Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Power of "WE" Michael Benson continues his story. Part II

Michael and family
Sitting at a Major League Baseball game enjoying the evening, the compliment I'd heard a thousand times came out of nowhere. "You have really nice eyes. Are you wearing contacts? Your eyes are so big and blue.” This single well intentioned comment stole my joy and took me to the fear of a made up future that always ended with me going blind and being alone someday. I would smile, say thank you and get quiet while my mind was off running amuck.

But for a young guy anxiously waiting for an upcoming doctors visit to find out what my eye pressures are and if there is more optic nerve damage, a emotional tail spin always ensued. The pending doctors visit would surely have me being told I needed another surgery. What if the surgery doesn't work? What if the person with me knew the truth about my eyes and that I could go blind? Would they feel the same about me? Am I being dishonest not saying anything? It sounds silly to me now, but it was all very real. Three innings went by I was certainly was no longer at the game. 

As I see it today, I was missing a sighted day worrying about a day that still many years later has not come. In most cases on that next eye visit my pressures were stable and I would leave happy - forgetting that I missed a great life experience. This never equated to Glaucoma or a part of having Glaucoma - and talking out loud about it. This is my message today. This is the part of having Glaucoma, RP, Stargardtz and all the eye diseases that are stealing our vision. We have to talk about it. Not talking about it almost killed me. 

I turned to drinking alcohol to shut my mind off. I was an athlete and wouldn’t even smoke a cigarette and I found myself by 21 drinking or smoking marijuana daily with the thoughts that if I lost my vision I would kill myself. By the Grace of God in my life this November will be 33 years since I touched a drop of alcohol or any mind alternating substance. I hit a bottom and admitted that I wasn’t dealing with it all. This was the first step of living in the Power. Asking for help and telling others I was scared was a very difficult process for me
Michael (in blue) at a Visual Experience event

I can only tell people what works for me personally. Today through no other choice but to surrender to have victory in my life, I listen to the quiet still voice that is always there and every day it says, “Michael, trust Me, I love you, you can either live in the power or you can live in the fear.” This may offend some who say “Oh is this religious talk?”  I can only tell people what works for me personally. I have a very interesting background as my Mother is Jewish and my Father an Irish Protestant. I was very confused about religion growing up but I knew there must be something that created all this. Today, I consider my self a Jewish believer in Christ. I am not jamming my belief on you. Whoever is reading this and whatever your beliefs are my message is to get in touch with your inner spirit. I know to live in the power in my life I had to stop asking why me? Once I started asking " How can you use me?" I watched a lot of fears begin to leave.

The journey of dealing with life on life terms and facing all that has come down the pike began. I wish it was the end of letting my Glaucoma affect my decisions but it wasn’t. Mr. Fear reared his ugly head again and the struggle continued.
End of Part II. 
Glaucoma can strike anyone at any stage of life. There is no cure. Vision that is lost
cannot be regained. Schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive exam today. Glaucoma can happen to anyone, anytime. A high risk group includes having a family history of glaucoma, being very nearsighted or diabetic. African Americans, Hispanics, also being over the age of 60 increases the risk. You can be born with glaucoma. There is treatment - lifelong treatment - once you are diagnosed. But you must be first diagnosed.

For more information please visit, the Glaucoma Research Foundation's web site. It's your vision. Don't lose it.

To learn more about Michael Benson please visit his website or 

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