Sunday, January 10, 2016

Breathe

I knew my hearing was getting worse again when during The Voice, I turned to my husband and said: "Tell me they are singing in French."

To which he replied, "No, no they are not." 

"Breathe."  I remember whispering to myself.

It is a feeling unlike any that I can truly describe to not be able to decipher what someone is saying.  You hear the sounds, you know that they should be making sense but nothing that you try makes them do so. Even knowing that I have a hearing problem my first initial thought leaves me pondering other issues.  Am I stupid?  Am I losing my mind?  Why can't I figure this out?  I don't know how much cognitive energy I use during one of these moments but it has to be quite a bit.  It feels like when you have forgotten something and you are trying really really hard to remember but instead of letting it go after a few seconds your mind continues on and on completely baffled and desperately searching for the answer.  "Breathe."

I can almost see the little magnifying glass moving in a circular motion in my head, searching...searching...still searching...and then the dreaded "No results found" message.   At that point my brain begins to think of another way to ask the same question in an attempt to get an answer.  In this cycle it will continue for as long as I allow it.  To end this I must remove my self from the situation, admit that I am never going to decipher what is being said or find another way to communicate.  "Breathe."  

I don't know about all of you, but when I can't do something on my own I tend to feel anxious and a bit afraid.  With words, something so basic and easy, it drives even deeper and pushes on a few nerves you probably never even knew you had.  The lack of comprehension makes me feel stupid, annoyed, anxious, afraid, useless, out of control and humbled.  It is a cocktail of emotions that rushes in during a very intense moment and I have seconds to decide how to handle their weight.  "Breathe." 

A lot of times my surroundings will dictate just exactly how that moment will take shape.  With those I love the most I may show frustration and sadness but to others I may just appear flustered and confused.  It is important to note that I am just speaking for me personally, not everyone with hard of hearing probably feels the same but for me, this is it.  I cannot stand it when my speech comprehension goes away.  "Breathe."  

It is a cocktail of emotions that rushes in during a very intense moment and I have seconds to decide how to handle their weight.

This is just one example in my home life of how these emotions work through me during a normal conversation with Chase. 

Stupid - As my four year old repeats and repeats and repeats for his mother I want to scream at the top of my lungs in desperation.  Annoyed - Not because I am in anyway angry at him but I am in complete submission to the moment.  Anxious - He cannot write, he cannot text, we cannot sign and he barely has the cognitive ability to rephrase what he is saying in hopes that different words will allow me to understand.  Afraid - What if  this is a medical issue and I cannot decipher something.  Useless & Out of Control - When I am the only one home I just have to tell him how very sorry I am that I cannot understand.  Humbled - In the moment he realizes that I just don't know what he is saying and probably won't figure it out.  "Breathe."

It is a cocktail of emotions that rushes in during a very intense moment and I have seconds to decide how I will handle their weight.

But that moment isn't really the key.  That struggle isn't really truth.  That out pouring is human and necessary but doesn't have to define you.

It's the amazing breaths that take place without hesitation after those emotions flood in and out that really matters the most. 

"Breathe."

Breathe and choose to know that this is nothing you cannot overcome. 

Breathe and choose to see that this is not the end of the world. 

Breathe and choose to believe that better things are yet to come. 

Breathe and choose to draw strength in the fact that this is not your battle to fight alone. 

Breathe and choose to stand back up renewed. 

Breathe and choose to continue to fight.

Living with a chronic problem that currently does not have a cure I am learning things daily.   Especially that your day to day struggles cannot control you and pretending they don't exist isn't healthy either.  Authentic living requires that this issue has to be accepted as part of me.  But in that, there has to be a healthy balance.  While it does not have to define me or restrict me, I must acknowledge and respect it.  Our emotions are there for and serve a great purpose.  Do not be ashamed in your bad day, in your crying, in your sadness.  Do not stuff your feelings back or away.  Instead allow them to see the light and deflate them in their very essence by doing what they try to tell you that you can't.  "Breathe."