Monday, November 14, 2016

A Long and Winding Road

Golfing in November is Awesome!
Dear Readers,
Over two years ago, not only did I stop drinking, I had a cochlear implant.
I had also just retired from teaching the year before.
Three big changes, all at once!

I hope you can read my post about my cochlear implant if you haven't already,
It explains how much loss I experienced.
I lost the ability to "hear" music.
The post is called Something Lost, Something Gained.

Now that I can't hear much in my other ear, I am glad I had the operation. Without it I couldn't hear people talk, and that is very isolating.
My hearing got progressively worse as time went on, and it was one of the reasons I retired from teaching. I couldn't hear the children, the fire alarm, or the phone.

I still struggle to hear, and have to use closed caption when watching television.
I miss a lot of conversation in movies or at plays.
I miss conversations in yoga, and in any big room.

However, I am ever so grateful for being able to hear what I can.
I can even hear birds now! 

I have written before about grieving and loss. It is part of our human condition.
Some of my losses have been my co-workers, a place to belong, alcohol, and hearing and music.
I feel as if I am on the other side of my grieving for these losses.
They are still with me, but no longer so hurtful. 
But this took time. 
I had to cry, I had to be mad, I had to talk, I had to hug, but then I had to accept a new reality.
I had to move, and not stay stuck.

Many of us, in the early days of quitting drinking, write of the loss we feel.
It is a real loss, and not a loss to brush off.
For many of us, alcohol was our friend.
This was true for me.
But I have replaced the alcohol friend with real friends, and real experiences.
This helped me heal from the loss, and has made my life so much richer.

So I close with a quote I read from University of Washington:


Grieving such losses is important because it allows us to ‘free-up’ energy that is bound to the lost person, object, or experience—so that we might re-invest that energy elsewhere. Until we grieve effectively we are likely to find reinvesting difficult; a part of us remains tied to the past.
Grieving is not forgetting. Nor is it drowning in tears. Healthy grieving results in an ability to remember the importance of our loss—but with a newfound sense of peace, rather than searing pain.

With A Wish For Peace,
On Day 802,
Wendy

19 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy! Your post about hearing lost made me cry when I read it a while back. The loss is real, and painful. I'm glad you now feel you've gained so much from your cochlear implants. Not hearing people talk would indeed be isolating. And hearing the birds is joyous! For me, quitting drinking was a big loss, too, and it was hard to bear. Now I'm very glad to have done that. But I always have rejected the point of view that says, "you are not losing anything." I lost a pleasure , a solace, and a welcome companion, but I regained the world, and that's been so very worth it. I'm glad you can write about this so clearly, and I'm glad you're doing so well. Big hug to you! xo

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    1. Hi Thirsty!
      Your comment clarifies what I was trying to say!
      Thank you so much!
      xo

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  2. I'm glad your hearing loss is not as great these days and that you also gained something too X

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    1. BIRDS!!
      I so love hearing them now!!!
      They are my music!
      xo

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  3. The grief quote is lovely Wendy - thank you for sharing :) xx

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  4. Wonderful that you can hear the birds again! Isn´t it immense how much changed since we got sober. :-) So wonderful!
    xx, Feeling

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    1. Oh, it is Feeling!
      I can't believe how much better it is.
      Sober is better!!
      xo

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  5. What a lovely quote you have shared. I do feel like I've grieved my friend alcohol. I do miss my friend at times but I understand that my friend was no good for me and I have to let them go x

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    1. It ceased to be a friend and became mean!
      Letting go is necessary for my health and wellbeing!
      xo

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  6. I love this Wendy, such a great post. I never thought of what I've been going through - all these crazy emotions and feelings as grief, but it really does make perfect sense. As Thirsty Still commented above - "I lost a pleasure , a solace, and a welcome companion". Hopefully, like her, as time passes on I will feel like I have regained the world :)

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    1. You will...the key is time.
      And building new relationships with people and yourself!
      xo

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  7. Beautiful.
    I remember grieving the loss of my familiar life. Even though I knew it was killing me...it was my life.
    Many times I considered going back to drinking in those early days. The fear and sadness scares me.
    But the possibility that things might be better excited that little voice inside and so I held on through the chaos so early change.

    And here I am. Living a beautiful life. Like you.

    I'm so happy we are on this path together.

    Love to you

    Anne

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    1. I am so thankful you are in my corner cheering me on!
      Thank you for your wonderful friendship!
      Sobriety is a gift that I must hold onto so dearly!
      xo

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  8. I care hear birds outside as I type, such a blessing x

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  9. Hello Wendy
    I am feeling very reachy-outy today - not needy, happy. I can't believe how much this communication has helped me. I honest don't believe I would have gotten this far without my Blog diary and meeting others.
    Michelle
    PS we have lovely birds singing here. Tui are native to New Zealand and are the most incredible song birds. I have about 5 in our massive trees outside and if you don't know their song here is a link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk02PJBUODE

    enjoy (he sounds tipsy!)
    Michelle x

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    1. Thank you, Michelle!
      Blogging has expanded my world, too.
      It certainly has helped me stay sober!
      xo

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  10. Very inspirational post Wendy, thank you. I'm glad you can hear the birds now. One of my favourite things in the world, listening to the birds in the morning.

    It's amazing that we take so much of the miracle of being alive and healthy for granted! The loss of identity was a big one for me.

    I always saw myself as a rebel and though not drinking made me boring but now I realise it is way more rebellious NOT to drink in this society. xxxx

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    1. For sure...it is the cooler thing not to drink!
      xo

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