How To Ensure Mental Health Stability When You’re Newly Deaf

I never had a hearing problem during my childhood years. I could always hear my friends running down from the end of the block, asking me to play with them. Before they turned up in our doorsteps, I was already waiting for them on the sidewalk. Then, when I entered high school, the choir teacher realized that I had a perfect pitch, which would not be possible if I could not hear very well. I even got into a college scholarship program because of my newfound singing abilities.

However, everything changed when a drunk driver hit me while I was crossing the street after work. It was a red light, but the guy must have missed it due to intoxication. I blacked out as soon as I collided with his car, though, so I did not know that the side of my head hit the pavement hard.

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When I woke up, everything hurt, especially the left side of my body. As it turned out, that’s what touched the road first. The doctors and police officers said that I was lucky that none of my internal organs or bones ruptured and that the driver didn’t run me over. I didn’t notice it quickly, but I knew what they were saying because I could read their lips. Then, I started freaking out when I realized that I could not hear a thing anymore. I kept on thrashing until the nurses had to sedate me to calm me down.

When I opened my eyes the next day, it was already nighttime, and the visiting hours were over, so I was alone in my room. I tried watching TV, in denial of my hearing loss. However, even with the volume reaching 100, I could not figure out what the TV characters were saying. I began to shed tears silently, unsure of what tomorrow would bring.

how-to-ensure-mental-health-stability-when-youre-newly-deaf
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The Instability

A doctor visited me later and explained to my parents and me that I was suffering from a hearing loss. He said, “We know it’s temporary, but we don’t know when it will come back. Only time can tell.”

Okay, so the diagnosis was both a good and bad news. I might or might not use my ears again, depending on how my body would heal. Instead of making me feel better, it challenged my mental health stability.

My mom moved my stuff back to her house when I got discharged from the hospital. She often asked me ever since the diagnosis of how I was holding up, but I always told her that I was fine. Of course, that’s far from the truth, but Mama didn’t need to know that. She already had a lot on her plate, considering I would have to be under her care for a while. I had to quit my job, too, since call center agents needed aural skills, which I no longer had.

how-to-ensure-mental-health-stability-when-youre-newly-deaf
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Gaining Stability

Mama eventually urged me to talk about my worries. I thought I was hiding my insomnia to her, but I wasn’t. She said she would come out of her room to pee sometimes and see me in the garden until the wee hours. It was true, so I ended up confessing that I hadn’t been okay ever since I found out about my hearing loss. And for the first time, I bawled in my mother’s arms.

Thought I did not want Mama to see me this way, she told me that it would upset her if I hid my mental health issues further. She made me promise that I would mention everything that bothered me so that she could help me go through with it.

how-to-ensure-mental-health-stability-when-youre-newly-deaf
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We started with being roomies. My mother asked me to sleep in her room, saying that she missed hugging me to sleep. While I knew that she was doing it to check on me, I did it without a peep. At that point, I was willing to do anything to stop making my mother sad.

After that, Mama made sure that we ate every meal together. We also tried jogging on weekdays and hiking on weekends, considering the doctor said that being in nature and getting back in shape might help with my healing process. Furthermore, a friend hooked me up with a writing job, which was a dream of mine.

In no time, I stopped feeling sorry for my hearing loss.

how-to-ensure-mental-health-stability-when-youre-newly-deaf
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Bottom Line

Losing my sense of hearing was a massive blow in my life. I did not know how to deal with it; I even considered buying a noose to end my ordeal. I only thought of dark things for at least a couple of months.

Fortunately, I had Mama to thank for helping me feel like myself again. It was a crazy journey, but I got there anyway, even without hearing anything. While I am still hopeful about reversing my hearing loss, it would not bother me if it stays that way.

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