I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve fallen foul to it myself. Having accepted that most accredited British Sign Language (BSL) courses were too expensive for me to enrol in, I settled for a cheap online programme. It was, I was told, a course which had been heavily discounted from hundreds of pounds down to double digits, and with a voucher code, I could bring it down to an affordable £12.
In July 2020, I was handed another diagnosis to process. Years of fending off intense intrusive thoughts on my own, the pressure from lockdown became a bit too much to bear. With the encouragement of my parents, I approached my GP and was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was also prescribed sertraline.
A few weeks ago, I had what I would probably describe as an ‘activist burnout’. Asking hearing people to make their content more deaf friendly and accessible, only for them to ignore you and belittle your concerns is exhausting. At worst, it can make you question your efforts to increase deaf awareness, when certain individuals just don’t want to listen.
I have one person to thank for repeatedly encouraging me to set up an email newsletter. For the longest time, I had brushed it aside on the basis that I didn’t know what on earth I would want to write about. A lot of things I considered news, I had written about in my job as a freelance journalist. If we’re talking personal news, then I’d save that for the small number of people on Twitter who may find that interesting – emphasis on the ‘may’.