Many people dread the day they get glasses, for me, it was one of the best days of my life, for it fulfilled a desire I had since I was probably four years old and that was that I WANTED TO WEAR GLASSES!
In my immediate family no one that I was aware of wore glasses except my grandmother on my fathers side and when I was four I was fascinated with her rimless glasses and how they looked and I would get on her side and try and sneak a peek through her lenses and wondered what it was like to wear them. She died when I was five and for a brief time there was nobody in our family wearing glasses, but that would soon change.
That same year, my older sister found out she was nearsighted and needed glasses. At first she loved them, but with each year her vision got a little worse and her glasses got a little thicker and she began to hate wearing them and began playing the poor me card and would pester our parents for contacts, which she finally got in high school. However, my own desire to wear glasses never diminished, but I kept it to myself.
The same year my sister got her glasses I had the first of my school vision screenings, which I passed. Every few years I would be called to the office to read the eye chart and each time I would pass. In 8th grade I began to have problems seeing the board and would have to spend a lot more time trying to figure out what was written on the board. It never dawned on me that I was becoming nearsighted, I just thought the teachers wrote smaller in Junior High School.
When I got into the ninth grade I knew something had changed, I could no longer see the board from the back or even the middle of the class,and struggled to see it from the front row, I also had a lot of trouble seeing at night and when reading the type on the page went from solid black to various shades of gray and it made reading very tiresome. I knew I was getting nearsighted, but during the Summer, I had been diagnosed with a mild social anxiety disorder which manifested itself in making me very shy and self conscious and because of it I was too afraid to show up wearing glasses at school or even tell my parents.
In January, I got my chance to come clean about my eyesight issues. All freshmen were summoned to the nurses office to have their vision checked, when it was my turn I found out it wasn’t just the board I couldn’t see, I couldn’t see a lot of the eye chart either!
I was told a letter would be sent to my parents telling them I would need to see an eye doctor. The thought of the letter coming was worse than just telling my parents on my own, so I found the courage to tell them that night at dinner. They were surprised at the news and asked if I had been having any problems seeing? I told them about not being able to see the board, having problems seeing at night and my problems reading. They asked why I hadn’t said anything to them about it and I told them I was afraid and didn’t want to show up wearing glasses half way through the school year. The next morning my mother made an appointment for the following week for my eye exam.
A week later I found myself sitting in the eye doctors office having my eyes examined for the first time in my life. The exam revealed I was mildly nearsighted and also had a moderate amount of astigmatism. The doctor told my mother and I that my vision was a little worse than 20/70 in my left eye and a little worse than 20/100 in my right eye and I needed glasses. He told me it would be up to me as to how much I wanted to wear my glasses, but I would need to wear them to see the board at school, see clearly at night, to read and when I started driving I would need them to legally drive. He said with my myopia and astigmatism being what it was, his recommendation was that I wear them full time because I was going to need them for pretty much most activities and he was pretty confident once I started wearing glasses I would prefer seeing clearly all the time.
After the exam my mother decided since we had time we would go to the optician my sister used and pick out a pair of glasses. Having no idea what I liked or what would look good on me, this proved to be harder than I thought. The optician had me try on various styles and the one thing I knew for sure was I didn’t like how plastic frames looked on me or felt on my nose, so this left full framed metal, half rimmed or rimless frames to chose from. After trying on an endless number of glasses, I decided on a pair of half rimmed frames that everyone thought looked really nice on me. The optician knowing this was my first pair of glasses and how self conscious I was, told me it would make it easier on me if I told my friends I was getting glasses before I actually got them. Doing this would lesson the shock or surprise when I showed up wearing them, he then took some measurements and told us they would call when they were ready sometime the following week.
When we got home, my father and sister were told the outcome of the exam and that I needed glasses. My sister was actually thrilled with the news since she would no longer be the only one in the family wearing glasses! They wanted to know when I was going to pick them out and we told them I already had and they would be ready sometime the next week. They also wanted to know how I was feeling about wearing glasses, to which I said I was pretty nervous and afraid to be seen by family and friends wearing glasses, but I was also pretty excited to be able to see better. My sister told me not to worry too much because it wouldn’t be as bad as I was imagining: the first time someone would see me would be the hardest, but after only a few minutes they would begin to adjust and wouldn’t care that I was wearing glasses from then on. . She also told me it was important to own my new look and act like it was no big deal and if I could pull it off it would make wearing glasses so much easier the first few days. Just as the optician had done, she also told me to tell my friends.
