Thursday, September 11, 2014


There's a little thing called denial that keeps people from confronting real problems. Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that keeps unwanted and oppressing issues at bay.

Denial prevents us from dealing with reality. In our human psyche, we somehow believe that if we deny it, it doesn't exist. If we refuse to acknowledge or believe in something, then it can't possibly hurt us or affect us. We all live with a certain amount of denial. Some more than others.

Denial just postpones the inevitable, I think. Denial is easy. Reality is sobering.

The reality is this: I am losing my hearing. The cochlear implant in my ear is adequate to hear. But it is not adequate for me to continue doing many things I have done before. With my better ear failing, I am faced with obstacles I cannot overcome, even with the best of technology. Adapting and changing the way I do things can only take me so far. And too many times, that is not enough.

Hearing loss is pernicious.

There are those around me who deny the extent of my hearing loss, especially those closest to me. When I speak frankly about my fears and worries and the continuing slide of my natural hearing, they tell me not to worry -- that I am strong and "it's not so bad." You're doing great. You can overcome this. You will do better than you think. You can do this. It'll be all right.

I know the words are meant to encourage me. But they don't really help. They only seem to magnify my daily struggle to "overcome." And when I face disappointment where I wanted success, denial steps in to dissuade me from accepting the truth. Truth is, I'm tired of constantly having to work so hard to be all right. And I know those near me are tired, too.

I'm not all right. And I want others to stop denying how terrible my hearing loss is for me and for them. It sucks. And it's okay to just say so.

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