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How an inspirational quote put me on track to accept my hearing loss

A sudden deafness in my left ear changed my life forever.

Along with a good portion of my excellent hearing, I also lost my job, my paycheck, a big slice of self-confidence and some friends. There was a lot to accept and to get used to. As loss piled onto loss, things became worse, and I became more hopeless. Time did not heal or ease grief.

But an inspirational quote eventual did. 

A defining moment and wake-up call

I love quotes. One day, while searching online for inspiration and guidance, I came across a quote that shook me up.

It said:

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.”

The words gave me a sobering visual. I saw myself going right over the cliff if I continued on the same track of stubbornness, frustration and anger. I really needed to work on myself.

I share the quote in my book on hearing loss. At that time, the source was listed as “anonymous” by the site where I first found it. Not too long ago, I learned that it is actually cited to be a quote by Helen Keller, the icon of courage for those with hearing and vision loss. Considering my circumstance, this struck me as eerie but also as highly significant.

Was it fate?

Of all the quotes on motivation, inspiration and self-help floating around in cyberspace, why did this one pop up and speak to me? Had Ms. Keller become my friendly spirit guide? Her words confronted me with a much-needed dose of reality as I struggled with hearing loss and the unwelcome changes that it brought? Within moments of reading this quote, the situation that so bewildered me became crystal clear: Did I want to dwell on this or did I want to move on?

I chose the latter.   

Turning the corner

How did I begin to accept my hearing loss?

I studied up. I have always found learning to be liberating and empowering. It leads to new choices and different points of view. Then, rather than shutting them out, I welcomed the help from family and friends. My husband and I joined a support group. I decided to give hearing technology a chance and started to work with an audiologist. Mostly, I began to focus outward, onto others, sharing what I learned the hard way. This became tremendously healing. Life got a new mission.

For people in distress, signs pointing them in the direction of healing or acceptance often come from the most unexpected places. Maybe one finds solace in education, religion, meditation or yoga. For me, it started with a quote. To paraphrase Ms. Keller once more, her wisdom showed me that “what I was looking for was not out there, it was in me.”  

“what I was looking for was not out there, it was in me.” 

What have your “defining moments” been while dealing with hearing loss? What convinced you to finally get your hearing tested or to talk to a specialist about choices for better hearing? Please, share. We are all in this together and learn a lot from one another.

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