The way I am

Anxiety has been there for most of my life because of never feeling like I fit in, or belong anywhere. This feeling, along with being made to feel different started when I was in Junior School. No one wanted me on their team, but obviously I would have to end up on someones team. Even when I shown how good I was at non-stop cricket one time, which they were stunned, it did not change their views. I still was not wanted. This carried on all through Comprehensive School, but in addition to bullying which was mostly verbal. I only experienced physical a few times to start with, which was just pushing.
Through working life, thankfully not every job I did not feel alone, or not belong. There has only been one area where I was judged before they knew me and where I work currently, there has been (or probably still is) judging when they don’t really know me, because now I don’t speak unless I really have to, due to past issues at work with bullying and other things. But this time I don’t care if they judge. It’s their problem, not mine. The few that know me, only know me because I know they won’t shove it back in my face later, otherwise I keep myself to myself, which pisses off the others, because they have nothing to gossip about.
Through the lovely people I have met along the way personally, they are in my life because they mean something to me.
New friends I made through a place I stopped volunteering at, because no opportunities happened in the months I was there, I try to meet up with them, when I can. A lovely group who I feel comfortable with and who are patient with me because of my hearing loss. But underneath, I still have a little anxiety at times, because that just seems to be me. I am also tired after and can’t wait to go home to re-charge, because of the effort it requires me to lipread. While I am there, when conversation is in full swing, unless someone near to me either side starts a conversation separately with me, then I stay quiet, because I do not know what is going on. I cannot follow group conversations at all.

I will try to travel somewhere new, but just because I do it, does not mean I am always anxiety free. Sometimes anxiety likes to pay a visit and I don’t know why I am having that moment.
If it involves more than two buses to somewhere new and I do not know where to get off, I simply can’t do it, as anxiety-wise, it’s too much.

If I go somewhere that involves a crowd, I get anxiety because of not knowing who they are and I can feel claustrophobic, depending on the crowd and the situation. Putting myself in the same situation, does not make it go away. It never gets any easier.

People have said to me that I look confident, when I have said underneath I don’t feel confident, or have anxiety.

If I am with someone I know, but someone comes up to us because they know the person I am with, I will stand back and let them talk. I tend to find I am quiet because I don’t know them, because I worry about possible communication difficulties I may have. This is just the way I am.

If a random person came up to me in the street, anxiety will be there, because again, I will worry about the communication difficulties I could have, because of communication difficulties I know I have.

You will not find me in a swimming pool, because to do so, I would need to remove my hearing aids. I will not be around people without my hearing aids, because of communication difficulties I would have and my anxiety would be high.

I could easily isolate myself if I allowed, so I don’t have to worry about communication difficulties.
To be ME and remove my hearing aids.
It’s so easy being on my own, to be me and just relax.
To be me without the worry of the communication difficulties, or the worry of being judged before you they fully know me.
To be anxiety-free.

How lovely it would be, to be without anxiety, as it would make my life so much easier. The same if I wasn’t deaf. But that’s the way I am.

For the record, I hate my anxiety and my hearing loss. But I know they will never go away, as much as I want them to.

Why I am back early from my blogging break

I have enjoyed my blogging break, but I have also partly missed it. While way, I have had a lot of ‘me time,’ just doing what I want to do, on my own. I have also enjoyed spending time with a couple of family members on days I have seen them.

I have some stressful times as you know, and while I have been away from blogging I have had some ups and downs. But most of these have been ups, as I shared in my first post back from my blogging break.
I have dealt with these ups and downs in ways that are suitable for me, to get it out of my system, which two of them being doodles and sharpie drawings.

I came back earlier to blogging than planned because I wanted a distraction from earlier that day. For two hours, I had to talk a lot about negative stuff with someone from Welfare Rights who was helping me with my PIP application. Like many others who are or were on DLA originally, regardless if you had it for life, we all have to go onto PIP. But if you want it, you have to apply for it. Luckily the person who is helping me with my PIP is the same person who helped me with my DLA. But regardless I am having help with filling it in, it does not make the process any easier.
Talking about all the negativity of your disability, so it is filled in properly on the form to get across to them looking at it on how your disability affects you is hard work. I cried at one point while talking about the negative effects of my hearing loss, saying how easier just being on my own can be, so I can just be me and take my hearing aids out.  Comparing to before when I applied for DLA and now for the PIP, there is a lot more down on paper. I was there for two hours. To say the PIP form is thinner than the DLA form I remember, there is still a lot of writing had to go into it.

Originally my DLA was just for my hearing loss, (although other things were mentioned, but not important then.) Now I have to talk about my depression and anxiety.

Although I left the place where I met up with Welfare Rights person better than during my session, I did start to feel tearful again while eating lunch in town. A place where I was going to have originally lunch in was very busy, so I went to another cafe very near by. I felt a little edgy where I choose to sit, with the cafe being in the centre of the shopping centre and choosing to sit on a seat around the edge. I should have really sat somewhere more in the middle, then I may have felt less edgy.
Before going home, I thought I’d pop into HMV and buy a couple of CD’s to hopefully cheer me up a bit. I bought Ed Sheeran, ‘Divide’ and Anastacia, ‘Ultimate Collection.’
It took towards the evening though, when I was working with my colleague, before my mood picked up much better.

Book review: ‘A Student’s Guide to the Deaf Experience,’ by Michelle Jay.

For those that have known me for some time, either personally, or through my previous blog, you will know I had a good experience of participating in this book. This is the only thing, deaf-related personally to me, that I will share here on, ‘My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.’
      This book review I originally shared on my previous blog, which has been edited slightly to reflect the time of how long ago I did this.
Front cover of A Student's Guide to the Deaf Experience

“A Student’s Guide to the Deaf Experience,” by Michelle Jay, is a mixture of  stories from deaf and hard of hearing people.

      This book is also something that I also took part in myself, after being asked by Michelle if I would like to take part. I share my story in this book on page 111, called ‘The Highs and Lows.’ This was just over 3 years ago, but it doesn’t feel it and it was a positive experience I am proud of.
      It was also nice to see when reading this book, of finding out that some of my friends submitted their stories. As well as reading other familiar, or new blogger’s too. I had no idea my best friend Sarah, from Speak Up Librarian had taken part, till this book was published. So it was nice seeing and reading her story in there too.
This book was created to equip ASL students, but this book is a great read for anyone.
      My Mum has read this book and bought another for her Sister. She has also shown my story to her friends, as any proud Mum would. Some of them who know me well, did not realise to the extent how my hearing loss affected me, till they read my story.

This book is a great deaf awareness book for all and is available at Amazon.co.uk.