Take the Red Pill

The other day my son and I watched the original Matrix movie. I’ve seen it several times and it’s one of my favorites. The scene where Morpheus offers Neo the red or the blue pill really struck a chord with me this time though. It was the first time I had seen it since receiving my cochlear implants.

If you haven’t seen the movie, here’s a quick run-down of the scene. Neo is given the choice of taking the red pill and waking up to the real truth and reality of the world he exists in and embark on an eye-opening, life-altering, course. Or, he could choose the blue pill and go back to the world he knows and is familiar to him, but is shrouded in a false reality; a world that he never felt he belonged in.

That scene reminded me so much of the journey to regain my hearing with cochlear implants. When I lost my hearing, I found myself in a world that didn’t seem right. I didn’t feel that I truly fit in it anymore. I knew something was missing, beyond the obvious lack of sound. There was a sliver in my mind, nagging at me, telling me that there was more to the world, more to my life that I was missing.

For me, the “red pill” would take me down the rabbit hole of cochlear implant surgery. This offered the promise of something unknown. The uncertainty of what it would bring, but the hope that it would be better than what I had. My blue pill was to do nothing. To continue to wake up every morning to the world of silence, a world I knew I didn’t belong in.

I chose the red pill. The unknown. The uncertainty. The hope of something better. Like Neo, the journey began with a a bit of discomfort, some disorientation, and a fair amount of training to reach my full potential (and I’m still working towards that!). However, it was the awakening to the new reality of the world around me, filled with sound and regaining a connection to the people in my life that made it all worth it.

My matrix of silence had kept me apart from that. It limited what I felt I could do, it suppressed my potential. I was its prisoner, held captive and powerless within it and I was grasping for anything to get me out. I didn’t choose to be in the Matrix, it was forced upon me, against my will. For me, the blue pill was not an option, not even a consideration. I knew I needed out.

I grabbed that red pill, and yes, there was a tiny hesitation for me too – that brief moment before taking the plunge into the unknown. But then I jumped in with both feet and suddenly the world around me began to transform. Even before I was activated, simply clinging to the hope of shattering my silent world gave me purpose and changed my attitude. Now, to finally be immersed in the world of sound, I feel right again. A part of my world, and not just going through the motions. The change in me has been staggering – from being completely isolated to being outgoing, engaging, involved. Filled with the joy of life and so much happier.

Interestingly, also like Neo, I can still enter back in to the Matrix by removing my processors. It’s a daily reminder of how much better and easier, my life is since I took the red pill.

Are you like me; like Neo? Do you feel that there is more to this life than what you see? Are you struggling in a world of silence and want a way out? Then take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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