From Passing To Passion – How I Found Strength In The White Cane | Stephanae McCoy

Don’t you just love a good, written from the soul, “white cane” blog? One that honestly tells it like it is? One that you can totally relate to? Yeah, me too!! I recently came across this blog again, and I can truly say, “I can totally relate!” – because I’ve been there. My friend and fellow blogger, Stephanae McCoy, writes about her struggle to accept the white cane. It’s definitely a process. ~ GGB

From Passing To Passion – How I Found Strength In The White Cane | By Stephanae McCoy | Bold Blind Beauty

What bothered me most about my sight loss was my fear of people knowing I couldn’t see. Everywhere I went I felt so vulnerable and isolated not to mention, my anxiety levels rocketed off into the stratosphere.

Each step I took was a step closer to breaking my neck. So what was my solution as my sight kept deteriorating? I faked it of course.

Adjusting to sight loss is a process and everyone who goes through it does so in a different way. I was so used to putting on my professional mask each day. It was important to me for people saw what I wanted them to see—a composed person. Yet after work, and sometimes throughout the day while hiding in a restroom stall, I was a blubbering mess. My life was unraveling.

When I met with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to discuss the assistive technology I would need to keep my job, I was stunned when he mentioned the white cane. To determine my needs, I had to answer questions but I never thought the white cane would enter the discussion. For Pete’s sake, I mean I couldn’t see but I wasn’t blind. I had a lot to learn.

“The only person you are fooling is yourself when you pretend you CAN see when you clearly CAN’T.” This comment from the VRC didn’t go over well with me. Even so, I grudgingly took Orientation and Mobility training to learn how to use the white cane. Once my lessons were over the cane went to my closet where it stayed for months.

My eventual acceptance of the white cane came about as I began to accept my sight loss. Meeting and befriending blind people who strongly advocate for the rights of blind persons led me to volunteer for several blind organizations. Becoming a part of the blind community and refocusing my efforts on helping others was the most important piece that ultimately gave me a sense of peace.

I still have days where I don’t feel as secure as I’d like, we all do, but when I come back to my ‘why,’ I can recharge, readjust, and refocus to stoke the fire of my passion. Improving humanity by changing the way we perceive one another is my mission and to achieve it I must continue moving forward and doing so with my white cane. I’ve found that being Bold Blind and Beautiful comes about from living life to the best of my ability.

About Stephanae McCoy

Stephanae McCoy, the founder of Bold Blind Beauty, created “a unique inspirational online community that brings blind and visually impaired women together to celebrate fashion and style. Bold Blind Beauty encourages empowerment and connects sighted and non-sighted people. We invite you to peruse our site to enable your inner fashion sensibilities – and be a bold, blind, and beautiful woman! Be sure to check out her amazing website for more interesting and insightful blogs! 

This blog was originally published on Bold Blind Beauty / October 2017

8 Comments on “From Passing To Passion – How I Found Strength In The White Cane | Stephanae McCoy

  1. Maria is an excellent peer support person, open and honest with advice from her heart. Many of us have had similar situations. She offers great advice here.


    • Hi George, Maria is one of my blogging buddies and I was so thrilled when she asked me if she could share this post on one of my favorite topics. I’m returning the favor on a another top topic. I hope you’re doing well, my friend.


  2. Great post! I only wish my affected hubby would take his came out of the car and try it. It’s been almost nine yrs and it’s never gotten past the instructional phase.


    • Hi Kandy, thank you for commenting! Like many things in life adapting to the “cane” takes time, everyone moves at their own pace, and some don’t or won’t progress. Unfortunately for those not in our shoes it’s hard convey why we wouldn’t want to use the white cane and I would suspect some part of it may have to do with accepting our sight loss. I cannot speak for everyone but in my circle of friends when we got to the point where we could embrace our sightloss accepting the cane was easy. I think it comes down to personal choice. I hope your as long as your hubby doesn’t want to use his cane that he is keeping himself safe. Best wishes to you and to your hubby.


  3. Fantastic post! Can relate to this so much. Going from being blissfully invisible to boldly visible with a white cane can have such an impact on pride.


  4. Boy can I relate! I tried so hard to push through after every eye surgery until one day I broke down. My white cane training taught me so much about myself. I just created a youtube video of my journey with the white cane and shared it with my customers and leaders in my business. I was surprised at the many responses I received. This was a beautiful, honest and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing. You ladies rock! Love you.


  5. Hi Penny, while I don’t know your whole story I too had so many surgeries and procedures in an attempt to save my eyesight. The emotional aspect of going through sight loss was awful and I had days when I didn’t think I’d be able to continue onward. I’m so very thankful my life turned around once I immersed myself into the blind community as I’ve learned so much and am still learning. Whenever you have a moment can you let me know where I can find your video? I’d love to take a look at it. My email address is Thank you!! ❤


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