Lately I've been trying to give myself more permission to just be worn out. Tired of listening and trying to hear and figure out what's being said or what I'm missing.
It's only recently that I've begun to recognize that I work harder than other people in conversation. You would think it would be a given, but I really didn't think much about my deafness until I began writing this blog and thinking about how it affects me. Before I would just keep trying and blame it on other things, especially at school. I didn't have much self-awareness.
With that self-awareness, though, has come a secondary awareness of how tired listening makes me. For example, on the news channel I watch in the mornings, anything scripted is closed captioned but the banter between the various newscasters is not. I used to just try to listen to them, and feel annoyed when I couldn't hear them (not that any of it is ever vitally important). Now I just get annoyed that it isn't captioned, and ignore them or even change the channel.
I can tell it is starting to affect my mindset in other areas as well. At work when I have been trying to understand vague, mumbling people for hours at a time. At a store when I am trying to listen to someone talk to me and the intercom keeps blaring, equipment keeps driving by (especially hardware stores) or everything echoes. It is hard not to feel irritated.
I have been trying to become more accepting of it without the irritation. Trying to come up with ways to get people to talk to me clearly and not from 10 feet away or incredibly quiet. I am trying to accept that I won't be able to hear everything, that some stuff doesn't need to be heard and that it's going to wear me out sometimes.
Sometimes I can feel I haven't succeeded in the whole "acceptance" thing. I feel myself getting irritated with the library patron who can't hear a thing I'm saying either so we're both yelling at each other and not getting anywhere. I feel irritated at the intercom at the grocery store, the car driving by, the kids shouting in the parking lot when I try to go to my car. Sometimes I get home to total silence and just feel totally invigorated. Who needs noise?
How do you feel about noise and silence? Do you have any tips for dealing with this sort of thing - without getting irritated?