Hello, and welcome to my blog. My name’s Mike and I’m currently struggling to navigate the confusion, frustration and isolation I experience daily as I travel along my deaf journey.
I have severe hearing loss in both ears caused by meningitis as a teen, and its progressive nature has impacted my life in both pedestrian and dramatic fashion. Although my deafness has been a constant companion for 40 years, I have never come to grips with it; it’s a tenuous relationship with an unwelcome guest who will never leave and whose insidious nature has infiltrated all areas of my life.
Yeah, you could say I hate being deaf. Hence this blog.
This is my attempt to reach out from my isolation to see if there are others like me who are deaf and feeling shunned or who have become reclusive due to deafness, not knowing sign language or other deaf people, and who have essentially fallen by the wayside as life passes them by. I hope to write about my experiences as a functionally deaf person in a hearing world, the struggle to survive as a disabled person in a world where the disabled are generally ignored or deliberately scorned, and the coping mechanisms I’ve developed over the years to try to stay afloat in a rural area where I have no deaf friends or acquaintances and very little in terms of deaf support services.
Despite all of this, my deafness does not define who I am as a person—it is only part of who I am. In my story, deafness is only one of the characters in a cast of many. Finally coming to accept my deafness is my goal; perhaps learning to co-exist with—or even embrace—my deafness is my only chance of finding peace in my life. I hope to hear from others who may be in similar situations. Discovering we’re not alone could be the breakthrough we need to live better, more fulfilling lives.