This has been one hell of a year already, and it is only the end of March.
In mid January my hearing changed. Following a pattern that has been ongoing since (at least) the last two years of college, it got worse over the winter, but the difference this time is that it got worse than it's ever been before. I went to the audiologist to make sure my ears weren't blocked or that my new hearing aids weren't broken and neither of these were the case. An audiological test revealed that I had actually gone deaf in that ear, with 0% speech recognition.
I decided this was the time then, to pursue my last resort options, starting with the one that isn't completely science fiction or fantasy; the cochlear implant.
I determined that if the Implants didn't work for me or if I wasn't satisfied with the quality of sound they gave me then I wasn't interested in continuing to live my life. Shortly after I made this determination, I discovered a book written on spiritual healing by a pastor who had discovered why today's church was unable to heal the masses. Finding truth and scriptural accuracy in this book, I took it as a sign that God could heal me and I made a pact with Him that I would do everything within my power to sanctify myself so that He would. My hearing loss does not fit in any of the book's descriptions of spiritually rooted diseases, but I believe that if I am sincere about myself it can be fixed by a creative miracle, assuming I'm worthy. I don't know if I am.
I did a complete 180 in some areas of my life. I cut back on interaction with some of my friends, I got rid of things I had previously been collecting, I found I had lost some of the respect I had for hard metal music...I debated leaving the furry fandom and quitting roleplaying entirely and even abstaining from video games to try some other hobby. I don't know what God wants from me in this area or if it counts toward the area of scripture that tells you to guard your thoughts. I suspect this may be what is preventing God from meeting me in my time of crisis.
While trying to change my life I developed symptoms similar to those of a panic attack while at work, and came to realize that I was accusing myself before God, something that the book warns not to do. So I got rid of the self guilt and accusation that had been ruling my life and developed a newfound sense of confidence. Also some of my hearing returned!
Today I went in for an appointment to have an evaluation for the cochlear implants. After a very thorough and intensive audiological test, the results came back to show that my formerly deaf ear had returned to hearing that was -better- than what I had in my other ear...but was still poor enough to make me a candidate for the Implants. The doctors now want to put the implant in my poorer ear, the one that ironically, was not the one to suddenly decline to 0%. The doctors also advanced the time scale (ironically, at my request. I was trying to have the implant in and activated before Bronycon, but that was back when I was still essentially deaf in that one ear) so now I'm not sure if I'll be giving God an adequate chance to heal me before turning to man for help ( something the book also warns against).
I'm so conflicted and confused. Both my mortal life and my spiritual life seem to hang in the balance. I don't think I could be satisfied living into my old age without music. I'm only 30, and I need to talk to people. I've already gotten over the idea that cochlear implants will be seen as disfiguring features to some prospective mates; another area of my life in which I was being ruled by negative self-evaluation. I don't need anyone in my life to feel happy as long as I have all the great friends I've made online, who will stick by me even if I go completely deaf.
But then I think about the implications, what my life would be like if something were to go wrong, and I hesitate. I don't think I'd be able to tolerate it for the rest of my life, and I'd rather guzzle pills and end it quickly than possibly get to a point where I psychologically snap and take my frustrations out on others.
So that's where I stand, and I don't know what to do! To complicate matters, recent deaths in the furry fandom have lead me to renew efforts to find a significant other, and to my surprise I'm actually getting bites this time! But even though I shouldn't be, I'm kind of afraid to tell them about my problems, since they're kind of deal breakers between "Let's find out more about you" and "Let's just be friends."
I'm...I'm going crazy, aren't I? So this is what going mad feels like...
- 2012, live or die