“I can’t breathe. I can’t move. Paralysed with fear. It’s like losing my sight and hearing all over again.
I was born deaf and then, aged 12, was given the news that I was losing my sight. By the time I was 23 I had just 5% of my useful vision left and relied on hearing aids to alert me to sounds. I deliberately don’t say ‘hear’, because hearing aids just amplify all sounds and making out specific sounds or any clarity is pretty much impossible. Being young I adapted well. But I knew that this was my life and I had to take the good and the bad. So, I made changes and my family and friends made allowances for me. But I never gave up. Until now. Now I am more scared than I have ever been. A simple walk to my local shop is now fraught with danger. I need to use my hands as my eyes. If I stand in a certain way I can lip read which really helped, until everyone started wearing masks.
Now I’ve gone back to being embarrassed, anxious and fearful.
I want my life back. I am determined that I will, but I need help to do this. That’s one thing I have learned over this pandemic, it’s okay to ask for help. As the pandemic went from weeks to months, the panic in me has risen. Now everyone is talking about this return to normal, but for me, the fear isn’t going away. Thinking back to some of my darkest days, I didn’t want to carry on. In fact if I could have left this world without causing heartbreak for my family, I would have gone. There seemed to be no way out.
I decided I needed to speak to someone, someone who understood and who I wouldn’t be a burden to. So I called the Deafblind UK helpline. At first I just wanted a bit of advice, but the lady who answered my call must have heard something else in my voice and she drew me in. I told her things that I hadn’t even addressed myself. She suggested I try their counselling course. ‘I’m not that bad’ I thought – I don’t want to take up a space that someone else might really need. I did the course. It’s made the world of difference to me. I now can see that there is a future, I have been given my hope back. I learned that the course I was on is the only one of its kind in the UK for people who are deafblind. So I wanted to write this to ask you – could you spare some money so that other people may get help, just like me?”
- £15 will pay for our helpline to take calls from two more people in need, like Paul.
- £30 will pay for ongoing support for people like Paul, through volunteer befriending and social groups.
- £50 will pay for us to provide emotional support to someone like Paul, beginning their journey back to better times.
If you can help, please donate online using the form below. From everyone at Deafblind UK, thank you!