Friday, 7 September 2018

Living with an invisible disability


My social circle shrunk after I became Deaf. People did not know how to deal with it or unfortunately can't be bothered ...
My social circle shrunk after I became Deaf. People did not know how to deal with it or unfortunately can't be bothered ... My social circle shrunk after I became Deaf. People did not know how to deal with it or unfortunately can't be bothered dealing with you. Making friends as an adult is hard. 

Making friends when you have a disability is even harder. There is a sense of fear and anxiety when striking up a conversation that the other person will get uncomfortable if they see you look different or they struggle to communicate with you and so they get frustrated and give up. 

I was born with hearing and due to a neurological medical condition and subsequent surgery, I became deaf in my left ear. The battle with being lonely in a new town I was told that as I got into my late 20s, early 30s, it was almost a given that I would become profoundly deaf. However, I was 16, naive and figured that was a long time away so continued life as normal. human touch.

I was an extrovert, had a large group of friends and enjoyed socialising. My friends used to joke that I'd walk into a room and by the end of the event I'd know everyone's life story and be best friends with the dog. They were joking of course. I would have been friends with the dog first. 

Roll forward nine years to the end of 2009, I had recently gotten married and my husband and I were in the big city and enjoying the big city life. Unfortunately, my surgeon's warning came true, over a space of three weeks I lost my remaining hearing and was now Profoundly Deaf. The following 18 months were a blur of specialist appointments, test, scans, surgery and heartbreak to get my hearing back. But alas, it wasn't too be. 

I had to learn how to live being Deaf in a hearing world, whereas as little as 12 months before, I was a part of that hearing world with no problems. It's a huge mind shift to get to grips with and one my social circle struggled with. I still struggle with loneliness and depression after losing my hearing, but I have a group of friends I can call on. I still struggle with loneliness and depression after losing my hearing, but I have a group of friends I can call on. I looked the same, sounded the same, worked in the same job, yet my communication needs were different now. This lead to the unintentional shrinking of my social group. 

People naturally gravitate away due to not knowing how to deal with it or unfortunately, can't be bothered dealing with you. The saying that; 'When things get hard, you find out who your true friends are' certainly came true. I fought so hard against being Deaf, I didn't want to be. It was a whole new world for me and unfortunately, there was very little support I received. 

Not medically, of course, I had an abundance of that, but mentally. I had no idea where I could go to access help and support for myself and husband (nearly 10 years on now, I know what's available to me but at the time there was no information given to me). This led to me shying away from social events. 

It was too hard to communicate in a large group within a noisy setting. This led to depression and loneliness as I didn't want to be a bother to anyone. About five months after I became Deaf, it became apparent that my husband and I needed a proper way to communicate.

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