Back to Silence

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by I who love music, Dec 7, 2014.

    1. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies


      Hello,

      I learned a technique from one of our fellow posters here and to me it's been a cure. I have not felt this good about my tinnitus in 40 years. My tinnitus is loud, in both ears, it changes frequencies, sometimes accompanied by hyperacusis, it spikes now and then, and it's here for good. I've panicked over it, cried over it, begged doctors to help me, had MRI's, X Rays, ear cleanings etc... But that is all I'm going to say about my tinnitus. I am done describing it. And lately I've been free of having to listen to it.

      It's been a couple months and now I feel confident that this is my cure after years and years of trying to ignore my tinnitus, or cover it up, or medicate it, or acupressure it... etc... I tried everything. All the way back to 1974. I even had to cancel my ENT appointment I waited 2 months for. The receptionist asked, "Are you sure you want to cancel?" I said, "Yes, it's only 3 days away but I have no real complaint." She said, "Well, good for you!"

      I'm so thankful for this forum. If I hadn't come here, I'd still be "Listening for" my tinnitus.
      I'm the last person in the world that would have thought that a little self-talk could be the answer. But after my last round of medication, acupressure, exercises, doctor visits and masking, I was ready to try anything.
      There is no name for this technique so I'll call it the 40 Year Cure for lack of a better name.

      The technique takes only TWO seconds. If I do it 40 times a day, that's less than a total of one and a half minutes a day!! After a few weeks of doing it, I've had better than great success. I haven't even had to do it today and it's now lunchtime. No, I have NOT heard my tinnitus today. I only have to do it 2 or 3 times a day now.

      I'm not working up this post to lead to a commercial!! haha No, I'm not selling anything. I'm just another guy here on the forum. I want you to know how BAD my tinnitus was, how long I endured and suffered, and how good I feel now. My tinnitus was brought on from playing awfully loud music when I was a teenager, also from taking all kinds of strong prescription migraine medicine when I was young. I'm 56 years old, can you imagine how GOOD it feels to be rid of tinnitus?

      I have to be honest, if I listen FOR my tinnitus, it appears. Over the years it's come and gone but lately I was growing tired of waiting for habituation and feeling stressed out. A while back I was going to stores looking for the perfect little MP3 player I could wear all day long listening to ocean sounds. I did not like that idea much, and about that time, I saw a post here on the forum that truly changed my life. They told about the technique of redirecting my thoughts from the SOUND of my tinnitus to my RESPONSE to my tinnitus. I read it and thought, Ya Ya, psycho babble, another new cure, mind-over-matter, etc... I guess you could say I had a sad and negative outlook. Thank goodness for my desperation, because there was nowhere left for me to go so I gave it a good try.

      Before I discovered the 40 Year Cure, every morning I was getting up, and the tinnitus was there, after breakfast time I was already whipped out having to listen to it. And all day long I'd be saying to myself, "Why me? Why is it so loud? I wish it would just get a little quieter. If it's worse tomorrow I don't know what I'll do. Why can't the doctor do something? It's so loud, nobody knows what this is like!" I was measuring my tinnitus.

      I stopped talking to myself like that. But stopping the "Tinnitus Talk" wasn't enough. It has to be replaced by something else when I do hear the tinnitus. So I started saying, "I hear the tinnitus, it's making me nervous." Or, "There it is, I'm not as nervous as yesterday." Or, "I hear it, but I'm too busy to care." Or, "Yes it's tinnitus, but I'm kind of happy and busy right now." Or even, "I hear my tinnitus and I'm scared." It's OK to be honest. I noticed that I the more I would describe my feeling about the tinnitus, instead of the volume of the tinnitus, the less and less I was bothered by it. The first few days I thought it was too good to be true, I noticed even in the short period of a week I found myself describing my responses less and less. Wow!! Well, I surely wasn't going to test and fail at this technique by going backwards and describing my tinnitus!!!! So here I am, and rarely do I even hear my tinnitus. If I think about tinnitus, I hear it. But if I only measure my response to it, I hear it less and less over time. It took a couple months to get to a comfortable spot where I can say that yes, 98% of my tinnitus is gone.

      Naturally I want to compare my tinnitus to previous volume levels to tell myself it's getting better, but that's the VERY THING that makes it pop into my head. I refuse to measure my tinnitus anymore. I only measure my feelings toward it when I hear it.

      A friend, who doesn't have tinnitus, told me he thinks it's like having bad eyesight and getting used to wearing glasses. But tinnitus is not like bad eyes. I wear glasses. Yes they can be bothersome and not wearing them even more so. But tinnitus is intrusive and bothersome and it drove me to despair many times in 4 decades. After doing this new technique I've discovered that taking action and sticking to it has been not just treatment, but a cure for me. I also have to avoid loud sounds in everyday life.