The next week seemed to go on forever! While I waited for my glasses to be ready, I took the opticians and my sisters advice and told some of my friends the news. They seemed to be a little surprised, but other than wanting to know when I would be getting them, they didn’t really seem to care. As the week wore on I continued to became more and more excited at the prospect of realizing my dream of wearing glasses.
On Thursday while I was at school the call finally came and my mom was told I could come in after school or on Friday afternoon for my fitting. Since she had Fridays off they decided that 3:30 would work. When I got home, I was told the news and we would go right from school for my fitting. I didn’t sleep well that night, It was kind of like waiting for Christmas morning and the next day at school seemed to drag on forever, but the bell ending the day finally rang and I met my mom in front of the school and we were off to get my glasses!
When we arrived, I was told to take a seat at the counter and the optician already had the tray with my name on it sitting on the counter and in it were my glasses. While the optician worked on getting my glasses ready, he was asking me what seemed like an endless stream of questions: Had I told my friends, how was I feeling about wearing glasses? was I nervous, excited or both ? I told him I had told some of my friends, but other than wanting to know when I was getting them, they didn’t seem to really care. I was also both nervous at the thought of being seen by family and friends wearing glasses but excited at the prospect of wearing glasses and seeing better. However, since I had no reference or idea of what it was going to be like I was more nervous at the present time. He then asked if I was ready to experience something I would remember for the rest of my life and with that he slipped my glasses on my face. Oh my god, he wasn’t kidding! I could not believe how clear and in focus everything had instantly become! It was absolutely amazing! I could read anything he had on the walls of the office from any distance and when I took my glasses off much of it disappeared! He asked how they felt and all I could say was WOW! I didn’t realize my vision was as bad as it was! He told me he heard that all the time. He had me go over to the eye chart on the wall and I found out my vision was now 20/13 which blew me away! While I walked over to the eye chart I noticed that the ground didn’t seem to be in the right place and things that I knew were straight of flat looked slanted or bent and I seemed to be walking funny. The optician explained that this was because of my astigmatism correction and it would take a few days for things to begin to look normal again. He told me to wear them full time for at least a week to get used to them and then I could decide how much I wanted to wear them, he too was pretty sure I would end up preferring full time wear once I had been wearing them for a few days because of my astigmatism, he made some final adjustments to make my glasses comfortable to wear, told me to come in anytime I needed to and sent us on our way.
Once outside I was absolutely stunned! I just stood there taking it all in, it was like my eyes had just been opened for the first time. Everything looked so different! It was much brighter and colors were so much more vibrant! It was as if the world had been in monochrome and had just gone into technicolor! I could also see peoples faces from across the parking lot, without glasses I could tell they were people, but I couldn’t tell who they were and now I could actually see their faces! I could also read everything on the stores windows that without my glasses I basically couldn’t see at all and finally, trees no longer looked like green blobs, but had individual leaves and I could also see individual blades of grass on the lawn that surrounded the parking! Wearing glasses was truly an amazing and magical experience and wearing them was better than I imagined. At that moment I didn’t have any fear about being seen wearing my glasses, I was just in my own little world of discovery and being amazed at how clear everything looked and loved every minute of it!
By the time we got home the fear of being seen had reared it’s ugly head and I had become very self conscious about the thought of being seen by family and friends. As we came up to the house, my sister and father met us at the front door and told me my glasses looked really good on me and wanted to know what it was like wearing them? I told them it was amazing how much better I could see, but at the same time I was feeling very self conscious and felt really weird wearing glasses in front of them. They told me that how I was feeling was completely natural, but not to worry about it, I did look different, but not in a bad way and I really looked good in my glasses and had done a great job in picking out frames that really complimented my looks and we would all get used to my new look over the next few days.
