It’s a weird feeling, the one where you are constantly feeling like you are underwater. The world is always muffled to me and it’s unsettling. You would think I would be used to it by now since I’ve been living my life like this forever but I’m not.

I am hearing impaired and despite wearing hearing aids I still miss words. I still miss conversations. I still feel lost in the crowd. It’s not a good feeling to not hear what’s going on around you, makes your inner self think the world is against you.

When I was younger I always felt hindered by my disability. I wanted to take dance classes, but I couldn’t because I can’t hear the beat of the music. I couldn’t learn to ride a bike no matter how hard I tried because my equilibrium is completely messed up. There were just so many things I wanted to do and couldn’t no matter how hard I tried. And then there are the other struggles, the one I touch on above. When…

Most of the time people are patient with me when I ask them to repeat their words. Then there are the times that they just don’t want to repeat themselves. Those times are the ones that hurt the most. They make me feel less then, like I’m not worthy of the world.

Those are also the people that talk softly on purpose. The ones that have known me forever, the ones I would least expect it from. They do it on purpose and then start a fight with me. Blame me. Saying I’m not listening and even more hurtful words.

I’m pretty positive this is where my anxiety stems from and my anxiety just got worse during covid. Those years of mask wearing just about did me in. I couldn’t read lips and everything was more muffled then usual. It too everything in me to leave the house alone. I would have a panic attack every morning on the way to work. This was the worse way to live and I’m still living like this.

I don’t know if I’ll ever heal from this. If I will ever feel comfortable in a crowd. If I will ever not panic leaving the house. What I do know is I’m trying. I’m trying to be ok and live life. I’m trying to get past the anxiety, panic and just plain old fear. One day maybe it will be better but until then I’m just going to keep trying.

Xoxo sharon

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