Tell me, however much you know about your hearing loss – where did you learn it?
From your hearing care professional? Hearing loss-related websites? Facebook? From a book on hearing loss?
If you’re like most people, including me, your answer might be All of The Above. But my ongoing and best source of useful information has always been the writing of people who know what you’re going through, because they’ve been there themselves. They know what they’re talking about.
Blogger Cody Knipfer wrote, “The written word is arguably the most powerful and most influential tool humanity has ever created. Without writing, ideas cannot be recorded.” And when the writing is about something that we care about or are dealing with, it can shift our thinking and transform what we’re doing now into something more effective. And the best part? We can go back to read the words again when we need them.
For years and even decades, I suspected that I was not living my “best life” with hearing loss. That’s an extreme understatement – I knew almost nothing about hearing loss except that I had it and I used a hearing aid. I didn’t know that things could be better in my daily communication life.
Something fundamental sparked the change I needed; I was expecting a baby and I worried that my hearing loss might endanger him. It was time to reach out. And wow: connecting with other people with hearing loss completely changed my outlook – it was goodbye to stigma! I read everything I could get my hands on, looking for guidance: OK, you’ve got a hearing aid, yay for you. But now you need to do more. And so, THIS is what you’re gonna do as a mom with hearing loss…
I never found that book, so I wrote my own, The Way I Hear It. Among all the millions of books that have ever been written about anything, books about hearing loss are still few (and I think I now have most of them on my bookshelf). Early books on the subject were rather dry and clinical descriptions of hearing loss and hearing aids, but today there is a growing list of beautifully written memoirs and ideas for living your ‘best life’.
And yup, here comes another one! Shari Eberts and I take a different approach in Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully With Hearing Loss, due out in May 2022. To live better with hearing loss, to deal with its tremendous emotional impact on every corner of our lives, we need to change both how we view it and how we do it. The skills-based approach of our book is rooted in our lived experiences and corroborated by hearing science, technological advancements, and the development of modern hearing care principles. All this, written in what we hope is a warm and engaging style!
Shari spoke for both of us in her article last week: This is the book I wish I’d had at the beginning of my journey.
Shari and I know what you’ve been through because we’re walking that road ourselves. That’s why we keep writing. Whether it’s this book or other books and articles, keep reading and talking and learning about hearing loss.
Hear & Beyond will be available to pre-order on March 3rd. We can’t wait to share it with you. Sign up to receive email updates on the book’s progress and for a chance to pre-order
Photos: A collage of some favorite books: Rewiring Tinnitus by Glenn Schweitzer; Hearing Differently: Growing Up with a Cochlear Implant by Karina Cotran; Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton; The Way I Hear It, by Me; Wired for Sound: A Journey Into Hearing by Bev Biderman.