A work colleague asked me today as to whether I get bored working at home being on my own all the time. And my honest answer, was actually no! I’m one of those happy loners in life! Let me clarify, this isn’t something where I feel lonely, more that I choose to live life by myself, and I literally don’t have time to feel lonely!
I’ll be honest here, a lot of these is down to my deafness which has been declining over the last few years. I’ve described in detail in one of my earlier posts the details of my deafness, but I can’t remember if I said that it is actually declining in hearing levels. If I didn’t, well it is, and it’s something that all deaf people accept (doesn’t mean we like it!) that can happen for one reason or another. I do have the option at some point in the future of having a cochlea implant in the future, but the thing is, this procedure will provide an alternative hearing device to the hearing aid because the hearing aid will no longer be doing its job. There is no guarantee that it be better for me (hence the whole series of tests that have to be done before they decide whether it is suitable for an individual). But to bring the post back around, life as a deaf person is damn hard! I rely so much on lipreading to work alongside my hearing aids which takes a lot of concentration and is more tiring than you’d believe. When it’s more than one individual talking, it is near impossible to keep up with the group conversation, indeed it’s so difficult that one of my deaf mates wrote their own post recently on their experience, and one which is shared by probably evey deaf person. Let me make clear, none of my mates are ignoring me in those situations! But over drinks and the general feel good of friends catching up, conversaton invariably gets louder, and contrary to the thought that being louder is better for deaf people, this is the opposite, because sound when it gets louder actually becomes more muffled to the hearing aids, and sound as words loses their clarity.
This is annoying, because I lose the gist of conversations happening around me, it’s like coming in on a film half way through, you’ve no idea what the plot is and you spend the latter half of the film trying to draw conclusions the best you can. Again, my mates are amazing and they always look out for me, but invariably over the period of a night out, they forget (I probably would in their situation with my memory to be fair!) and I again find myself just taking a back seat and drink in silence. It does get frustrating, but I get frustrated with the deafness not the people. It’s one of those times where I find being deaf is a pain in the backside in life! I find now, that, well, I simply can’t be bothered to keep asking groups of people if they’d mind stopping their conversation and sitting or standing in a circle so I can see everyone’s faces while they are talking. If I did ask, they’d more than likely do it in a shot to help me out. But the thing is, although I’m always advocating and telling people about how to deal with deaf people, there are occasions where I simply don’t want to keep drawing people to my deafness. If I’m going to be the focus of attention, I’d rather it be for my rubbish jokes rather than my deafness, because I admit it, it feels almost like a weakness on my part, daft though that may sound.
This is why in the last few years I’ve taken myself out of most large group gatherings (apart from weddings, I love weddings haha). I simply find them too hard work, and not being able to hear, I just find myself getting bored. Although I shall be attending my running club christmas do, you will most likely find me in the corner just talking to one or two people at a time which will be the limit I can cope with. And that’s not to say I’m a complete recluse in life!I will go out and have fun with a group of friends if I feel I can engage without feeling lost, so I’m attending a power ballads concert this weekend, the advantage being that everyone there will be in the same boat as me because the music will be so loud no one will be able to hear, so I won’t feel the odd one out!
My hearing is so rubbish that I struggle to watch films at the cinema without subtitles now, and I tend not to ask mates to put it on their tv on get togethers who aren’t associated with deaf people because if you’re not used to it, the writing appearing on the bottom of the screen can be very distracting! I find myself thinking I don’t want to ruin their experience, so I find myself keeping quiet and making do the best I can. Another thing I’ve stopped doing is going to my office as much now too, I’m very lucky actually with my job flexibility on allowing people to work at home. The reason being, I go in and I find myself just sitting there doing work because I can’t hear the chatting going on around me. Or rather, I can hear the sounds, but I can’t make out what is being said. Just to make clear too, the office doesn’t spend all day talking! People do go there to work obviously, but as everywhere in life, sporadic conversations take place and I find I don’t hear what is going on. So my viewpoint is, what’s the point on going in if I don’t hear what’s going on to work, when I can just as easily stay at home and work harder because I can listen to music in the background which relaxes me, whereas unclear conversation distracts me. I’ll be honest here too, it’s one of the main reasons I’ve taken myself of the dating scene. With my hearing now so crap and me missing a lot of conversations even with my mates who know me, I find I just can’t be bothered now to go through the process of trying to get to know someone new and suffer the embarrassment if I mistakenly hear something she hasn’t said! And I’d hate the idea of putting someone off straight away as I have to draw attention to my disability. Instead I find it easier to be alone now too, having probably picked up numerous bad habits as being a single bloke in my bacholor pad haha (I hasten to add I do my best to keep my house nice and tidy!)
But all this? Leads to the title of my blog, I’m a happy loner! Between my full time work, my charity work which has me busy every week, and my running, I have barely enough time to get my breath together to watch a bit of tv (with subtitles of course!) and read my extensive library! I’m also hugely lucky in that I have some great friends who I enjoy getting together with on an individual basis, this being better for me as I actually get to be involved in the conversations a lot of the time because I can take my time in listening to what is being said rather than trying to frantically keep up in big groups. So no, I don’t get bored working from home, and I never feel lonely in life, actually I’m more than content with my lot! So all these terms I’ve given myself in terms of being a loner etc, well to my view point they have too negative conotations. It’s almost as if society can’t accept people being happy living life on their own and that you have to be with people to be happy. But each person has their own personality and each person deals with life differently.
I’m sure there are lots of people out there in the same boat, but perhaps you feel differently? I hope people out there who live alone are like me and content! And if you do feel alone, well, never be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone at the bus stop, I get into loads of random conversations with strangers! On a serious note, there are telephone numbers for groups out there which you can call to talk to people, or there may be social groups you can join. Please never feel you are alone in life.
Happy Tuesday people! Now to bed as I plan an early start for a run!