As human beings, what do we all want?
We all want to connect, and by connecting, we feel included. We feel like we belong.
It’s a primordial thing, to connect. It’s what we’ve always done, as human beings.
Hearing loss is an attack to our ability to connect. It makes this instinctive behaviour impossible for us. And when we finally admit that we have hearing loss we might feel…
Until one day, we decide that we’ve had enough
We go get a hearing test and buy hearing aids. The seller pumps our expectations up: “Do you have an active lifestyle?”
“Yes. I do!”
We want to be able to do so many things, and the seller is promising it all, to us.
We want to go to cocktail parties, church parties, Christmas parties. We want to hear the sweet voice of our partners, again. Or simply hear the soft voice of our granddaughter. Or be able to teach, again. To do theatre, again.
But then, we find out about the truth and our dreams come crushing down.
Hearing aids aren’t a piece of cake
They help but…they don’t restore our hearing.
They don’t give us back the feeling of connectedness we’ve so longed for.
And some of us react in different ways to this truth.
Some get angry, throwing their expensive devices back into a drawer. Some find comfort in isolation, telling themselves a lie that it doesn’t matter, that they don’t need to connect anymore.
Then there are those of us who find comfort connecting online, on Facebook groups, or by reading inspiring blog posts. Some of us even write those blog posts.
Some of us find support groups in their local community, it even becomes a new regular in their life. A new way to make friends. To connect with the disconnected.
However we react to the truth, the primordial need to connect is still there.
Waiting to be fed.
That’s why, I say: “Listen to your need, because it will never go away. And try to connect with others, in your own way, one situation at the time.”
It’s tempting, when trying to connect again, to do it the same way everyone else does it.
But the feeling of connectedness doesn’t care if we can handle a rapid fire conversation with 10 people at once. We can simply feed it with a one-to-one conversation with somebody we love.
Even if that conversation happens over text.
The feeling of connectedness doesn’t care about social standards and protocols. You just need to communicate with another person. It doesn’t care if you do it through words, signs, text, gaze, body language.
Go on then, connect with someone new, today. In a way that you know you’ll be comfortable.
Don’t be afraid to set the rules, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Choose whichever location works for you and invite them into your world.
Then, tomorrow, do it again.
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