Yet again, this week’s blog will be inspired by my new eye glasses. If you did not read last week’s Thoughtful Thursday post, What It Looks Like. What It Is., I strongly suggest you start there.
| Forget What You Know |
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Things were going well. I was celebrating day four of having four eyes, and all was clear…literally. Sure, there were a few adaptions that I had to make during the adjustment process, but overall I was more thrilled about the fact that I could see that the transition wasn’t too much of a burden. That was until I couldn’t see. I sat at my desk and looked out as far as I could, and I realized that things were blurry. “This is weird,” I thought to myself. “Just yesterday I had no problems.” As the day progressed, I found that words and images not only looked blurry but distorted, so as a natural reflex I resorted back to squinting, and my glasses spent more time sitting in on a table of some sort than on the bridge of my nose. That was Wednesday. Thursday: more of the same. How could something that was once just what I needed turn to be the wrong fit so quickly?
After spending a couple of hundred dollars to make sure that I could have the best of what I needed, I was concerned. Was my prescription incorrect? I didn’t think that was possible. I could see perfectly fine for four days. Did my eyes change on me that fast? I didn’t think that was possible either. That would be a miracle, and though I strongly believe in them, I’d want to be refunded 100 fold! Tuh! Finally, I found myself questioning if I really needed glasses at all. Maybe the whole visit to the Optometrist was a fluke. Maybe my clarity of sight was merely euphoria. Maybe I was better off as I was before all of the this change happened.
Thursday afternoon, I became fed up with my inability to see clearly while possessing what I supposedly needed to do just that. So as most people do, I headed over to Google. “How long does it take for my eyes to adjust to my new glasses?” I needed answers and fast. I wanted to know if I was crazy or if I simply needed to go back to the Optometrist and ask for help (or a refund). I read over a few websites, and they all delivered the same message:
It usually takes 2-3 days for your eyes to adjust to your new prescription, and symptoms may include:
- Eye strain– You might experience eye strain in the first days you wear your new glasses.
- Distortion– Different parts of your vision might change slightly as you are adjusting to new glasses, perhaps depending how far from you an object is.
- Fishbowl– The image may seem “bent” at the edges. The center of the image may be clear.
- Depth perception– You may find it hard to discern how far away or how close an object is at first.
This didn’t make sense to me. Though my symptoms weren’t far-fetched, I seemed to adjust right away and then things changed. Plus it was day SIX, not 2-3! I found myself growing more and more frustrated until I saw the following:
In some cases, the adjustment period can take longer, possibly up to 2-3 weeks, if you are:
- wearing a new prescription for the first time
- wearing a new prescription after not wearing glasses for an extended period of time or wearing an old/wrong prescription for an extended amount of time
- if you are wearing bi-focals, tri-focals, or transition lenses
- if you have an astigmatism
That made perfect sense! Not only do I have an astigmatism, as diagnosed many moons ago and again almost two weeks ago, I haven’t had a new prescription in eons. In the times that I just couldn’t take not seeing, I would slip on an old pair of glasses and make due with those for a little while because I reasoned that was better than nothing. Once I had my answer, I still had a decision to make: wait it out until things get better or take the glasses off and deal with the vision I had.
Today I am going to talk to you about your choice after your transition.
About a month ago, I got a new windshield for my car. After almost 8 months of driving with a crack across my windshield, I finally got it repaired. Here’s the thing, I didn’t get in my car one day and “Boom!” there was a crack. Though it felt that way, it didn’t appear overnight. It was more so that I suddenly became aware of the damage. The crack probably began as a little nick in the glass that through time, weather changes, and pressure expanded into something much bigger. As time progressed, I adjusted with the crack. I just trained my eyes to look over, under, or around the crack to see the road. In the worst of cases, I’d condition myself to not be able to see at all. So fast forward back to the day I got a new windshield. I drove away from work feeling so uneasy. I was used to my crack. If I’m honest, I’ll admit that I missed it just a bit. It’s not that I wanted a damaged windshield, it’s that the dysfunction became normal and my correct normal felt weird.
