Thursday, 3 March 2016

Deaf Girly's 'deaf question'

If I am truly honest with you, I've been in a bit of a confidence slump since the 'too deaf for this job' set back in earlier in the year. It really upset me. It made me question not only my professional capabilities but also my personal qualities.

In short, I've spent a large portion of the first part of 2016 thinking pretty negative thoughts about myself. The problem with feeling crap about yourself, is that it's very hard to sometimes to put into words what you feel crap about.

I mean, I feel crap because my deafness is an issue for someone when it shouldn't be.

I also feel crap that I eat more calories than I burn off and all my clothes are currently too tight. But is that related to my confidence slump regarding my hearing? Who knows.

Anyway, yesterday I turned a corner of sorts, in that I really didn't want to go to the gym. I wanted to get under a duvet and watch 'Sand Sluts' AKA Home & Away and forget that I was in cold, rainy England with a disability that certain employers can't seem to see beyond and a book edit I am well and truly stuck on.

But instead, I went to the gym. After eating some Ryvita and peanut butter to take the edge of my 'back from school' hunger, I put on my gym kit and went for a run on a treadmill, allowing the machine to propel me forward as I listened (on full volume – it's the only volume I can hear at) to a Spotify running playlist.

And it helped. A lot.

Then today, at my lovely temping job, where they don't give a toss about my deafness – in a very good way – it came to light that my pager system for the fire alarm is missing a crucial component... the pager. I have absolutely no idea where it is. It's been mislaid. And it's most definitely my fault.

But it's also coincided with a health and safety assessment at the office, so there's been a lot of chat about what to do, and checking with me about whether I've found it. These people are just brilliant.

Earlier, as I was going to lunch, one of the lovely office managers, who I have spoken to many times over the year I have temped on and off in the building stopped me and said, 'Are you really deaf?' in a way that made my heart sing. It was a tone of admiration and disbelief. She was astonished that she had never noticed. And I was thrilled that she hadn't. Not because I want to hide my deafness, or because I am ashamed of it, but because to her, it obviously wasn't enough of a big deal to be the first thing she noticed about me.

And in those few seconds, I felt the confidence that was obliterated by the rejection email I'd received earlier in the year gradually start to creep back. And I hope that it will continue as I remind myself that it really was one person who had the negative opinion and a whole load of people who have the positive.

Happy Thursday peeps