When I was young and went to church more regularly than I do now, I thought the Credo was a nice poem that we recited to express what we were supposed to believe as Canadian Presbyterians. This Credo was especially helpful when, if you weren’t sure of what you were supposed to believe, you could look it up at the back of the hymn book.
Credo is a Latin word that means ‘I believe’, but it also means a statement of beliefs that guide our actions.
I have hearing loss which is severe to profound and I use both a hearing aid and a cochlea implant. Hearing loss has impacted every area of my life – my relationships, my work, and my activities. As I matured and came to grips with this life changing condition, I realized that I was operating by a set of as-yet-unexpressed beliefs.
These guidelines put my hearing loss into perspective, to keep me from sagging under the weight of the daily insecurities and griefs it can cause and to me in control
What do I believe?
Here’s what I believe:
There is no shame in having hearing loss and there is great pride in rising to meet its challenges.
Having hearing loss is just one aspect of who I am. It does not define me as a person or confine me to a group.
Living with hearing loss, while challenging, is not the greatest challenge I will face as a human being.
My most important goal is not to hear better, but to communicate better.
I accept the powerful role of hearing technology in helping me reach my goals.
By advocating for others with hearing loss, I am helping to break down public and societal barriers.
If I am honest about my hearing loss and articulate my needs, I am modeling good communication.
I need professional help from a hearing health care provider who can look beyond hearing aids for solutions that meet my needs.
By connecting with others who have hearing loss, I am stepping into a circle of invisible and unbreakable supports.
Hearing is precious, and I will protect what I have from noise damage.
I recognize that my hearing loss affects everyone in my life and I must include them in my communication solutions for better relationships.
This is what I believe. It’s how I live my life with hearing loss. Do I have ‘bad hearing days’? Yes, I do; I can still get embarrassed by my ‘mis-hears’ and I still catch myself bluffing. But good communication is the most important thing in my life and because I work in the hearing loss field as a writer and public speaker, I am constantly reminded of my credo, and it helps make the bad moments better.
Do you have hold any of these beliefs? Are there others that you would add to your personal hearing loss credo?
Gael Hannan is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog for Hearing Health & Technology Matters, which has an international following, Gael wrote the acclaimed book “The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss”. She is regularly invited to present her uniquely humorous and insightful work to appreciative audiences around the world. Gael has received many awards for her work, which includes advocacy for a more inclusive society for people with hearing loss. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.