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staying motivated with slow improvement
Hi! I haven't posted on here in ages. Here's my background:

I discovered the Bate's Method two years ago. My latest prescription was -5 diopters in both eyes with no astigmatism. I was pretty optimistic about it and noticed some improvement within the first couple months. I started to get clear flashes, but they hurt like hell and my eyes watered profusely whenever they happened. Then I hit a rock-solid plateau for about nine months, after which I literally gave up and went back to wearing my full strength glasses. I was tired of seeing things blurry and felt like I just could never achieve perfect vision.

Well, the improvements I had went away and my vision actually got worse over the next year! I wasn't even seeing perfectly through my glasses anymore and thought, I could either try the Bate's Method again or go to the optometrist and continue getting stronger and stronger glasses.

So I started it pretty hardcore several weeks ago. I'm approaching it a bit differently this time. My clear flashes still hurt but not as horribly as they used to. They still water a lot though. I'm trying to be MUCH more positive this time. I watched The Secret and am realizing that my doubts had prevented any improvements. I also wasn't spending much time at all palming or sunning, which I think really help me. I was also allowing my job to really stress me out. I'm trying to work on myself as a person overall this time around.

So I have been doing the following things:

1. Try to accept my eyes the way they are. I actually tell myself that I love my eyes and how well they see, even in spite of all the strain I have put them through. I'm trying to stop straining to see, but I'm also trying to make sure I actually pay attention to what I do see. I definitely admit to the bad habit of staring off into space and not paying any attention to what I was looking at. However, accepting the current state of my eyes is easier said than done. I have to do a LOT of positive self-talk, and sometimes I can't help but feel frustrated.

2. Sunning and palming daily, although I don't time it. I find that I almost always have a clear flash after sunning.

3. Reading without glasses. I could always read without glasses, but if I hold the book further away, my eyes adjust and bring the blurry words into focus. They kind of come in and out. I actually have to point with my finger to remind myself to centralize, and that helps a lot. It's kind of like the plus-lens approach, but I don't need plus lenses because I have enough blur to begin with.

4. Watching TV without glasses. This was hard at first, but my eyes actually adjust to it and I can actually enjoy watching the programs. My daughter is 3 and I find that watching her shows helps my eyes because the colors and contrast are really bold. It usually takes about ten minutes of seeing blurry before the characters start to come into focus, and then it's really fun.

5. Paying attention to my posture. I used to fold my arms and kind of close up. Whenever I catch myself doing that, I purposely open up. I'm trying to in essence change my introverted myopic personality. I want to be more interested in others and also more patient and carefree. That's easier said than done too.

6. I go without glasses as often as I can. Of course I have to wear glasses to drive. I'm a teacher so I'm off for the summer. Right now it's easy to go without glasses a lot, but when I go back to work I'll have to wear reduced prescription lenses.

So that's pretty-much what I'm doing. I'm having various levels of clear flashes everyday, and they always result in some discomfort and actual tears dripping out of my eyes. I'm noticing that, when I'm not having a clear flash, I am still seeing better than I used to. I see details that I don't think I could see before, but the progress is so slow I wonder if it's all in my head.

How do you stay positive when the progress is so slow? I'm definitely having the hardest time with that. I want so badly to be able to see perfectly someday, and it's hard for me to let go of my myopic personality's tendency to be impatient and try too hard.
Hello, Michelle.

I can relate to the whole giving up, slow progress and negativity thing. I have been practising Bates for too many years but have only started doing it more correctly since January this year. Most of the time previously I was just replacing one kind of strain with another. Still my progress is halting but there has been a great improvement since my own new start and with that has come greater understanding and even a few changes in the way I am as a person. The latter has come about simply through just practising the Bates way of thinking in regard to my vision - I have not tried to change my personality in order to cure my sight, but the improving of vision and imagination function first brought about internal prompts to become overall more flexible in my approach to life.

My general approach with Bates now is a "no tolerance" policy to strain. That strain is mental in origin. I decided that if I am ever tempted to give up on Bates, what it is I really mean is that I want to give up on strain. Go careful about the idea of permanently attaining perfect eyesight. No body has perfect eyesight all of the time - it is just that ours (myopes etc) fluctuates a whole lot more! I aim for eyesight which allows me to function and enjoy life and appreciate visual beauty most of the time. A little alarm bell goes off when I begin to think that a complete cure is just around the corner for me - I think at this stage the complete cure will remain elusive until we are not bothered about that complete cure.

We have a few choices here:

1. Try to completely cure our vision. We have already been there.
2. Give up on vision improvement and go back to lenses. We know we will not be content with the artificially focused world which is flat and dead.
3. Accept this is our vision now, it may be better tomorrow, it will be a lifelong journey of further discovery either way, and even the natural blur is more vibrant and interesting than what you get in option 2.


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