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Stephii Nortz: Reaching Resurrection

Stephii Nortz is from South Jersey and attends Wilmington University. She is pursuing her doctorate as a neuropsychologist. She is a proud member of a psychology club and loves to paint in her free time.

Dear Past Me,

This is future you. Right now you're probably sitting alone in your room pondering about your situation. You've been pushed into a scary world of silence, very suddenly. You thought that your surgery to remove your Cholesteatoma (the big cyst in your ear) was going to be fine. That you would walk out unchanged... I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Everything is going to change, and you are going to grow. I know right now you feel like a ghost, walking around knowing things are making a sound, but you can't hear them. How conversation has become a one way street-you can speak fine, but without hearing, dialogue ends quickly. You are in for some great challenges, and I can tell you that you overcome them and show people just how strong you are. To them, you're broken and need to be fixed. You are perfectly fine, my love.

You'll get your hearing aid, and everyone is going to think that you're "all better." It's weird at first, because you can't filter out sounds the way your old ears did. Like anything, it just takes time. As far as people go: watch your favorite shows without subtitles and teach yourself to read lips. Again, it will take time and it's okay to get frustrated. Just DON'T GIVE UP. It's hard to communicate with friends right now and you might feel like the relationship is strained, but this is the opportunity you've been looking for: to find fun and creative ways to chat with them. One of your favorites will be drawing silly pictures to what you're trying to say.

Having hearing aids isn't all bad—they have their benefits. You're a teenager and sometimes you want to drown out the world. Where others your age fight the world off by playing loud music, you simply need to turn your hearing aids off and relax. Loud space or crying baby? Turn them off. Hearing a conversation in class you wish you weren't? Turn them off. Not everyone has the ability to escape the world as easy as you. Think of it as a super power.

With these challenges, come lessons. You may feel like a ghost now, but as you grow, you will be resurrected into something greater than you ever imagined! The world will be brighter, peaceful, and more spectacular than before. You're not alone. There are amazing resources out there waiting to be discovered where you will meet people like you. They need you, as you need them. All I ask of you is that you don't shy away from the world. Go out and shine, work hard, and be humble. I promise you, you will get through this.

Stephii Nortz

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