This is going to sound a bit negative but it's really not. (So, when a parent says that to you, what do you automatically assume?? LOL...) Just going to share a gamut of things from the last few days.

Grief for the fact that I can't go back. I was just fine the way I was...but fear of losing music was a powerful motivator. I'm just a little surprised at the feeling of loss in this regard.

Grief for the years where I couldn't perceive what I perceive now. Am I enjoying what I perceive now? Not really. But has it already enriched and enhanced me and my understanding of other folks? Most definitely. And I wouldn't give that up.

Pain. Daily headaches usually by 11:30am and they last until I fall asleep. Sometimes, they intensify to the point where I can barely think. When that happens, it's turtle time.

Wonder. Golly, so many new experiences and so much input. I love that I'm finally able to perceive much of this.

Annoyance. Golly, so many new experiences and so much input...over and over and over again...makes a guy want to be creatively vulgar from time-to-time. Reminds me of that Aristocats scene where one of them yells, "Quiet!" and everything stops. I so want to do that multiple times a day...but gotta be polite.

Frustration. I hear things. Hearing is not comprehension and is frustrating how rapidly people assume that just because I have medical hardware, I'm now "hearing". I am. But I'm not "just like you." I've still got months or years before I can even recognize a sound as "p" in isolation without lipreading. Is the CI helping me talk to folks now? Of course! But remember all of those coping skills from 44 years of being a deaf guy? All of that is still brought to bear and I'm learning to use the CI input as a *part of it, not instead of*!

Resentment. I don't want to be hearing. I want to experience music. That requires that I use some semblance of auditory input. The side benefit is that I may also be able to talk on the phone some day. But I'm still a deaf guy in attitudes, habits, ways of thinking, how I solve problems... My batteries run out, someone/something knocks the CI off my head, the wire snaps, I'm a deaf guy. "You can hear when you want to!" Yea, well, I don't want to and you can't make me! (He says petulantly with a little (big?) man tantrum.) So many things have to go right for me to comprehend. I'm still guessing. Better than average sometimes but its still guesswork.

I'm tired. It's hard work. I keep saying this. But it's really rather difficult to explain just how hard it is. Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of things harder and I know just how blessed I am to have this opportunity. But I have to put in the work. And right now, the mental work is herculean just to stay sane through all of the input. I tend to overthink as a matter of course (most people with a hearing disability do), but multiply by a factor of 10 when I'm also doing sound associations for everything I perceive. And perceive is the right word because I'm still working on creating those filters so that I don't pay attention to every little thing.

And I'm enjoying every single minute of it! I'm sure I wear my wife out. I'm sure I exasperate the people around me as I ask again and again what a sound is. But right now, it's an adventure. Yes, I'm exhausted, resent folks, am frustrated, annoyed, in pain with a healthy dollop of grieving and a bit of guilt (which I won't get into here. Maybe next time...). But, in this case, it's the journey that matters. I'm moving forward, bit-by-glorious-bit. I see progress. And I've got friends/family cheering me on every step of the way. God bless y'all!