read! You'll do fine!" No, I wouldn't. That's the problem I had in undergrad. I just read. The only time I ever did well was when I did exactly what I'm doing now--and it took me a lot longer then.

I've heard stories about people doing seminary with a slate and stylus, readers, etc. I certainly have good skills in these areas, but I could never have done it. I'd have worn my hands out and never slept! And medically, sleep is a necessity for me. I'm not sleeping eight hours a night; but my boundary is that I must get at least four or five on the average night, and six is better. I rarely get less than three, especially without a nap. My classmates are pulling all-nighters. They do school and jobs and families sometimes. Why can't I do school and choir and a small group? Four extra hours a week is not really that much to ask for...

But somehow I must accept these limitations. I might have been able to do this if I had never gotten sick; but the sicker I got, the more behind I got. I don't catch little 24-hour bugs--or at least when I catch them they don't function as 24-hour bugs for me. I never know whether I will be healthy or sick. Should I live the well-spaced-out life and leave myself room for being sick? Or should I try to live as fully as I can and drop out if necessary? I don't know what to do... Living as if I could get sick any day feels like admitting defeat. But living fully and dropping out feels like not taking my commitments seriously or making promises I can't keep. All I know to do is pray for wisdom...

To post this public or not...? When I write with this much vulnerability, I always catch myself wondering if it's really appropriate to post one's journals in public. There can be so many repercussions from being vulnerable with the world. Everyone may not see my situation as I do--and sometimes another person's view is more correct than mine. Do I want to risk putting my view out only to have it criticized? That is really the crux of the issue. Why wouldn't it be "appropriate" for me to post my own thoughts? My very intention in starting an online journal was to help people understand my experiences as a person with disabilities--and in so doing perhaps help them think in general about disability issues. A part of that experience is figuring out what it means to accept my limitations, when I should be trying to take on a normal load, and how my other disabilities which are hidden intersect with blindness. A very significant part of my experience is the frustration that comes from the fact that things get blamed on blindness when they have more to do with my other circumstances (e.g. studying taking so long due to difficulties with memory).

So I post public despite my unease. Perhaps I just need some sleep...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
I know it's hard, but go ahead and post! You seem to have a lot of support out here, and I, for one, enjoy your posts immensely.

How is Meg feeling? I know you said she has difficulty climbing the steps at church, but how is she otherwise? My Rachel girl sends her licks and wags, and bids her to enjoy her impending retirement.

It's so hard to retire a dog. It broke my heart to retire Rachel, but I got through it. You will too.

I applaud you for fighting to continue with your studies, even though you deal with so much illness. Anyone who gives you crap about the decisions you make needs to walk a while in your shoes, before they judge you. It's as simple as that.
Mar. 2nd, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
I was going to post a real comment here but he echoed my thoughts so...

I have to say that I admire you for juggling everything that you have going on along with school. I don't know how you do it, nor do I know whether or not I could if I were in your shoes. Having any disability whether it's blindness or something else involves if a person is to live life, realizing ones limitations and dealing with them. The way I look at posting your thoughts publically or not--people don't have to read them.

Keep doing what you're doing, and give everything over to God, and I've no doubt that you will make the right choices with regards to school or anything else that you are involved in.

Take care.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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