Are you authentic?

I find I spot oxymorons all the time now.

These can be annoyingly common in fact, and I log these small irritations continually throughout my day. Take internet security as a case in point. I’ll come to that in a moment but I’d like to clarify, I am not here to whinge, only to comment, to notice these things. Since my visual world did a huge shift to the left (or was it to the right?) I don’t see things quite in the way I used to.

Take a moment to think – how many times a day are you asked to verify who you are by your own computer? I don’t have a problem with internet security per se, in fact I endorse this wholeheartedly, but as with so many other tiny insignificant details I notice how much harder this is for me to do now.

There are times when I simply cannot verify myself. My computer argues back with me, spitting up another set of illegible letters and numbers for me to decipher. REPEAT the coded sequence it shouts at me. I can almost hear it tut tutting as my fourth attempt is yet again unsuccessful.

Crestfallen, I realise those black swirling letters, each leaning nonchalantly onto each other are designed for you; not me. They are meant to be hard to see, yet to me that makes them almost impossible. I recognise letters because they look like I expect them to look, and this allows me some latitude with my disintegrated sight. If you make them into lazy stickmen lolling around the page what chance do I have?

So, this security is meant to help me, to protect me, yet in truth all it does is remind me of how unsafe I am.


Published by Vanessa Potter

I'm Vanessa, writer, speaker and meditation enthusiast. I wasn't always a writer. I used to make annoying TV ads, which I'd still be doing, if I hadn't woken up blind and paralysed one morning in 2012. Yup. It was one helluva wake-up call and I wrote a book about it. That experience turned me into the curious, self-experimenting, brain-obsessed woman I am now. I've just spent the last 3 years practising 10 different meditation techniques as part of a ground-breaking EEG study with Cambridge. Follow me to find out what happened. 'Finding my Right Mind: One Woman's Experiment to put Meditation to the Test, publishing 2021.

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