The Calm Before the Skydive


About 6 years ago I became very sick out of the blue and subsequently lost my eyesight along with a good deal of my hearing.  Although I had the support of my parents, brother and a very loyal group of friends I found myself in the grips of depression (a condition I still take medication for to this day).

I struggled with the age old question “why me?” And wondered how I could deal with my newly acquired disabilities on top of the ones I already had. It seemed impossible.

As time went on I was lucky enough to regain a tiny bit of my sight. I went from being able to see absolutely nothing (a very daunting experience); to being able to see silhouettes and eventually progressing to the legal blindness I have today. For those who are wondering, for me that means I can see you if you are close but I can’t tell you what colour your eyes are and if you have a pimple you are worried about, don’t be.  I can’t see it anyway.

This was a very dark (no pun intended) time for me. I was angry, frustrated and very scared. The thing that worried me most was not the actual blindness though. It was the prospect of becoming the “useless disabled person” that I had convinced myself society had pegged me as being.

I have countless stories of encounters with people who had decided on face value that I was “not all there” and spoken down to me or written me off altogether. And that was before the blindness and deafness. What would it be like now? I had spent my whole school life attempting to show that I wasn’t stupid  (not sure if this was successful but I did win the maths medal in year 11) and, after 6 years in the workforce where I had to work hard to prove myself I had just landed a position in the Marketing Department. A role I had trained for and one I had my eye on since the first day of working at this company. Was it all for nothing? What was the point of going on then?

This may sound a tad melodramatic not to mention a bit self-indulgent but that is what depression does…

Very few people knew that I was suffering. I laughed and joked about the situation thinking I was protecting others when really I was trying to protect myself. As the song says, “don’t cry out loud. Keep it inside; learn how to hide your feelings”. Sorry, I have been listening to my Boy from Oz CD again.

It wasn’t until I started to face up to how I was feeling  and began to talk about it that I was able to see that my life was not over and I could still make a meaningful contribution. I do still tend to keep my inner feelings (particularly the negative ones) to myself for fear of showing vulnerability. But I am getting better at it.

I remember at one point laying in my hospital bed and thinking to myself “If I get through this I will never be scared of anything ever again.” Of course 6 years ago frail and depressed as I was, I would never have guessed that I would be about to do a skydive.

That’s right dear reader it is finally going ahead. In less than 24 hours I will be travelling to the sleepy town of York WA and leaping from a plane at 14,000 feet.

So the question on everyone’s lips is, am I scared? Of course not… I’m terrified!  But I am doing it anyway. I suspect my mantra “calm blue ocean” will be getting a workout though.

In a happy co-incidence the next post on my blog will be my 50th (happy birthday to me). What a great way to celebrate.

For the record there are still a couple of things I am scared of. Namely spiders and emus. But does anyone like these things?



2 thoughts on “The Calm Before the Skydive

  1. Glad to see that things can be over come with just that little bit of determination and I’m glad your finally sky diving enjoy and best of luck

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