Sunday, 28 May 2017

Getting that Grip !

Not advice to the lovelorn more practical suggestions in dealing with hearing loss based on real experience. Why suffer ?

I am a Mental Health Peer Recovery Worker and as part of my job I regularly teach groups of 5 to 10 people courses on Self Esteem, Building Resilience and Mindfulness. I am deaf and wear RIC hearing aids.

I would be more than happy to help if you would like me to.

ATR:  I'm inclined to agree, although no time for buzz-speak terminology, just say it how it is. Hearing loss is less of an issue compared to that lack of confidence, basically if mine had not been addressed I would have been totally isolated and out of it with all that entails, in my time 'get a grip' was the only answer to hearing loss, my parents had that approach to me too.  Only YOU  can solve YOUR issues.

You cannot help thinking in retrospect that the increase of support you have seen in recent years, and yes support is amazing today when you compared it with NONE in my time, then, a form of legal right to support or an assumption to it, with no demand of effort from you, takes away a certain amount of drive and confidence you need to self-support, it is a fine balancing line.

What 'cut off' point to support do you adopt to prevent a reliance on others ? as most with hearing loss are adamant they do not want reliance.  It is why most HI refuse to access sign language.  They are aware it is communication, they are ultimately aware the price for them to adopt it, is too high to pay.

To compare it with deaf people for whom reliance is a right not an issue compounds the problem.  Of course traumatised deaf need that support, born deaf and children do, but to avoid the total reliance gig, you need to say OK now you are walking, what direction you take is up to you not us.  We cannot be protected from life, shit happens.

The timing has to be right when the support line has to be cut....  As I stated, my approach could ONLY take one direction you went in at the deep end, and sung or swam. Over 11 years of the onset of profound loss, the first 5 I was definitely sinking ! but I did gain by that experience to go forward, and today despite 50 years profound deaf I rely on no agency for any support, I basically taught myself enough lip-reading, again forced to really, because there were no classes anyway.   

I enter hearing areas and make a contribution, it isn't huge but it is there, you have to go to these areas explain without demand you need their cooperation to follow, I found 75% of the time I got that cooperation, on the law of averages that is better than being supported.  If you aren't in it, there is no prize to win.

A lot, is do to with ensuring your homework is done and to plan carefully for issues that may arise, this give you a better way to deal with areas you might feel 'I can't do that..' and then avoid, which sets a pattern you then won't change, and the direction then is solitary.  Obviously even the best plans sometimes fail, you adapt or else !  What you don't do is run...

These days so much is text accessible I don't need much to access any area I want to.  Socially it is give and take, whether that is hearing areas or the hearing loss ones,  I know what works for me, also pride has no place in anything, you need to make others aware what you can or cannot hear, who wants to look an idiot ? Mainstream hearing are not mind readers, and despite claims from some deaf areas, neither are we.

If others don't sign at you, or you cannot lip-read so you can follow, then you switch to alternatives, you make effort, you don't sit there demanding the type of access only you are able to understand and getting angry about it.  At the root of it all, when deafness strikes you really do need to understand yourself and your failings too.   What follows 'Pride' ?  

Being honest about those failings, is more than half the battle.  There are some support areas I support, others I think are not helping us at all.  I think support systems still aren't with that, mainly because they don't see the real wood for the trees, and keep planting more of them....