Anticipatory Grief

A common theme of many posts on “Hearing Elmo” is that one of the hardest things about being a person with disAbility is that we experience all the normal challenges, trials, and heartaches that everyone else does. It means that like all people, we will experience things like broken relationships, health crises (related or unrelated to our disability), unemployment, grief, unfair criticism, financial challenges, repercussions of poor choices, stress, mental health challenges, flat tires, cavities, unexpected zits, stepping on a hair ball on our way to the bathroom late at night, lost contacts, doctors with poor people skills, and days we won’t solve the Wordle.

Life is hard and not just for those who live with disAbility.

Life is also very, very good.

As a psychologist, I am often shocked by how I do things that are unhealthy when I TOTALLY know better. Things like…

Staying super busy so I cannot get bogged down in the FEELINGS.

Refusing to cry because I know I may not be able to stop.

Working really hard at never being alone with my thoughts.

Behaving as if I am strong and have it all together.

All this pretense is exhausting y’all. I am so So SO SOOOO tired.

L. Denise Portis, Ph.D.

2022 Personal Hearing Loss Journal