Since my sister and I now shared something in common that nobody else in our family did she was a more interested in my experiences of getting glasses and how I was actually feeling about wearing them than my parents seemed to be, so she and I went to her room to talk. The first thing she wanted to know was what it was like the first time the optician put my glasses on me and when I told her, she told me what it had been like for her and our experiences were very similar. She then wanted to know how I was feeling about having to wear glasses? I told her I really liked it and liked how well I could see, but I was also feeling pretty nervous about wearing them to school on Monday morning or even wearing them in front of friends and didn’t know if I could do it. Knowing how shy I was she told me my feelings were completely natural but the best thing to do was just face my fear head on and go down the block after dinner and show a couple of my friends my new look and see what their reaction would be and what they had to say about my glasses. . My sister also told me what I already knew, that she had always felt different and kinda singled out because she was the only one in our family who needed glasses, but now that I too was wearing them, she no longer had those feelings of being alone and welcomed me into the club! I then confessed to her that If I had had it my way I would of joined her a lot earlier because I had always wanted to wear glasses for a long as I could remember and today had actually been one of the best days of my life! She was totally surprised by this and asked me to explain. I told her I had always had the feeling that I was supposed to wear glasses and I had felt that way since I was at least four when our grandmother came to visit and I was fascinated by her glasses and was always trying to sneak a peek through her lenses and the feeling got a lot stronger when she(my sister)got her first glasses and I was actually envious that she got to wear glasses and I didn’t. She couldn’t believe what I had just told her and she told me that my feelings would probably change over time. I told her I seriously doubted it, because I now felt complete in how I was supposed to look!
After dinner I decided to follow my sisters advice and show a couple friends my glasses and see what they had to say about them. It went pretty much how my sister had told me it would go. They were surprised at first but after a couple minutes they began to treat me as they always had. When I got back home my parents and sister wanted to know how it went and when I told them it went really well, they were relieved and wanted to know if I felt a little more at ease wearing my glasses? Which I did. The rest of the weekend went pretty much as my first encounter with my two friends had gone , everyone when they first saw me was surprised at first and then very quickly they adjusted to my new appearance and didn’t care that I was now wearing glasses.! By the time school came around on Monday, I was only a little nervous at first, but although it was the longest day of my life wearing glasses, by the end of the day I had only heard: “YOU GOT GLASSES!” “YOUR WEARING GLASSES?” “WHEN DID YOU GET GLASSES?” as well as compliments on how good my glasses looked, nobody said anything bad about them and it became clear that my wearing glasses was pretty much a non issue. My one major problem in school, not being able to see the board, was now a thing of the past, I had no problems seeing anything written on the board no matter how small it was written or where I was sitting in the class!
Within a couple weeks I had become very comfortable with my glasses and I couldn’t care less who saw me wearing them and since I was wearing them full time, if someone saw me, they were going to see me wearing glasses! I also found that wearing glasses was even better than I had imagined and I really loved wearing them. I also felt my lifelong desire to wear glasses was not just something I thought I wanted to do, it was something I needed to do to complete me as a person.
Wearing glasses had brought with it one major bonus which was totally unexpected. My social anxiety disorder pretty much disappeared and I became much more confident and my extreme shyness was basically gone! When I told my eye doctor about this unexpected development, he told me that he had read some studies and knew of a couple other patients in his practice that this happened to and the school of thought was that wearing glasses made the wearer feel more secure because they felt as though they were able to hide behind their glasses and this gave them the feeling of safety and added confidence because they felt they had a barrier between them and those they were talking to and this was exactly how I felt.
The final thing that needed to happen to make me completely happy wearing glasses was the frame of my glasses needed to disappear. It was constantly in my field of view at all times and I felt like I was looking out of little windows and it was really bothering me! Everyone I knew who wore glasses full time had said it would get to the point I wouldn’t see or know I had glasses on at all! What I wanted to know was when this was supposed to happen? and nobody could give me an answer. Finally, about a month after I got them I was in class looking at the board and my focus all of a sudden changed and my glasses felt like they had just disappeared from my face and it no longer felt as though I had glasses on at all! It actually felt like I was actually looking just beyond my lenses and they had somehow become part of my eyes! Next to the first time I had put them on a month earlier this was the second most memorable moment of wearing glasses and at that very instant I knew I had completely adjusted to wearing them.
I’ve been wearing glasses for years now and still love them as much now as the first day I got them and could not imagine my life without wearing glasses.