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Mark Astley, 49 - coming to terms with my eye loss

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Mark Astley after his damaged eye
Mark Astley

Social media handles:

Facebook- Mark Pasty Astley

Instagram - MarkPastyAstley

Where are you from? Born Sheffield Uk

Where do you live now? Chesterfield Uk

Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a 49-year-old self-employed Plasterer, my interests or anything active from hiking to mountain biking to extreme Adrenalin activities. I love to go to the gym daily and buzz from tiring myself out, I am a massive vinyl collector and have Deejayed the majority of my life! I love dance culture and the UK rave scene. I live and breathe music as well as being married for 17 years and with my partner Amanda for nearly 20 years .. we have 4 indoor cats … we love to holiday in the Indian Ocean and live sea life.

(Short Version) - Long version below What’s your eye story? Back on 19th November 2006 I lost sight in my left eye after having an accident at home where I landed out my eye with a screwdriver.

What has been the most challenging mentally? Dealing with how anger cost me my sight in my eye

What has been the most challenging physically? Driving in the dark! Anything where the perception of depth is required.

Where are you now in your recovery? It is 17 years today since I lost my eye on 19th November 2006. I am currently gaining skills with Shelby Perry in one-on-one coaching coming to terms with my eye loss and learning more skills to move forward positively embrace my injury accept it and believe in myself with more confidence.

What advice would you give to someone going through their eye impairment journey? Stick with trying you will get there it just takes belief and time, hard work, and positive energy.

Who is your eye surgeon and ocularist? Royal Hallamshire ophthalmology- ocular Plastics RHQHH

How did you find EYEHESIVE? Shelby Perry motivational speaking on social media - Instagram and creating eyehesive.

Long Version (Trigger Warring)

I had an abusive, violent, and mentally challenging childhood where I witnessed some brutal things growing up which had a huge effect on my life and the way I acted and portrayed myself.

Finding my soul partner and rock Amanda made me understand I could be loved and supported but be able to love back also. I proposed within 6 months of being together as a couple as we found love so easily together, Amanda seemed to understand me as a person and loved me enough to help me in my journey ahead as my wife, best friend, and soul mate. After I proposed we purchased our first home together.

I still struggled with my anxiety from my traumatic experiences as a child and had a very difficult relationship with my father who abused me and my mother all those years ago.

After my mum divorced my father then she moved away to Portugal to try and find herself again which upset me but made me prouder. My father failed another relationship again as he had not changed. My father tried to kill himself by gassing himself in his car in his garage but failed!

It left him a shadow of his former self as the gasses poisoned him. I don’t have anything to do with my father anymore as I cannot get the answers I wanted from him now he is a recluse and shadow of the man he was of he can be called a man?

So as I moved forward in life when I met Amanda we planned to marry in Mexico on 12th April 2007!

My past trauma and mental health caused by my childhood abuse mentally and physically often gave me struggles with self-confidence! I would become upset and angry because of how my train of thought was conditioned when I was so young.

I’d have a lot of self-doubts and very little self-belief although being a person who would be able to put on this cover so nobody would see my pain inside.

I’d taught myself to hide my upset and emotion and find a way to release that when no one would see. I had learned that crashing my emotions would make me feel high quicker.

So bottling up worries, emotions, and stresses and then having a blowout of anger or verbal aggression would make me feel better mentally much quicker than having to deal with the problem!

Just like I used to harm myself as a child to get all the anger out from the abuse and mental cruelty I was receiving!

I’d cut myself burn myself break bones as a child purposely to make me feel calm when I was hurting emotionally. It always used to calm me down somehow.

So through anger, I lost my eye!

On 19th November 2006, I had an outburst of upset anger feeling like being useless rubbish stupid all the things my father used to call me and tell me I was, I had an accident and lanced my left eye.

6 months before we were to be married. My life changed and I had to change now reality kicked in.

The abuse and violence and frustration of feeling the way I did finally caught me up. I had massive amounts of mental health support including CBT counseling anger management counseling and support to talk about my past.

We married and I continued with my program of support along with the love and support from my wife Amanda and mother who returned from Portugal.

Support from professionals seemed to dissolve and I soon got back into the way my coping mechanism would handle situations! We got by and Amanda tolerated my lows and helped me get high in emotion as well as my mum.

I never if ever saw my father who I still cannot forgive or even talk with as I will never be able to get the answers from him of why because of what he did to himself and how he is now with not much vocabulary. That’s tough but I cannot forgive that man ever.

During the pandemic I was struggling with feeling controlled it was a similar feeling to how my father treated me as a child and played a massive part in my mental health making me very anxious and a feeling I wasn’t coping!

I arranged CBT counseling and started talking about my past again with professionals. I needed to face my anxiety and issues now as I could see myself destroying my life my wife’s and our future if I didn’t put this all behind me.

I stopped drinking alcohol! I had stopped smoking cigarettes in 2018 so I knew I had will willpower to stop drinking and it was clouding my thoughts and making me very emotional when drinking alcohol.

I carried on the counseling and took massive steps forward I started mountain biking again and lifting weights back at the gym as it just makes me feel good I started DJing again as music has always been a massive part of my life Djing when I was younger part of the rave scene never leaves you.

I joined a mental health charity to raise funds to help people suffering from similar mental health issues be able to reach out and connect with the charity for support!

I’ve faced many fears whilst doing this like jumping from planes 15000 ft in the air to recently hiking the 3 biggest mountains in the United Kingdom within 24hrs.

I am in such a positive place now I have been taking a medication called fluoxetine to help my anxiety and nerves which is working. I am setting goals and being out there socially working at getting my love for music and DJing on track and being out there in the scene I love House music.

My life is feeling great and the buzz around me is as infectious as ever I’m smiling again… everything I am doing is working. This is why after following eyehesive one eye gang I feel I want to be involved in helping others in the community you have created I feel I can support and help others through determination and drive to succeed and never give up!

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