slough of despond


John Bunyan’s character Christian in A Pilgrim’s Progress felt he was sinking into the mire, The Slough of Despond. A boggy place where he wallowed until Help pulled him out

the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arises in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason of the badness of this ground..

I don’t think that I am a sinner and being punished but I do feel the fears and doubts, the discouraging apprehensions. Is there a post CI slough into which you fall after the euphoria wears off?

“Wherefore CHRISTIAN was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket gate: which he did, but could not get out, because of the burden that was upon his back”

All my hopes and successes of the past few months seem diminished as I realise that, yes I can hear better than before but I still can’t join in group conversations easily, that I can’t use the phone, that learning is harder for me, that opportunities are still harder for me to grasp at.

I’m  in that mire right now and I know that Help will come along to get me out but in the meantime I’m wallowing and sinking deeper.


11 responses »

  1. I don’t know if I can pull you out on my own, but I can say I’ve been through the Slough of Despond myself. It’s a tough place to be. I don’t know much about cochlear implants but I think that it takes longer than six months to realize the full benefit. Don’t despair, Mog. And if you feel yourself sinking lower, than go ahead and pull me in too just so you won’t be alone.

  2. Gosh- I’m so sorry. I think it takes awhile to get used to cochlear implants. Maybe you’ve reached a plateau, or maybe you just need more listening therapy? I don’t know if you are involved with any CI support groups, but others with CI’s might be more encouraging than me since they would be speaking from experience. If you like I might be able to connect you up with a few people who wear CIs? Let me know. In the meantime just know that I think many of us with hearing loss get to the dark place sometimes. I’ve been there even though I don’t wear a CI. You’re not alone. I’m glad you posted about this. Feel free to write privately any time.

  3. Sorry you have to feel that way. I’m sure help will be along soon, and if I can be part of it, well my pleasure.

    You know I am at an earlier point of the journey, still amazed of that feeling that before me there is just progress. It keeps getting better, they tell me, and I believe, yes, I experience it. Truly amazing, that. So much seems possible. Yet I was already wondering about how I will take it when I eventually hit the ceiling of what the implant makes possible for me (or at least, a longer plateau). Which, of course, is just a matter of time. I’m trying to keep that in mind.
    A friend of mine in Germany is experiencing exactly that same slough you are talking about. So you are not alone. And I’m sure that it will pass. Unfortunately, there are no miracles but you have all it takes. Perhaps the disappointment will linger a little, but it will pass…
    You know, I would think this feeling might be one of the reasons why so many people (at least to me) seem to opt for a second implant so soon after their first. Helps them hang on to the feeling…

  4. I think you need some fresh air and sunshine.
    Give yourself permission to wallow, too. It’s OK!

    Time will make things better and you will see how far you have come with perspective.
    Spring is coming, too!

  5. Oh Mog, I am sorry you’re feeling a tad flat. Perhaps part winter blues too? I guess, like much in life, the hype fuelled expectations rarely live up the reality and those expectations must inevitably be subject to a reality check and adjusted to fit the facts. Still, it’s not easy aligning dreams with reality. My thoughts are with you.

  6. I remember that place. It is a good thing that you recognize it for what it is Mog. It is okay to hang out there for as long as you need to and then something or someone will reach you there and you will come out of the slough.

    Oh God how I hated feeling so blue and then reprimanding myself for not feeling grateful for the hearing gift I had received. What pulled me out was telling my audi how I felt along with a new map. I can’t say the feelings never returned. Every once in a while I still get on my pity pot – but it is very brief. Just the same, sometimes I think how nice it would be to wake up to the birds singing instead of the silence that greets me every morning until I put on my hearing. On the bright side, when I put on my hearing, I can hear the birds.

  7. Gosh, thank you all. I am very moved by all the support and comments that I have received. I’m constantly pleasantly surprised by my cyber friends, the kindness of ‘strangers’, but only strangers in the sense that we haven’t met- yet. Since I posted I am feeling a little better. I think the act of posting about it was cathartic, better out than in as they say.

    Thank you to you all


  8. ‘Slough of Despond’ is our nickname for Home Depot. Not sure why but I think it started out as ‘Home Despond’. That was when the local S of D was the only one in the Toronto area and it was extremely crowded and unpleasant. Now it’s a quieter, more pleasant place to be. It even has resident birds!

    Speaking of birds, these alone are a reminder of just how great a CI can be. One chirp from a chickadee and you are set for the day.

    But seriously I can’t say CI-dom has been all easy for me either. It seems to plateau for a while but then I notice something that makes me think I am making some progress:
    * lately, I realize that I’m understanding snatches of conversations around me even though I’m not actively trying to listen to them. Not always the whole thing but phrases, sentences and sometimes more.
    * being able to listen to talk shows on the radio, podcasts and audiobooks is very enjoyable. I try to do this every day as I was told that this is the best way to improve listening skills.

    On the other hand, music is mostly a dud. I can understand some lyrics (never could before) but most music just sounds, well, weird. The birds will have to do instead.

    Keep at it!


  9. Pingback: a rant « mog renewed

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