      I don't know what kind of mind trick this is, or cognitive thing... I'm not an ear doctor... but I know I'll be OK the rest of today and probably tomorrow and why wouldn't I feel great next year? I hope your tinnitus gets better and you don't have to listen to it for 40 years. And if you've tried things that didn't seem to work, try this. I didn't think anything would help me. Good luck!
       
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    2. RaZaH
      Cheeky

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Super counterintuitive. I like it!
       
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    3. Roger

      Roger Member

      Location:
      Perth, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Hi all,

      that's a great idea - focusing on reaction rather than the tinnitus. I've said it before somewhere here, but my brother said that he thought I was ADDICTED to the noise. I thought about that. A lot. And decided he was right. I'm weaning myself off the checking (what a habit it becomes, and quickly!!) and I have been doing the "just noticing" thing for a few months. I go through great swathes of the day when I just don't think about it. It's there, I notice how I'm reacting, say something like "Hmm, it's there, but I feel ok", then I get on with life. @I who love music is right; You need to replace the checking-for-noise-level-habit, with another, better habit. He's on the money!

      Rog
       
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    4. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Wow. That spoke to me. That's me. Addicted to the noise, to checking in on it, seeing if it's louder, different, more aggravated than "normal" (although what's that anyway with tinnitus right?)
      With me it's my personality - type A, highly strung, control freak, needing to have everything organised and sorted out. Needing to fix everything.
      It's something I'm working on, and this has given me a little bit more of a push. Thank you x
       
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    5. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      That is truly inspiring, especially since your tinnitus is loud. It is much harder to habituate to loud tinnitus, but I've read where other people have also achieved peace. :)

      Besides "thinking" about your tinnitus, what else will bring it back to your awareness? Does (or did) your tinnitus react to certain sounds, foods, or stress?
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I'd be happy to tell you.
      But I can't say "Bring it back to my awareness." I must say "Measure my response."
      So ...
      Things that make me have to measure my response to tinnitus are -
      Caffeine
      Sugary food
      Loud music of course
      Sadly, my own hand clapping
      Snapping pill bottle tops on
      Any loud noise actually
      Stress in any form, even being very happy
      Snoring
      Swimming
      100% total boredom / non activity
      Chewing very crunchy food for more than 5 or 6 bites
      Sleeping without my neck pillow
      Strangely enough, bike riding, walking, weight lifting do not. And these make me feel well and strong.
      Most over the counter and prescription medicine, in the short term, so I accept it if I need the medicine

      There are probably 100 more.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Man, you said it. And you said it with 1000 fewer words! hehe
      It just becomes a good habit very quickly, doesn't it?
       
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    8. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      If my mind was an octopus and tinnitus was a rock this pictures describes it best....my mind was hanging on for dear life.

      images.jpg
       
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    9. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      @I who love music
      Thanks for this. Will try it. Although seems that the spotlight will be on the response. So not quite sure how the tinnitus or response would be diminished from the technique. It must be a complicated brain programming thing.

      I do just need to know. How long have you been completely off Ativan now?

      I am in the process of tapering and tinnitus is through the roof. So would be good to know to keep up the hope.

      Thanks so much.
       
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    10. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      Hi, that is pretty amazing. just the thought that you can do this, has WITHIN 5 MINUTES made MY tinnitus drop in volume. I'm just "not going to care!" about it anymore! My own tinnitus is pretty ridiculous, probably similar to yours, but at the moment, I can barely notice it.
       
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    11. Kopesy
      Sad

      Kopesy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I'll never know
      I'll give this a go, I do believe mind of matter can work, always have. I'm really happy you've found something that took you around 40 years to find! & even more made up that you've decided to share this with us. If it works for even one other person you could easily say you've not only saved your own life but someone else's :) (I hope it's mine :p)
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Wow, this is great!!
      Don't run from it, just tell yourself how you honestly feel about it and it'll seem to disappear. I'm excited for you!
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Hey Kopesy,
      I think almost everyone with tinnitus could benefit from this. Because it works for me and my ears are trashed. Heck, I've never known anything BUT tinnitus. It's great to not hear it now, absolutely GREAT.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Yes it's surely some sort of reprogramming. It's wonderful for me, I was plagued for decades.
      I've been off the Ativan (Lorazepam) for about a month.

