No need to hide

As someone with moderate hearing loss myself, I have always been told it’s ok to hide my aids underneath my hair and no-one will see it so I won’t need to worry about what people will think of how I look wearing hearing aids…

Whilst I was growing up as a child, I found the whole concept of wearing hearing aids really hard to bear, and so as I had so much hair anyway, hiding them seemed the best solution and so this is exactly what I did, so most people didn’t really know I had any hearing problem unless I told them.

However, I really feel now that maybe this wasn’t the right thing to do as it pushes all that negativity and anxiety under the carpet, which is probably why it has resurfaced in the front of my mind as an adult. I didn’t deal with the anxiety well back then, and I ended up tuning it all out for many years, and had gotten used to life as it has been with its limitations, and to be honest, I didn’t think twice about it anymore as I thought “this is who I am”.

Through hiding and not talking about what I was feeling, I made the decision at some point early on to put limitations on myself on what I could achieve due to my hearing loss, and I didn’t want to make my life harder than it needed to be. So I lived my life feeling limited by my hearing loss, and I didn’t push or challenge myself to do the things that are really hard and scary, the things I thought I couldn’t do with my hearing loss, to face my fears and try and find a work-around solution. The fact that I didn’t feel comfortable talking about this part of me really did have a knock on effect on my confidence and self-esteem over the years without even realising.

I didn’t want to make a big thing of it at work as I was worried about being discriminated against, so I kept quiet about it most of the time and didn’t get any extra support that could have helped me. I have always had to manage it on my own, and this is what I got used to. I really worked hard at school, and especially for the things I loved to study at school, like foreign languages. The ironic thing is the subjects I loved at school are subjects that are a big challenge for people like me with hearing loss, but the fact that I loved learning foreign languages really helped me to succeed, and I mostly had very supportive teachers who I am really grateful for.

The truth is that there is no need to hide the hearing aids under the hair, so for those of you, both adults and kids, growing up now with hearing loss like myself and my daughter, I would say just expose your aids, and allow yourselves to let feel those feelings you have about your hearing loss and get proactive on a regular basis and find ways to reward yourselves with love and self-care, and incorporate regular mindful activities into your daily routine that can give you relief from those negative feelings and take you to a different place in your mind doing something calming, uplifting or joyful. This could be music, meditation, art, gardening, reading, having a warm bath, going for a walk or being outside in nature, buying a small bunch of flowers, the list is endless, just do what makes you light up, something you love to do or experience that is soothing on their mind and makes you feel good inside. It has to become part of their daily routine.This also applies to anyone who has any kind of anxiety relating to any other special educational need, health issue, chronic disease, or parents and people in general who lead a stressful lifestyle. Anxiety has to be managed daily.

Don’t let yourself or your kids feel embarrassed to have hearing loss, there is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed by your scars and to dream big – this is YOU. You are unique. Choose to live your life with hope, with positivity, dream big, as this is what’ll really help you or your kids to feel good about themselves on a regular basis and help to manage and calm down any anxiety.

Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to make a conscious effort to do it and realise that our needs are important too. Sometimes, you just need to create your own sunshine even if life gets cloudy, and learn to love yourself without being so attached to the idea of being loved only by someone else.

Who’s in the driver seat of your life?

Do you ever feel powerless? And especially when things happen out of your control?

Ever since I had an accident with my hearing aids this weekend, the first accident of this kind in all my adult years of wearing a hearing aid, all these old feelings have resurfaced, first of course blaming myself for the accident and then secondly, experiencing the worry and anguish of getting a new hearing aid and how I will cope, and I felt like I used to feel when I was a child.

I have realised that over the years, I have only ever associated negativity with my hearing loss, the pain, the upset, the discomfort, the struggle, the shame, the worry and stress around being someone who has a disability, feeling like a victim, who isn’t “normal” like the rest of the crowd and instead stands out.

I have always found it really hard to be proud of who I am, even with my imperfections. There is such an incredible stigma around being someone with a disability, whatever that disability may be. I had the best care I could get at the time, my parents did the best they could, but there was very little emotional support for me to help me adjust to my newfound disability, to help me find a way to feel positive about myself and my hearing loss combined.

I haven’t always loved myself. I hated my imperfections, I hated having to wear hearing aids, how their looked and sounded with all the extra noise, so I just hid them under my hair, and pretty much all my life I covered them up so people don’t even know sometimes that I have a hearing problem. I had to tell my teachers of course but aside from that, I haven’t really spoken much about it to anyone, not even some of my closest friends… I didn’t feel able to talk about it with anyone to be honest, especially as I didn’t want to be pitied. I was ashamed of this part of myself. I just wanted to be like everyone else and not be treated any differently, but it has been a real struggle, and this is easier said than done.

When I was younger, I didn’t used to like wearing my aids other than when I really had to wear them ie for school or university. Socially, I tended to not wear them as I was self-conscious about wearing them, but also the aids weren’t as good back then, and I found the loud noise really unsettling when all frequencies were amplified no matter what your level of hearing loss was.

People don’t always understand and can get very impatient, so this was a big challenge too. It was embarrassing to talk about, I was embarrassed to be made to feel different. I was happier just hiding out. It seemed easier to hide. And I missed out on things being said, and just resigned myself to the fact that because of who I am, I have to just get used to missing out, especially if watching a film, a talk, going for a meal or drinks with friends in large groups in noisy places, and just make the best of it, catch what I can and just be happy with that. Easier not to talk about it and live in shame.

I do wonder if this is some kind of sign from the universe to help guide me towards taking more responsibility for my hearing loss and my emotional health that relates to my disability, to encourage me to work through all my fears, to help me find a solution that works for me, making me feel comfortable in myself, happy and making me feel good about myself, to lay to rest all those negative feelings I associate with my hearing loss and replace them with positives, and bit by bit, I hope I can reduce the struggle and start to feel more positive and empowered, facing my fears and working through the obstacles using the tools I have already been using to help empower me in other areas of my life, and also, by taking positive action and asking for help, getting the support I need from people who understand what it’s like.

It felt really good to take that first step. I don’t want to feel all the powerless beliefs I have about myself anymore. Instead, I continue to show my commitment to myself to:


Why don’t you try the same and see how that feels? Make those positive choices in your life, you are worth all of it.

What language do you speak?

Understanding language in all forms is the true essence of life, whether it is body language, the language we speak to ourselves in our mind, our self-talk, or even a foreign language you are learning…

Even if it is your native language, we need to pay attention to the languages we have been blessed to communicate with in our everyday lives. When we fill and jam-pack our days with chores or tasks to complete on our to-do list that can be endless, and you don’t allow and create breathing space for yourself, even if for a couple of minutes, this ends up making us feeling grumpy, tired, frustrated, angry, the list goes on, and all that excess, unwanted and unnecessary negative energy starts to resurface.

The key thing I have found is to really pay attention to those energy dips you get during the day, and do your best to tell yourself and make the decision that you want to feel good, to not stay in that negative state for very long, and choose love for yourself and snap out of it with some positive energy and self-care, whatever form that is for you, and go do that thing you know will make you light up.  There really is such a thing called body language, and we really have to make an effort whenever we can to listen in and try to understand it. Our bodies have a distinct way of communicating with us.

Try it out for yourself, have a listen in to what your body is trying to tell you – then take action and respond to your body’s cues. See what happens, you might surprise yourself and may even feel uplifted which is always a good thing. Definitely worth a try.