NO MORE EXCUSES: MY STORY OF HEARING LOSS
In 2005 after a trip to Hawaii, I noticed that my ears felt a bit clogged, as if they never fully “popped” from the plane descending. I went to my first ENT appointment and was told that I had “mild” hearing loss. They recommended keeping an eye on it and returning if it continued. A few years had passed, and I went back to the ENT. This time, there was more significant loss and they recommended considering hearing aids, but because I was in my mid 20’s at the time, I laughed at the recommendation. I did adapt to the loss, but it gradually became worse. Between 2008 and 2015, I went to multiple ENT’s, had multiple tests, but my hearing continued to decline. All tests continued to be inconclusive and after many misdiagnoses, I still had no answers. After ten years, I finally caved and got a set of hearing aids when I started grad school. My loss was now ranging from severe to profound and I developed non-stop tinnitus. Over the past 15 years, I tried multiple ENTs, neurologists, and other doctors, went to acupuncture, reiki and multiple other energy healers. I tried dietary changes, spent thousands of dollars on the removal of mercury fillings, tried to self-heal through “positive thinking”, prayer, supplements, and Aryvedic medicine. I went to several holistic practitioners, and read hundreds of books on how to self-heal. I went through years of denial, anger, fear, depression, then finally acceptance, only to circle back through the cycle. I can tell you all of the reasons that is sucks to lose your hearing, but feeling sorry for me is not the point of this blog.
I’d love to now tell you that I am now healed, that the miracle that I was waiting for has finally happened! Unfortunately, that is not the case, as of yet, anyway. I have always held a vision and had a fantasy of sharing my story of spontaneous healing with the world. I’ve been waiting for years for that to happen but as a result of waiting, it has held me back in some ways. I have not pursued my goals as a Law of attraction life coach because again I felt like a hypocrite since I have not yet been able to use the law of attraction to restore my own hearing. I never wrote that speech I planned on submitting for graduation because my “healing hadn’t happened yet”. The truth is, I don’t know if I will ever regain my hearing or if it will get worse, but I refuse to wait any longer to pursue my dreams. There are in fact, many positive things that have come from my hearing loss; the most significant is that is has strengthened my intuition and empathy.
My disability makes me more relatable, because it highlights a vulnerability. It means that I am human. That has helped me to connect with my clients who suffer with a substance abuse disorder. Very rarely was I ever been asked if I was an addict. From my experience, What they really wanted to know was, “Will you judge me or accept me unconditionally?” “Can I trust you?” I believe that my clients could always sense that I was genuine and in some ways, it made me more relatable. It made me human and less intimidating. It caused us to bond as human beings. We did not need to share the same disability. Which is essentially the greatest gift I could ever give a client. Human connection is the first step to healing.
When we go through tough times, it makes us develop compassion. I will never forget sitting in the hearing booth during one of my hearing tests and I was not able to comprehend even ONE single word during the speech recognition part of the test. I sobbed uncontrollably. The audiologist was very understanding and kind. I couldn’t help but think about my clients who suffer from substance abuse disorder in that moment. As I sat there grieving my hearing, crying over my disability, I was being comforted and shown compassion. I remember thinking how sad it must be for people who have addictions, as they are not only suffering a great deal from their own illness, but rarely do they receive the same type of compassion and kindness. Many suffer alone. Experiencing that allowed me to experience compassion.
Empathy and intuition go hand in hand. I believe that when working with clients, it is much more important to find the “why” instead of the what. We always used to say that it was the WHY, not the WHAT that was important. Reading between the lines is much easier to do if you use your intuition. My Spidey senses naturally increased, as my hearing decreased. Body language and subtle cues are the most important part of communication and you do not need your hearing for that! Ironically, I have been told by many people that I am an excellent listener, in spite of my poor hearing. Hearing and listening are very different. Listening requires empathy.
As a life coach, the same rings true. I can help you, because I can relate to you. Because I am human, I have experienced my own struggles. Many I have overcome. Some I am continuing to navigate. The bottom line is, if we wait until our circumstances change in order to make a move, then we may stay stagnant forever. I can help you to move beyond your stuck points, from a compassionate, nonjudgmental place. If you need someone to believe in you, I do! I am here to help you reclaim your inner rock star!