If there's one thing I took for granted as a teenager it was my ability to hear. By the time I was 16 I was already completely deaf in my right ear (I have no idea what caused it, but it was kind of gradual). At this time it didn't bother me that I was deaf in my right ear because I held my violin up to my left, and as long as I could discern pitch changes I didn't care.
I wasn't the most disciplined violinist throughout high school. I didn't practice as often as I should, mostly because I was also trying to be a varsity golfer at the same time, and by not choosing one over the other I was unable to practice as much as most golfers/violinists. I was trying to be OK at a lot of things instead of exceptional at one thing, which was a big mistake, I think.
Now that I'm going almost completely deaf I long to open my violin case and hear the music it once made. It was a crystalline, defining experience to master a techniqe or a piece. It made me absorbed in the moment, it made me want to strive for the next chance to disply my talent. It was for this reason that I joined four or five performance groups: I loved the limelight, baby.
But still, it faded, much because I didn't practice enough. I occaisionally played through college with a performance art group doing more loosely interpretive things instead of the technically exacting concertos, symphonies and themes that defined most of my training.
When I lost more of my hearing I found that I could no longer tune my instrument without a chromatic tuner, I could no longer discern pitch as well. It was one of the most depressing moments in my life: I wasn't a violinist anymore.
Still I am afraid to get hearing aids because I worry that it won't fix the problem, and they will only support a worthless facsimile of the vibrant music I once played. I just don't want to have that feeling of hopelessness, the feeling you get when you've tried everything and nothing works, the feeling of failing with your very last resort.
If I gave up hoping that I could one day go back to the violin I don't know if I could take it.