Sat on the edge of a group of friends and not sure where the conversation has just veered? Unable to make out the final bit of that announcement at the station and therefore forced to merely follow the crowd to the next station? Not 100% sure if your coffee is coming with rice milk or iced milk?
Join the club – having a voice and having control, isn’t always easy as someone with hearing loss.
In fact, it’s exhausting. Things can pass you by if you don’t (sometimes metaphorically, sometimes, erm… unmetaphorically) wave them down like a mad person. And frankly I’m often too tired to wave like a mad person for anything.
And I would say, for me, this is one of the two things I find hardest about having hearing loss.
What have I missed out on because I haven’t known it’s my time to pipe up? What haven’t I done because I’ve been more concerned with keeping up with what’s going on than steering events myself?
It’s this feeling that has driven me to write my new Edinburgh Fringe comedy, Hearing Loss: The Musical. For the six years I have been aware that something is seriously wrong with my hearing, I’ve found it very hard to communicate the experiences, the challenges and the day-to-day limitations that it can place on life.
So, I’m turning this obstacle into the opportunity to tell my story to audiences in the only way I see fit: a musical.
As a former music critic for the Daily Telegraph, music hasn’t just been a passion for me but a living too. It’s the effect of hearing loss on my experience of music which is the other hardest thing to deal with.
I’m bringing form and content together in my new show and have created a musical to explore the story of my own struggle with hearing loss.
Of course I’d love you to come and see it (Oh, it’s on from 2-26 August at the Cave, tickets available here https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tom-gk-hearing-loss-the-musical thanks for asking).
But why not find your own way to talk about your experience? Why not create your own way to express your perspective on hearing loss? Give your friends, acquaintances and people who you’ve never met an idea of what life’s like with hearing loss? Write it, paint it, draw it, dance it, sing it, scream it – whatever it takes to tell your story.
We might not always have the energy to wave our hands and beg to be heard but it’s time that people listened to us, our stories and our opinions anyway. How will you tell yours?