Spoiler alert: life amplified isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Or maybe I’m still adjusting? All I know for sure is that no one told me how loud everything is. Oh, and the music in the mall sucks.
Life is so weird. I couldn’t hear, but now I can. Shouldn’t that make me happy? Why is all of this so overwhelming? No one warns you about the emotional side effects of suddenly being able to hear. Sure, there are a bunch of YouTube videos that show The Moment –you know, when a non-hearing person hears for the first time and everyone bursts into happy tears — but that’s not the whole story. If the video kept rolling for weeks and months, we might witness a non-linear emotional rollercoaster of happiness, anger, frustration, serenity, and despair. But why? I can’t explain it – it’s not logical. It’s an emotional minefield populated by years of denial and hope and justifications. Detonation wreaks anger and joy simultaneously. It’s tears of happiness and gratitude that turned to grief so suddenly that I have to stop everything and wonder if I’m losing my goddamn mind. Still don’t get it? Yeah, me neither.
Update: The stimuli can be overwhelming, but I can say in no uncertain terms that the decision to get the BAHA attract was absolutely the best choice I could’ve made for my quality of life. It’s been a couple of weeks now and – although I don’t have much more clarity about it now than I did three weeks ago – I can’t imagine not going through with the procedure. Emotions are complicated and – pretty much by definition – the opposite of logic. I can’t explain why it makes me sad at times, or why when I talk about it sometimes I feel empowered while other times I feel embarrassed. I wish I had a better understanding of the psychology of it all. For now, all I can do is just keep on keeping on and try to remember to let myself feel all of it while pausing for reflection and gratitude whenever possible.