Bring it on!
I have started floating! Yes, you read that right and I mean it literally. And it’s wonderful. Us deaf folks have a very stressful life trying to keep up with what is happening in the hearing world.
Getting introduced to people called Malcolm is particularly stressful -If you want to check it out have a look in the mirror and silently say Malcolm, say it again but instead of thinking M, think B. You see what I mean? – no difference in the mouth shape. Joss stick is another one – for ages I thought the person said ‘dogshit’ only it didn’t seem right in context. Rat poison and rent boys get mixed up too (see Tony Long’s blog) all very stressful and hard work.
Communication is not the only thing that saps a deaf person’s energy. Walking along the road alone is not like a hearing person’s stroll. We need to be alert and observant for traffic and other people, we can’t hear if someone behind us is walking faster and want to get past or if a car or a bike is coming when we want to cross the road. Cooking, washing up – oh, I could go on. All those audible signals some people are not even aware they are picking up like having left to tap running or the pasta boiling over, we have to work hard for.
Relaxing is not easy. I like running, but still have to be alert to cars which is counterproductive, some people play games on the computer, other people meditate but real relaxation is hard to come by.
My husband discovered The Lazy Frog in Swansea. They have flotation rooms.
The rooms are like tanks really, with a door in the side, about the width of a double bed and filled with Epsom salt water kept at 98.5 degrees. It’s like floating in the Dead Sea apart from it’s done in weightless isolation. You are alone in there and no one disturbs you for a whole hour. When the hour is up they play music for the hearing and blow bubbles in the water for the deaf to let you know.
I have been a couple of times now and I like to do it in the dark. I don’t fall asleep, but I can feel my whole body relax and let go and after a while my mind relaxes as well. I just enjoy the calm, but apparently there is a whole host of health benefits, both mental and physical. In my experience the relaxed feeling stays with me for several days. I’ve got more energy and feel more positive. Can’t wait for the next one!