Group support has a place for those of us whose primary purpose is to have a clear view and to help others have a clear view. Each week I head out to join a group of like individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction issues due to all of the aforementioned. I have been pretty much a regular seat holder in the smallish group of 10-12 good people who share their day/week/life, and open up some discussion with like minded people with the hope of clearing a fog, or lifting a mist on our lives.
I am the only deaf person, so I find myself with a unique issue. Much of my depression is due to my impression of loss. 10 years ago I was a hearing guy. Healthy, relatively happy, music loving, marathon running, regular character. My depression, I believe, has a lot to due with the loses I suffered when my concerto went silent. My anxiety stems from having to exist in the hearing world as a deaf person. The liminal space I wrote about also provides a sense of loss and depression because I am not hearing (I am deaf) and not accepted by the Deaf community because I am Cochlear implanted. So in no mans land if you will.
My transition has to be acceptance to the unique beauty that exists in my deafness. I am now very visual and depend on lip and speech reading. I notice more because it is my survival. The beauty lies in what my mindfulness has taught me: The worldly sights are constantly and ever changing. My concerto is now in what my eyes register. Leaves changing, snow falling, dogs wagging, babies smiling.
When I warm the chair in my group, I get only a portion of what is said, and this brings me back to a depressed state where I am reminded of what it was like listening to great and powerful conversation, or even mundane simple chats. I work like a dog to get what I can, but in a digital mechanical hearing world where I am, there is so much missed.
Living in the past is not what I want. I love what I have and need to grow to accept. The difficulty lies in the ego. My ego. My ego constantly wants to be better. ‘New Year, New You.’ What about new year, same you? New year, eternal you. I am not an iPhone. I don’t need an upgrade. I just need to undo all the other upgrades and find serenity with me as I am now. No the original version. Deaf and no balance and all of the beauty that goes with feeling the highs and lows, the fog and clear
Author Matt Haig wrote a book that mended me: “Reasons to stay alive” A book that I give, buy and suggest to any and all that suffer with depression, anxiety, or any affliction that keeps the fog in their life. I want to end this post with his post as it is a reminder of what my ego does, and how I need the reminder daily:
HOW TO BE HAPPY
1. Do not compare yourself to other people.
2. Do not compare yourself to other people.
3. Do not compare yourself to other people.
4. Do not compare yourself to other people.
5. Do not compare yourself to other people.
6. Do not compare yourself to other people.
7. Do not compare yourself to other people.
8. Do not compare yourself to other people.
9. Do not compare yourself to other people.
10. Do not compare yourself to other people.