All of us feel that if we were to lose our sight, we would lose a lot. We wouldn’t be able to see our families or God’s beautiful creation, we wouldn’t be able to move around confidently, and we wouldn’t be able to capture precious moments visually in our minds. Simple things like using social media, going to the toilet, or even choosing clothes and packing our bags might be a challenge!
Q: How did it feel when you were first blindfolded?
I felt so scared and lost. It took me quite some time to adjust to the loss of sight as I had to rely a lot on my sense of hearing and touch. The most challenging thing was following the guide’s voice and instructions, because it required complete trust in him! All that was on my mind was, “What’s in front of me? Where am I going? Will I trip and fall?”
When we entered Dialogue in the Dark Singapore, I felt really overwhelmed that the place was pitch dark and I could not see anything at all! It’s not like waking up in the middle of the night in my room — I can still make slight sense of what’s around me. But this was darkness on a whole new level!
It was difficult to reconcile with the fact that I could no longer see; it was a very surreal feeling. I was so afraid of being alone, tripping, or even banging into the walls! However, I was trying to put myself in the shoes of those who can’t use their sense of sight and trying to take in the experience of what life is like when everything is pitch black.
Si Ying, 16
I kept asking myself, “What would I do and how would I react if my vision stays like this forever?” It was a daunting thought.
Q: What was it like when you finally saw light after the challenge?
Alicia: I felt so relieved to see things again. I was also amazed because I managed to successfully experience ‘life’ in complete darkness for an hour! I also felt very privileged to be able to have all five senses working well together.
Si Ying: The first thought that came to mind was, “I am thankful that it was just a temporary loss of sight.” It gave me a mini glimpse of how the visually impaired would feel if they were somehow able to see light; they will be filled with so much wonder and amazement.
Q: How do you feel now that the challenge is over?
Britney: It was really challenging to adapt to using other senses more when my sight was temporarily gone. That being said, I do respect the visually impaired more now. It saddened me to think that every single moment, all they see is darkness — no colours, no beautiful scenery, no faces.
Si Ying: I have realised that it is indeed very scary to lose your sight, gradually or suddenly. I especially admire the mental strength of those who lose their sight suddenly, who are able to accept their circumstances and continue with life. It could have been a struggle to wake up feeling optimistic, and it must have been an emotional roller coaster at the start!
Alicia: To be honest, I used to think that the visually impaired are weaker than normal human beings. But after the challenge, I think that we are actually one and the same. We all have weaknesses; they just differ from person to person. Also, when we choose to embrace weaknesses, we can live our lives to the fullest, just like our guide who lost his sight due to a sports accident. He went through a phase of denial and depression. However, what inspired me was his strong will to accept it, walk out of it, pick himself up, and move on with life. He even picked up a new sport specially for the blind and is currently on Singapore’s national team!
Phoebe: I resolved to not look down on people who are disabled or are in the minority. Before this experience, I honestly did not understand what it’s like to live life in complete darkness. There are so many things that they need to do independently (that require a great deal of determination), and after having a mini experience in their world, I want to try my best to aid them in whatever ways I can!