I knew I couldn't blame the whole thing on Laura - I've been putting off my first visit to the audiologist for a year or so. But what finally inspired me to make an appointment was a Boingboing link to this amazing blog post by Jamais Cascio. As he chooses his first hearing aids, he riffs on the idea of not just reducing the impact of his "handicap" but also enhancing his physical body and becoming a cyborg.
This dovetailed with something I've been mulling over lately. I had a crap childhood, was suicidal as a teenager, and as a young adult I had moderate episodes of depression that decreased to mild episodes as I got older. I lived through it all without any psychoactive prescribed drugs like antidepressants. I refused to take these drugs as a young adult because I wasn't going to give over control of my psyche to some doctor/authority figure. I needed to get my sh*t together myself. I think that was the right decision as a young adult, but now I'm an empowered middle aged woman who could do my own research and partner with a psychiatrist. I've mulled over the question - if I have another moderate episode of depression, would I consider taking drugs? I don't see any reason why not. I've worked through my crap childhood in years of therapy, and if any remaining depression can be alleviated by drugs, I'm happy to use them. We're all just evolutionary splats against the wall - sometimes mistakes, sometimes brilliant random masterpieces. In that case, what is a "natural" state? Why is a "natural" unmedicated state preferable to an "unnatural" medicated state? Are we such slaves to evolution that we must bow down the random genes that we were allotted? And isn't it evolution itself which produced our ability to biologically or technologically enhance ourselves?
I hadn't looked at my hearing loss from that point of view. But Jamais helped me see it that way. So I popped off to an audiologist this morning, and the rest is history - or at least, the future of this blog.