Back to my eye glasses and my journey through Google. The website that brought some resolve to my adjustment challenges also suggested the following:
I may have been experiencing [the previously mentioned] symptoms while adjusting to my new eye glasses because of what I call my “Windshield Effect.” Because I went so long without the prescription I needed, my brain trained itself to believe my distorted vision was normal and my corrected vision was wrong. (AAAAHHHH!!!) It’s almost like after a few days, four to be exact, of wearing my glasses, my brain said, “Something’s not right!” …which finally gets us to the point!
There once was a woman in the Bible named “Lot’s Wife.” Just kidding. No for real, her name isn’t listed; she’s just referred to as “Lot’s Wife.” She, Lot (obviously her husband), and their daughters lived in a land called Sodom. Y’all, it was a wicked land…just perverse…nasty! Fun fact, Lot wasn’t like that. He was a good man living in a bad place. So God sent two angels to warn Lot that Sodom and a nearby city, Gomorah, would be burned because of the wickedness of the people. He warned Lot to escape with his family; “Run for your lives! And don’t look back!” As they were escaping, God rained down fire and burning sulfur on Gomorrah. “But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following him and turned into a pillar of salt.” Just like that, Old Bay.. Lawry’s… Mrs. Dash. *Shaking my head*
[Found in Genesis 19]
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
Trust me, this scripture is relative…
“Go for what you know!” I have heard that expression all of my life. In its purest form, it is simply encouraging you to rely on previous experiences. But what if what you know is wrong?
Reflecting back to my Windshield Effect, “the dysfunction became normal and my correct normal felt weird.” Just the same, after a few days with my new glasses, life prior to my four eyes seemed a lot more normal than the moments of distorted vision, eye strain, and uncertain depth perception. I can imagine that both Lot and his wife may have had a Windshield Effect experience of their own. They were being uprooted from their home because of the wickedness around them. Though I am certain they were GRATEFUL for the warning so that their lives could be spared, there may have been some trepidation to leaving all that they knew to go to a place of uncertainty though it would be a place of safety. (Side note: just cause it’s safe doesn’t mean you aren’t scared.) Also consider that they were leaving EVERYONE (besides their daughters) behind. Their instruction was, “Run for your lives and don’t look back!”
OH! I left out something very important that I read when trying to decide what to do about my new glasses that seemingly didn’t work anymore. According to the website:
While adjusting to your new glasses…
- continue to wear them
- DO NOT revert back to wearing your old prescription
In essence…forget what you know. What was no longer works for you. That “normal” was filled with dysfunction, and your brain (and life and heart and everything else) needs some time to reprogram itself to comprehend that right is normal and wrong is not.
I’m not sure who this was for other than just me. You may find yourself on the other side of a major transition, and you have to make a choice. Maybe the first moments of your “freedom” seemed so refreshing, until the door slammed shut behind you. When you considered that you were out there on a limb, seemingly alone, you became afraid. I know it seems so much easier to give up your press to what is promised to be better because of the difficulty of the process, but you cannot go back! Don’t even look back! Don’t consider that what was is better than what is and what can be… IT IS NOT! It served its purpose, but gradually it became dysfunctional only worsening your vision – (consider both my windshield and my former eye glass prescription/lack of glasses). I know the days may be a struggle and the nights maybe lonely. I know you may feel as if NO ONE understands and you are in this new world ALL ALONE. I even know that you may have pillars from your past taunting your present and teasing your future. You CAN make it without it, them, and that. Please, I beg you! Forget what you know! Don’t revert back to your old “prescription!” Don’t “take off” what is now here to make your vision clear! PLEASE DON’T LOOK BACK!
“But Lot’s wife looked back… and turned into a pillar of salt.” [Genesis 19:26]
“Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” [Luke 17:32-33]
I hope this helps.
Go ahead… Say something!