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Hear Life’s Story™

Why Not Me?

Bad things happen to good people all the time. When they do, it’s easy to have a pity party. You kick it off by muttering that well-worn phrase, “Why Me?”, then you’re off and running. After all, you’re a good person, you work hard, you’re responsible, and you try to be kind to others. It’s just not fair! You did nothing to deserve the plateful of bad fortune you’ve been dished up, and so you ask, “Why Me?

I remember the day I learned I had lost a significant percentage of my hearing. I was devastated. I’d never again hear the way I once did, and even worse, the ringing in my ears they call tinnitus could not be cured. I would have to hear that raging river of noise for the rest of my life. Why wasn’t there a pill I could take to get rid of it? Why wasn’t there some type of exercises I could do to restore my hearing? I may have made some poor choices over the years—like listening to loud music for too long—but I didn’t deserve this! None of my friends who listened to loud music have suffered hearing loss. Why did I? And then, there it was: I asked myself, “Why me?”

As I thought about my situation a little longer, I started to realize that every living thing on earth changes as it ages. From flowers and plants to animals and even drops of water, nothing stays the same. Sometimes the changes are good; think caterpillar to butterfly. In the case of the human body however, not so much. Our bodies break down, little by little, and we suffer all kinds of maladies. Diminished hearing and tinnitus are only two of them. And, I decided, whatever caused my hearing loss, it wasn’t me. Maybe I should have gotten help when I first noticed my symptoms, but that didn’t cause the problem. Forces totally out of my control caused it; those same forces that cause other people to suffer as well. That’s when my big aha moment came, and I thought, “Why NOT me?” If not hearing loss and tinnitus, I could be dealing with cancer, diabetes, or one of a hundred debilitating diseases. At least I can get hearing aids to improve my hearing and help mask the tinnitus. Millions of people around the world have these same conditions, and many of them can’t even get help.

Then began to wonder why most of us have the “Why Me?” knee-jerk reaction. After a great deal of thought, I came up with a totally unscientific theory. By first feeling sorry for ourselves, I thought, we clear our emotions and look for a way to move forward. We feel better after our mini-rants, and our minds are ready to find out exactly what can be done. There may not be a cure, but most likely there’s some sort of therapy.

So go ahead and shake your fist up to the heavens and hold your head and mutter, “Why Me?” But then move on to the next question: “Where do I go for help?” That question will have an answer.

 

Claudia Hensen's Blog Series