I have read about the five stages of grief — denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance — and they remind me a lot of the stages of hearing loss. This makes sense, because for many, myself included, the loss of hearing is something to be mourned, to be missed, to be fought. We hide it, we hate it, we ignore it, we are sad about it, and eventually we accept it, or at least the lucky ones of us do. But for people with hearing loss, these are not the only steps.
With hearing loss, it is a process of not only grieving, but also of learning to live again in a new and different way. There is fear. There is reliance on other people like doctors and audiologists. There is technology to learn, new habits to create and accommodations to request. There is acceptance, but even with acceptance there is the constant battle of self-advocacy. It is exhausting, but it is worth it.
Here are my stages of hearing loss. What are yours? [Full story]
Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Health Foundation and Hearing Loss Association of America. In 2015 she was named a HearStrong Champion for her work to change the stigma surrounding hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing loss. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.