All people have disabilities.

Some are visible.

Some are hidden.

The physical disabilities are very obvious and often others will stare or inquire with all the how, when, where and why questions.

The hidden disabilities that we carry around are very personal and often begin to exhibit physical symptoms the longer we try to hide them.

I am blind.

Blind Redhead Riter
Yes, my hair looks a different color because I added color to the photo so my skin wouldn’t look so pale, but it changed my hair color! Funny part is that I STILL look pale! I’m cracking myself up!

Obviously, it is only a temporary condition brought about because of a movie that I have thought about all day long.

Last night I watched At First Sight (1999) with Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino. The movie is about a blind man who briefly regains his sight only to eventually lose it again. The thing that made this movie so thought provoking to me was the fact that it was based on the true story of Shirl Jennings. When his sight was restored, he suffered sensory overload and had to learn to associate what he saw through his eyes to connect with the information he knew in his mind. It was not an easy task.

Today as I was driving to my job where I sat in front of a computer to work, I thought about Shirl and the lessons we can learn from his experience.

Do we appreciate our body?

I immediately thought of my bout with nakedness. Even with that struggle, I’m still thankful for my pale, freckled self that carries a few extra pounds.

How about our homes, automobiles and jobs? How much do we appreciate them?

Think about how many hours you spend at your job, cleaning your home, and waiting for your automobile to be fixed. All this manual labor is required and usually isn’t fun or exciting. Even with all the work, I still feel very grateful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.

What if we had to do all those things while being blind? How appreciative do you think you would feel as you tripped over furniture, got burned while cooking, and were unable to see your families faces, drive a car or enjoy the bird sitting on the window sill?

I believe I would be very angry and frustrated, however, in many ways I am still blind. True, I can see with my eyes, but often my mind holds me back from new experiences because of the fear of failure or heartache. I let perfectly wonderful experiences pass me by and later I feel regret.

Thankfully, I was able to remove the physical blindfold tonight and see my daughter laughing at me for being a crazy blogger. “WHAT are you doing?” she asked me and the look on her face was just so funny.

While reading this post tonight have you been reflecting on your hidden disabilities? What can we do to remove the blindfold that hides our weaknesses? Are we willing to take the chance of making a fool of ourselves in order to improve, learn and grow?

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 theTsaritsa August 3, 2010 at 2:37 am

I always think about stuff like that– what if I couldn't walk, or what if I couldn't see. It's scary to think about, but it's reality for a lot of people and they deal with it everyday, and graciously.

So many people take what they have for granted, I think it's a good idea to stop and think about what we have and feel grateful.


2 moonduster August 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

Great post! This year has been one where I have tried very hard to overcome my fear of failure and try new things and overcome my procrastinating tendencies and strive to achieve my dreams.


3 pr0udmom0f3 August 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

Actually, I was partially blind for almost a month, last year. I had a perforated cornea and lost 75% of it, due to poking an already-infected eye (I have Roseacea, a skin disorder).

As a mother, it is a horrid thought even now, but worse back then, knowing I had a hard time with seeing and judging with my one good eye, and knowing that there was a real chance, I would be permanently blind, being that they considered taking the ENTIRE eye out.

On October 29,2009, I had an emergency Corneal Transplant. By then, I was a severely high risk when it came to keeping my eye, or losing it during the surgery.

For the month and a half, that I had NO sight whatsoever (between the perforation, then the patching to protect the eye) it was a completely different world to me. And I knew exactly then, what ALL of us with sight takes for granted. From the sky, down to the ground, and everything in between.


4 The Redhead Riter August 3, 2010 at 11:46 am

theTsaritsa – It is scary to think about and that's how I felt the whole time I watched the movie.

moonduster – What are your dream goals? Have you accomplished any this year?

pr0udmom0f3 – THAT IS SO FRIGHTENING! I've had eye infections and had to have my eye patched for 3 or 4 days, but having to do it for a month or more while thinking I would lose my vision would be so nerve racking! Thank you for sharing your experience.


5 4W August 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Thank You!


6 Marlene August 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm

My husband has worn hearing aids since he was 30. He has an administrative job. More and more I see him have trouble with meetings and social settings. Circumstances have to be just right for him to hear. I've seen people look at him like he was either dumb or unfriendly because he didn't answer them. Some of these people know he has hearing issues. (The man had a double major in college and has his MPA. He's def. not dumb!)

If someone you know is hearing impaired, you need to make sure they know you are talking to them. Also look them in the face. Seeing your lips as you talk helps a lot.

We read a lot of TV at our house. 🙂


7 Summer August 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

This post reminds me of things I can be grateful for. my weakness is usually confidence in writing, but I realized today- taking my own blindfold off- that I have a wonderful writing community within the blogsphere, and even in my hometown. thanks for the post


8 Sunny Day August 3, 2010 at 11:18 pm

At the university where I worked there was a class in the special education department about disabilities. The students had to choose a disability and live it for one day. Students had to use wheelchairs, there were special glasses that either reduced vision or blacked it out completely, and devices to block your hearing. It was a very good experience for them to live as a disabled person since they would be working with them.

I have deaf people in my family and I think I could get along if I were to become deaf but my fear is blindness. Not being able to read and/or use the computer.


9 The Redhead Riter August 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm

4W – You're welcome!

Marlene – I can relate with your husband. I am partially deaf (long story) and even though my family has always known, they get MAD at me because I don't always hear them the first time. I turn around to read their lips, but they are too mad to repeat it. HELLO! Does that make sense? Not to me!!!!

Summer – I'm happy you decided to notice your blessings today!

Sunny Day – THAT is a wonderful idea! I'm so glad the university does that for the students. I think it will make them better at helping people having a real experience of what others are feeling. Thank you!


10 Teresha@Marlie and Me August 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Another thought provoking post! I don't know why society is so insensitive to those with disabilities. I always say put yourself in the other person's shoes


11 The Redhead Riter August 3, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Can you imagine Teresha if everyone put themselves in the other person's shoes? It would truly be a wonderful world!!!!


12 Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue August 4, 2010 at 1:33 am

This is very thought provoking and deserves to be just that. As I am aging, I am losing my site to poor vision and I have wondered if one day it could get so bad that I would not be able to see. Of course, now I can get by with reading glasses and such, but what if one day I could not. We all have so much to be thankful for if we will only take a moment to stop and realize that.


13 mangiabella August 4, 2010 at 4:31 am

oooooo, GREAT movie! been a while since i've seen it.

oh yes, i am always willing to improve, learn and grow regardless of how ridiculous i look, i have no shame lol, the world must go on the journey with me cause i won't hold back 🙂


14 PJ August 4, 2010 at 5:01 am

Hey Gal! Great post! Incidentally, thank you for stopping by my blog. It was a very welcomed sight. Now, you're going to think I'm "way out there". While I was reading your post about "disabilities". You know where my mind went? To my post about being deaf to God's still, small voice. I know, we all do it at one time or another. Here Him tell us to do something, and dismiss it because "we don't have time, or the money, or don't want to be inconvenienced. That's where my mind went about disabilities. Do you think I'm crazy, finding a link between our posts?

God Bless! Hugs to you and Alyssa!



15 The Redhead Riter August 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue – I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

mangiabella – We don't have time to hold back!

PJ – When I hopped over to your blog last night, I thought the same thing.


16 Anonymous August 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Genial post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you for your information.


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