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Meniere's Disease Took My Hearing, but It Gave Me Something Else

When I was first diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, I was heartbroken. I didn’t understand what was happening to me or why it was happening to me. This didn’t run in my family. I was active, healthy and young. I was a good student, I attended church and I volunteered regularly – what did I do to deserve this?

Panic and anxiety filled my mind as I thought of all the plans I had made for my future that might never be realized. How was this going to affect my life? Would I finish college? Would I be able to work? Would I be able to drive? Am I going to lose my hearing in both of my ears? The negative thoughts consumed me.

Fast forward to 12 years later and, although I didn’t reach every ambitious goal I made, today I have accomplished a lot more than I expected I would with Meniere’s disease. I am a college graduate, I own a business, I travel often, I have two beautiful children and I’m still able to drive. I still have a lot to be thankful for. It’s easy for me to fall into the trap of negative thinking with all that Meniere’s disease has made me struggle through, but I have to focus on what I’ve gained from it. I will not allow the negative thoughts to consume me any longer.

Meniere’s disease took away my hearingBut it gave me an appreciation for the other senses I still have. It gave me a reason to learn sign language and fall in love with deaf culture.

Meniere’s disease took my balance awayBut it helped me find balance in my life by leaning on the support of my family and God. They may have a hard time understanding what my life is like, but I know they are there for me when I really need them to be.

Meniere’s disease took away my social lifeBut it introduced me to a community of other supportive Meniere’s disease patients who know exactly what I’m going through. I find comfort and strength through their shared experiences that I can relate to.

Finding peace and happiness while living with a chronic illness is difficult, but it is not impossible. I must let go of what I can’t control, accept it and find ways to improve my quality of life in spite of my negative circumstances. I fight my Meniere’s disease every day so I can be a better mom, a better wife, a better business owner and a better person.  I still have my whole life ahead of me to make and reach new goals. I find reasons to keep going no matter how challenging my days can be. After all, it’s a bad day, not a bad life. There will always be someone who has it worse than me.

Don’t let the negative thoughts consume you either. Focus on what you can gain out of your situation too. Find your reasons to keep going.

Keep fighting, warriors.

This post originally appeared on Dizzy and Deaf.

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Photo via Siri Stafford on Getty Images.

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