The Stress of Hearing Loss

Lately, I’ve been having major writers block and decided to take time off from writing over memorial holiday weekend. Not only was May Mental Health Awareness Month but it got me thinking about the stress of being a deaf individual in today’s crazy world.

I get it. You must be like “How does this individual with hearing loss have stress?” “Can’t she just turn her hearing aids off?” “Why is stress involved?”

It’s extremely stressful. I was realizing just how much I needed a vacation again. How often I feel the need to have one. Whether it’s sand between my toes, the sound of waves, sightseeing the wonders of the world, get out of this rat race and really just go. Like “BYE FELICIA!”

There are situations involved where you’re under a ton of pressure. There’s embarrassment, sweat, tears, the oops, the uh ohs, the constant what if, and multiple anxious moments.

It really puts a toll on your body, both physically and mentally. It’s excruciating to really manage it, for your health and peace of mind.

Why this stress thing?

We’re limited. “Oh Amanda, can you call this patient for me?” (Crickets in background) Here’s another situation – Dentist with mask on “Ok mark it #5 MOD.” (When it really sounds muffled)…..And one more – When you’re trying to order food in an extremely loud restaurant and the waiter isn’t really moving his lip….shit it’s harder to have a nice night out with your husband too!

It’s the daily communication issues, the fear of missing something important, the embarrassment and blah. Blah blah. Not to mention the exhaustion your poor brain entails.

Like I explained in my last blog Easier to Identify as Deaf.

“Hearing aids are lifesaving technologies. They are there to help you hear better. If you’re a lip reader you may and will always still be a lip reader even with better hearing aids. Like I said it doesn’t cure.”

Since life is stressful that way, we still do our best even when no one understands. It’s called having empathy people.

Below is some of the things I do to cope. Now, everyone is different in their own ways.

1. Exercise

There’s a reason I continued my dance career all through college and NFL. Once retired, I found Crossfit. Now since we have a garage gym, I’m able to come home from work and de-stress by doing a workout or lifting.

2. Travel

It’s a wonder what it can do for me. Constantly bringing a smile to my face. I truly enjoy seeing the world, immerse myself within the diversity of cultures and learn what they have to offer. If only I could do this full time!

3. Mediate

Doing yoga or even reading a book you enjoy helps keep my mindset healthy. But honestly, I’m grateful for my three dogs. Best therapy ever.

4. Eat healthy

Nutrition plays a huge role on health. Being stressed can lead to overeating, weight gain, health issues. Not only it keeps you healthy but also nourishes your mind.

5. Plan ahead

Why would I plan ahead? The OCD in me like to stay on track and make sure everything is in order for situations to go as smooth as possible. Keep everything on a calendar. Get to work early. Get things done ahead of time.

One more thing I learned, it’s ok to ask for help. Keep in mind, You’re not doing anything wrong by asking for help. You are if you’re not asking for help.

I feared judgement. Past tense. Now I can say I’m a rockstar. PS: I still have my judgement days okay? I’m allowed to be human. A deaf one.

“Whatever living beings there may be — feeble or strong, long, stout, or of medium size, short, small, large, those seen or those unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born as well as those yet to be born — may all beings have happy minds.”

—The Buddha, Karaniya Metta Sutta

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