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How Can You Make Yourself Blind?

The worst nightmare for nearly everyone is the thought of going blind. Many people, faced with the possibility of going blind, would be ready to do anything to prevent it or have their sight restored if indeed it had happened. But for a young North Carolina woman, going blind was a dream come true! Below is a true life story by Melkorka Licea in the New York Post of October 1, 2015.

'Jewel Shuping, 30, was so desperate to be blind that she poured drain cleaner in her baby blues (depressed state) to wipe out her eyesight - and she couldn't be happier. She suffers from an illness called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) - a disease that causes able-bodied people to strongly desire a disability.

'I really feel this is the way I was supposed to be born, that I should have been blind from birth,' Shuping said. The afflicted woman knew from a young age she wanted to be blind, and would attempt to harm her eyesight by staring at the sun while 'blind-simming,' or pretending to be blind.

By the time Shuping turned 21, the idea of being blind was 'a non-stop alarm that was going off' and she sought the help of a sympathetic psychologist to help her carry out her ultimate desire in 2006. The psychologist gave her eye-numbing drops before sprinkling a few droplets of drain cleaner into each eye.

'It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin,' she said. 'But all I could think was, 'I am going blind, it is going to be okay.'

'Dr. Michael First, a professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, says that people who suffer from BIID cannot control their need to be disabled. 'These people are aware that this feeling of theirs is unusual - they know it is coming from within them. They can't explain it,' he said.

Shuping is now studying for a degree in education and is hoping to help other blind people live an independent life. She hopes that by sharing her story, it will encourage other sufferers of BIID to seek professional help.'

'How can you make yourself blind?' I asked. Little John answered, 'Just close your eyes and all images will disappear.' I laughed, that's probably the simplest way and you can have your vision back when you open your eyes.

But this is what Adisa had to say, 'Just fall in love.' We all laughed heartily. Asked to elaborate, he said, 'Isn't love supposed to be blind?' I told him he missed the point.

'Love' is not blind but turns a blind eye to the mistakes and inadequacies of the loved one. It is ready to forgive and forget. I referred him to 1 Corinthians, 13:4-8, which states, 'Love is patient; love, is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails.'

'Dr. Ben, you are digressing. Is it really possible for someone to make himself blind?' I looked at him and shook my head in disgust. 'Mr. Do-little, are you nursing a secret wish to go blind like Ms Shuping? Or how do you explain, after all I had been saying and you've been hearing on the radio and TV and reading in the newspapers, your refusal to heed my warning to find the time to have a comprehensive eye examination?

Your father went blind from glaucoma and two of your uncles were blind before the age of 60 years even though the cause was not known - they never saw an eye doctor before they died!'

Then facing the small crowd that had gathered in front of me, I said, in disgust, severely agitated, pointing to on-one in particular, 'One of you is probably the next candidate to go blind.' I could see people turning round to see if it was the person behind or by their side I was pointing at.

To drive my point home, I said, 'Yes, I'm talking you, if you have diabetes and you eat voraciously without taking your medicines or checking your fasting blood sugar or having a regular eye examination; if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure and you refuse to take your medications for whatever reason; if you have glaucoma and you've not been taking your medicines because you have no money to buy refills because your salary had not been paid for months! Blindness takes no excuses.'

Finally, I turned my back to the crowd and asked, 'If you are not guilty of any of the sins I have counted, stand on my right and if you are guilty, stand on my left. After a few seconds that seemed to be eternity, with no one moving to my right or to my left, I turned round to see what had happened.

Everyone had left! I couldn't see anyone! Have I gone blind? Have I been struck suddenly by blindness? I don't blame them! Did it sound like a medical 'hate' speech! It is Valentine's season. 'I love you all,' I shouted, hoping that some of them would hear.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Feb 21, 2019
Words:1019
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