What I Learned from One Shower in the Dark

This morning, I didn’t feel like turning on the light for my shower. Maybe because I was still tired and didn’t want to wake up. Maybe because I wanted to see what it would be like. The exact reason doesn’t matter.

It was dark…it’s still dark outside as I write this. My bedroom light was off. My bathroom is not against an outside wall and has no window. So, it was seriously dark.

As I was showering, I learned a few things about being without sight. I’m sure more will come to me if I do this again. And I’m sure other observations would come to you if you tried it.

First, being blind means you need to remember where everything is located. Sure, I always try to put things in vaguely the same location even when I can see to find them again, but without sight, this becomes imperative. If you don’t put items where they belong, it becomes the same as when a sighted person puts your keys somewhere they don’t belong. Think about the panic last time you couldn’t quickly find your keys or wallet when You needed to go out. Or what about last time you couldn’t find your phone?

Dropping the soap leads to a significant challenge. And I drop the soap more than I like to admit. But today, I was paying attention and only dropped it 3 times (yeah, I use soap until it’s a tiny sliver and vanishes… those slivers are easy to drop!). During the last time, as I felt around with my foot to locate the bar, I couldn’t find it. So, I just switched to the other bar. What if it were typical that I couldn’t find the bar of soap after I drop it?

I was putting shaving cream on my hand to shave. It usually a very simple task. It becomes a more significant challenge to get the “right” amount of cream if you can’t see it, though. Sure, I felt for the dab of cream on my hand, but I still ended up with significantly less than I wanted. This simple task was magnified in complexity as I had no sight.

Then I got out of the shower. Luckily my towel was hung up where it belonged, but hanging it back up with not as simple as just looking to figure out where it belonged. The hook I use on the back of the door is one of those over-the-door-jobbies (yup, that’s the technical term!). Yeah, the ones that slide…so it’s not always in the same location. Without sight, I had to feel around for it.

“This one’s for the Girls!” As I dry off, I put my foot on the toilet seat. Usually, I just look and know if it’s up or not… today, I had to feel around for the lid.

Then putting on aftershave and deodorant. Find them, making sure to use the right amount, put them back… I know I dropped a Q-tip on the floor because it slipped out of the box. But I just left it because…well, it wasn’t worth the effort to find it.

When I left the bathroom, I turned on the lights. But before that, I was thinking about the challenge of finding matched clothing if you can’t see the piece, the color, or the fit.

I’m sure that I could have focused on the positive aspects. Feeling the water more intensely, the warmth, and I’m sure others can put in some good bits.

But this is What I Learned Taking One Shower in the Dark.


Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes is founder and CEO of Awakened Innovations, Inc. Awakened Innovations helps nonprofits to save time and money by connecting them with high-quality, vetted, service providers. Previously, Michael has been a business coach; Director of Lab Operations at, Assurex Health (a genetic testing laboratory); and built the Cincinnati Biobank and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Michael’s overarching passion is to help others succeed and fulfill their mission in life.

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  1. Michael, thank you for this article which hit home for me. Several years ago I went totally blind due to complications from diabetes. Eventually, I did get my sight back due to the brilliance of an Ophthalmologist by the name of Dr. Neil Feinstein who performed two surgeries on my eyes. I remember those days and for some strange reason still, hold on to my sight cane. Showering was not an issue as I had a Home Health Aide. Having a woman bathe me and help me dress was humiliating. Being blind made stronger as I had to learn how to navigate the subway system here in New York plus cross streets by sound only. There were other things I learned to do like climb. You sound like the type of person who also overcomes challenges well.

    • Thanks Joel. I continue to search out and learn more about life and more about myself. There is always more.