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  • Every day when I open my curtains and look out across the canal, I feel a surge of gratitude. Geese alight and narrowboats chug by, and across the water, people jog and dogs scamper in the park. Someone zooms past on a Boris bike. I can hear birds chirping. They're building a pavilion in the park, but I can't hear them working today. The air is still.

    A year ago, none of this existed. There was only sound, and it was sound that filled up every inch of me, drowning out everything else, and letting nothing in. My ears were covered with my headphones, 16 hours a day. My head would nod to the beat, back and forth it would rock, for hours on end, while I stared at the track rolling across the screen. The bass was so loud, it made my skull vibrate. I think the stimulation is what kept my heart beating.

    I don't remember anything looking so colourful or textured as it does now. Today the sky is blue and the grass is green. The water on the canal shimmers with golden flecks of sunlight. Before, everything was just dull, and yet somehow too bright, too. Now everything is just as it should be.

    I still get ringing in my ears.
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