      It was prescribed for a skipping heart beat 10 years ago. The skipping went away maybe with help from Ativan, maybe not. A Calcium Channel Blocker was also prescribed. But anyway I was truly addicted. And yes, near the end after the long titrating down period, with the guidance of my doctor, my body was begging for it. So that last few months had to be very slow. I'd sweat, and worry, and feel panicky, have crazy dreams, and during this last phase, the tinnitus went nuts. Strangely, and luckily, my discovery of the tinnitus technique help me calm down enough to get off the Ativan at the same time. The first 3 days off Ativan were weird. I felt so relaxed, and not scared at all. And totally confident I'd be alright.

      I'm not saying don't take Ativan for tinnitus if your doctor prescribes it, I'm saying it was prescribed for me for a heart ailment and seemed to increase my tinnitus in the later stages. Also, I wouldn't have dreamed I would become an addict like I did, but sure enough, my body wanted it and would let me know in the most uncomfortable ways.
       
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    15. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks @I who love music
      So I am starting to try this technique. But being a musician, it is hard not to monitor the volume and texture changes.
      When you first started this, you would describe your response. I get that. But then the noise would still be there - once you have monitored your response. So in that case, do you just turn away from it and distract, until the next response description?
      Is there anything more you can link us to, in description of this technique? i.e. where you found it first?
      Cheers.
       
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    16. RaZaH
      Cheeky

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I feel I could do this for my tonal tinnitus, but the brain shimmer is so physical it's like having a splinter in your brain, for that, I don't know? Well, actually I don't have much in the way of tonal tinnitus anymore so... :p
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I first read about it here on this forum, I don't remember who posted it.
      Whenever I used to respond to my tinnitus by gauging its volume or thinking about it in any way is now simply a response of how I feel about it. At first it was often then quickly my responses decreased.
       
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    18. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks. I guess what I am finding is that my response is tied up closely on the volume level. So hard to leave out the monitoring part. I'll keep trying with your technique though, and will stay inspired by your story. Thanks again for all the info :)

      P.S. @Markku
      This could have a good place in the success story category :)
       
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    19. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      IWLM, your story is simply amazing. The technique is probably a combination of mindfulness and CBT. Mindfulness acknowledge one's feeling without judgement but not running from it, and CBT counters the distorted thoughts with more realistic and positive ones.

      Great post and thanks.
       
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    20. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
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    21. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      I who loved music,

      Will give this a shot, just read what you wrote, interesting. Thanks for writing it.
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Yes, my response is when I hear my tinnitus. BUT, it stops there. I don't measure the tinnitus, or compare it to the last time, I simply ask myself what my feeling is to it. You've got to give this a try. And in the days ahead, don't listen for your tinnitus, but ask yourself if your responses are getting fewer and milder.
       
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    23. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      @I who love music Do you say it to yourself? Out loud? Whenever you hear it?

      Is "I hear my tinnitus and it's pissing me off" acceptable? Because that's usually the way I feel :).
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Perfect.
       
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    25. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Sorry, @I who love music
      Don't mean to bombard you with questions. But this seems a really important thread.
      If acknowledging your irritation with tinnitus as per post by @OddV is part of the process, wouldn't this then highlight the irritation and therefore strengthen the sound?
      Or do our thoughts naturally over time turn more positive (CBT)?
      Cheers.
       
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    26. Katkin

      Katkin Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2013
      I am so pleased for you and thank you for sharing x
       
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    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Measuring the tinnitus seems to increase the tinnitus. Measuring my response to tinnitus seems to decrease the tinnitus.

      Highlighting my observation of my own tinnitus sound and volume increases my tinnitus. That is a fact.
      Highlighting my response when I notice my tinnitus decreases the volume and number of instances I notice tinnitus. That's also a fact.
      How this works is a mystery to me.
       
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    28. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I'm in a bit of a pickle with this method... Still on the AM-101 trial and I have to measure how loud it is each day... So, I gotta get that out of my head, but I'll have to tune in to it once a night at least...boo.
       
    29. Marls

      Marls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      This sounds so plausible - I'm going to try it. I've noticed lately that when I have a few moments of silence, I start searching for the tinnitus as if to say 'I am missing something in my head - i.e., the noise' not believing that I can actually be enjoying the silence for a fleeting few minutes. But 'I Who Love Music' technique sounds like such a great way to tell the tinnitus when it returns to 'get lost' so that I can have my silence back!
       
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    30. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      If I "check in" on my tinnitus and it's not there, do I say "I don't hear my tinnitus and that makes me happy" or do I say "I'm annoyed for checking in on my tinnitus"?

      @I who love music how long before I notice a difference?
       

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