Apr 22, 2007


This is in no way medical information, it's just a story that I made up to make sense of what goes on with me. As I read or hear more either from a doctor or some article or friend, I twist my story so it will fit that new information.

I have amblyopia - lazy eye - in my left eye. It runs in my family. This is not an eye defect, but a brain interpretation defect, the brain just doesn't want to "see". There is nothing physically wrong with my eye.

There are two ways that this is treated: an older idea was to abandon the lazy eye, so that it got lazier and lazier and you would expect to lose sight in that eye by the time you're old. This is the way I was treated for about 20 years. The lazy eye got worse and worse, but what was worse was that the good right eye would get tired by the end of the day. No nights spent learning for me, and quite commonly I would skip reading that page before bed. This is very painful for me because I love reading. Computer reading is much better than paper... woohoo for now having enough to read in blogs.

A more recent approach is to force the lazy eye to help. So they would increase the dioptries until the lazy eye is forced to contribute. This is what my current doctor is trying to do with me. I have a new pair of glasses and right now it's pretty difficult to read, but it gets better every day as the left eye is forced to do something.

I think there is a connection between the way my eyes work and my social anxiety. On one side I am so successful professionally and within my family, on another I am so unable to deal with new people and make friends. One part works so hard, the other needs serious pushing to do anything. So what is the right dioptry that I need to add to my lazy part to make it contribute to my well-being? And how do you apply this?

I went to a yoga class yesterday. At a certain point I noticed my neighbour's wedding ring: it looked like a plain wide white gold simple band. I went on with the class and 10-15 minutes later I notice that her ring was actually encrusted with little diamonds. So what made my eyes see much better this time? Was it the breathing, the exercise, the blood flow to the eyes? I think so. And I decided what my next step will be in trying to deal with my social anxiety: I am going to exercise... a lot. I will see where that goes, but it can't go wrong.

I exercised regularly since summer of last year, not much, but at least two hours a week. In February, I couldn't do much and since March I am in a maze anxiety-wise. It's time to get it back and do more of it.

That being said, I won't have much time left for blogging :( I will try to update weekly though! And I will keep reading my favorite blogs... while my left eye hopefully gets better ;)


Dave B. said...

I find that exercise is an excellent way to stabilize my anxiety. The past couple three weeks I've been getting a tad lazy about it and not working out at my usual rate. Last night I dropped by a friend's for a beer at his invitation. I left within a around 40 minutes. Once home, I began to question my behaviour in a negative way, thinking I might have said or done something to put him and his girlfriend off. I know I didn't but can't help thinking I did. Really got me anxious and down. I'm sure this is a result of my slacking off on exercising. I feel fine today, but I might turn them down the next time they invite me over.

Bottom line: Exercise is definitely a good way to balance your life. It works for me.


Ileana said...

Thanks Dave!

Leila V. said...

I must agree with Dave, exercise has done wonders for my anxiety too, (that and blogging)!

Good luck, keep us posted...

Trish said...

Ah, I know this is a really old post, but I just 'labelled' my constant fear and depression as Social Anxiety, so i'm doing research and I plan to start a blog to track my progress.

I love this post, the eye metaphor describes my anxiety to a 'T'. I didn't think that I had a disorder because I could socialize with my family and 2 friends without sweating,shaking, blushing and many more discomforts. But I can never make new friends or was much to afraid to try. I avoid any social outings and make excuses to stay home. Thank you for this post and in fact this blog =)