Anosmia and Me… KEEPING POSITIVE!
One thing I have learnt over the past 10 years after becoming anosmic is to find ways to keep being positive about what I can still enjoy. At the moment it is the spring sunshine and the vast array of flowers starting to bloom everywhere. The cherry blossom on trees. From a dull winter landscape to splashes of colour all around. This helps to remind me that I can be positive and enjoy the world around me even without my sense of smell.
This sounds like I hibernate and just exist through the winter months, not true. Every season can be enjoyed in a positive way. I agree it’s tough to find much to feel positive about walking through a torrential rain storm whilst trying to keep your hood or umbrella up in a howling gale! We have been lucky recently as we have had a lot of rainbows after short heavy downpours as the seasons move from winter to spring. Travelling at speed on the Motorway and seeing the arc and colours of the rainbow, fantastic. Even more so when you look behind you and realise it is following you! (I’d better add that I was not driving).
We had snow this year too. I love walking through fresh snow and looking back at my own footsteps. Frost covering our lawn and the roofs of the houses opposite. Finding the tiniest snowman when on a walk, tiny because that was all the snow they had to make it. These are all winter experiences that I don’t need a sense of smell to enjoy.
When spring arrives and I walk out into our local countryside I love looking out for the new lambs and calves in the fields. Isn’t it amazing how quickly the lambs team up and have little playgroups, bouncing around together as their confidence grows.
In summer it’s enjoying seeing even more flowers coming into bloom. Waiting to see if I’ve managed to not kill off the tomato plants a friend has given me, will I have fresh tomatoes to use? It’s the warmth of the sun on my back, perhaps thinking about being brave and trying wild water swimming. (I haven’t been brave enough so far, but I could possibly be tempted when I walk down the side of my local lake.)
As autumn arrives it’s the colours of the leaves on the trees as they turn and get ready to fall. Autumn has always been my favourite season. There is one smell I do still miss, Petrichor. It is the smell released as rain falls on the dry earth after a long dry spell. I particularly like to remember the smell as a ‘memory’ smell if we have had a long dry summer. I also enjoy the crunch you get when walking through the fallen leaves just as much now as I enjoyed it when I was a child. So many reasons to still be positive as the seasons change.
When you lose your sense of smell it can be so overwhelming that it is very difficult to feel positive about anything. I remember just how that felt. I still wanted to experience life with all my senses as so much seemed to hinge on that, but I have learnt to enjoy my life minus the one sense, smell. I’m
not saying it wouldn’t be amazing to regain the missing sense but I have adapted and can enjoy my life without it.
Anosmia has taught me to value my other senses more. I have learnt to cook with more colour, texture and spice. The positive pleasure I get from stroking my friends dog, seeing the lovely colours that make up her coat, feeling the softness of her fur, and best of all the weight of her when she leans on me because she trusts me, magic.
I know if you are newly anosmic, perhaps due to Covid, learning to adapt and remain positive may seem impossible, but like me, you can reach that point where you begin to appreciate what you learn from all your other senses even if it means you are living a slightly different kind of life.