Seeing Without Eyes

When I was attending cognitive therapy four hours per day and four days per week, I frequently heard people say that they didn’t want to attend therapy any more. The complaints were generally that therapy was too difficult, required too much time, and was not necessary. Even though I strongly disagreed, I listened to the complaints before asking any clarifying questions or mentioning my view.

ben-profile-transpI can’t think of any reason why people should feel entitled to an easy life. Overcoming adversity is challenging, finding your “new normal” is difficult, and living your new normal may require overcoming many hurdles. If you think of recovery as your full-time job, you will find that good therapy requires less time than a typical full-time job. Even those who claim they have nothing to learn can learn something from therapists and classmates. The person in the following video chose not to attend therapy, but he continued to learn, try different compensation tools, and most importantly teach others (by example) how to overcome adversity with a positive attitude. Unfortunately, cancer ended his life. May he rest in peace.


  • If you could choose between losing your eyesight and your hearing, which would you prefer to lose and why?
  • If you could choose between losing your sense of touch and your sense of taste, which would you choose and why?
  • Ben Underwood overcame a significant obstacle. What can you do to overcome one of your significant obstacles?
  • How do you know if you are doing everything you can to overcome your challenges?


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Ben Underwood, Aquanetta Gordon (Ben’s mom), Ben’s family, Dr. James Roben, Letta Wesley (audiologist), University of California Santa Barbara, Naval Submarine Base, Steven Clevenger (Sonar Trainer, U.S. Naval Submarine School), Amazing People, YouTube, and all the other people who made it possible for me to include the picture and video I used in this post.


  1. Allow me to share a story with you that came to my mind when I read your story and more after reading this text. A few months ago I heard a story about a Portuguese man that lost his vision because he was a boxer and did not stop in due time before the injuries got worse and (because there is always something else) the recovering surgeries went wrong and he ended with only seeing 10% with one eye…When asked if he was sad and lost his faith he answered: “I see more clear now than before…” This was truly inspiring for me…he now runs a association that help young kids in problematic neighbourwoods occupying their time with different activities and motivating them to have a better life. For me, an example that we are the ones that limit ourselves.

    1. Thank you for taking time to share the story. I agree that we all have problems limiting our actions through self doubt and negative thoughts, but I think there is another lesson in both your story and mine — we can (perhaps even must) overcome any form of adversity. Both of our stories describe a medical adversity, but adversity could also be a failed relationship, a lower-than-expected grade, or any of a million other challenges.

  2. Scott, thank you so much for posting this video. It has completely change my point of on how I approach my brain injury

    1. Robyn,

      If I had seen this video earlier, I might have accepted my situation sooner. I spent a lot of time fighting the reality when I could have focused on more productive things such as planning my future. Thanks for sharing your comment.


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