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:
– FEEL GOOD
– LOVE MYSELF
– BE KIND
– HAVE COURAGE
– STEP OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE
– BE REAL & AUTHENTICALLY ME
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.