Last week I was on holiday and after a couple of drinks I thought it would be a great idea to have a go at stand up paddle boarding while wearing my normal hearing aids. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’ve got the balance of Bambi. So pretty much as soon as I stood up I fell off into the water and one of my hearing aids stopped working.
I just instantly had this feeling of dread because I knew I had to go the rest of the holiday with only one ear working. And I’m just terrified that someone’s going to say something, I’m not going to hear it correctly and I’m just gonna make a fool of myself. Saying something stupid. So for the rest of the holiday I just became a completely different version of myself.
I wasn’t talking to new people. I was just generally being really quiet. All of my social confidence just disappeared because I felt like I couldn’t communicate in a way that I knew I could if I had hearing enhancement. And this was really just a reminder to me of how important our hearing is for building and maintaining relationships with the people around us.
And it amazes me that I went the first 19 years of my life while I was refusing to wear hearing aids, just isolating myself in certain social situations. And it’s things like this that really make me angry because the technology inside hearing aids can completely transform your sense of self. But it’s the way that they’re designed and positioned as the stigmatised medical products that means that no one really wants to wear them.
So I can’t wait until I’ve got my Butterfly Audio custom hearables and I have something that makes me feel like the best version of myself in social situations. And I actually want to wear them, too.