The Sunglass Life

The Unexpected Benefits of Photosensitivity

I just need to say that sometimes I am outright hiding from the world. People perhaps think I forgot to take my sunglasses off as I enter the wherever I happen to be at that moment. But I didn’t forget.  I purposefully wear the sunglasses.  People just don’t know that I am here, happily inside of my protective shell. Behind my sunglasses.

I started wearing sunglasses in 2010 almost all the time out of medical necessity. I developed ulcers in the back of my eyes (like, inside my eyeballs) due to an auto-immune disorder. Recovering from the eye ulcers required me to wear sunglasses for months at a time, even while indoors. I was photosensitive to all light while healing, indoors and out. I got a lot of questions at work, to say the least, but it was a necessity. It was a crazy time.  Who wears sunglasses at work or while shopping in a store or even on the cloudiest of days?  Well, I did.

I suffered from the eye ulcers again in 2011 and had to wear the sunglasses again for an even longer number of months this time. Inside work, and out in the sun too. Now, I have been left with chronic photosensitivity.

The Sunglass Lifestyle

Flash forward – it’s 2018 now and I have fully embraced the “sunglass lifestyle.” I wear my sunglasses a lot. I have dimmed my smartphone as much as it allows me.  I constantly turn out the lights at home which drives my kids and husband crazy. Yes, I am photosensitive. But now I have fully, emotionally embraced the “dark” life. It just provides a calm button when I need it, wherever I happen to be. Home or out and about. 

I no longer have to wear my sunglasses at work, thank goodness. But I wear my sunglasses every chance I get now. They go on my face as soon as I leave the front door, despite the circumstances.  Cloudy day walk? Yep, sunglasses.  Walking out of work into a garage to get the car? Sunglasses. In the middle of the grocery store…yep, you guessed it, I never took the sunglasses off from the walk in from the car.

I am just more comfortable with them on. Emotionally comfortable. I just never want to take them off now, even when I should. It’s my “sunglass lifestyle.”  Again, it is emotionally comfortable. Life has gotten hard and by that, I mean busy… My sunglasses just make life a little easier.

Protection

They have become my armor. They somehow protect me in a small way. People don’t notice my lack of makeup that usually hides my dark eye circles. I don’t have to quibble with switching out the prescription sunglasses to the regular glasses as I go in and out of stores running errands. I am juggling enough already for goodness sake.

I am usually a little overwhelmed on these days already from fatigue and lack of time. Three kids are trailing behind me complaining that they didn’t need or want to come. I am spending money I don’t want to spend, or doing things I don’t want to do. Throwing on those nice, big sunglasses makes me feel, in a small way, protected.  That I can just whisk in, get it done, and then just get out of there.  Back home. In the dark. Behind the sunglasses. The way I like it.

Motherhood becomes a certain amount of reconnaissance missions all in a row. You sweep in, get the task at hand done…and then you are out. You have successfully grocery shopped for the 3 things you needed, left with 15 instead, but all your kids are still in tow. You didn’t even misplace the car keys!  All the while, behind the protection of the sunglasses. It’s the subtle message that you are just running in for something quick. Leave me alone and just let me get this done. Slim and shady.

You see, we all struggle sometimes, in small ways, to get through the day, right? We try to hide this. Some, better than others.  Some in much more imperceptible ways than others.  But, hide we all do, in one way or another. I just happen to wear my armor on the outside in the form of my handy sunglasses. I mean, movie stars can do it. Hide behind those shades, right?! I just came to this trick in a roundabout kind of way. Man, though, it works for me. I may lose my car keys but I always know where my shades are. For certain. 

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