I have come back to this site after almost a year to let you guys know that it does get better. I forgot my username/password for my old account so i have created this one. What pushed me to come back to this site and write this story is that I remember going through hell when I first got tinnitus and going on this site for about a few weeks in search for support, but mainly only finding horror stories, grief, and negativity that outweighed the "support", none of which was comforting. I figured that most people on here are stuck in some type of grief and emotional disturbance, and the people that have gotten better left because they no longer need support, so the negativity outweighs the positivity. So here it goes. A year ago, on August, after a series of attending festivals all summer long and being an audiophile listening to great music on headphones all my life (I'm 19), I developed a high pitched ringing and cricket chirping like sound in my left ear. I had already been going through a period of depression, anxiety, and paranoia due to a psychological crisis that had begun early that summer. I was living alone in an RV in the streets of a college town attending school full-time and working part-time. Due to the issues I was experiencing, I had become completely isolated from everyone. I had no friends, nobody to talk to, and was completely losing my mind. When tinnitus came along, it aggravated everything x100. I could hear it whilst at the library studying, over the professors voice, over the breaking waves in the ocean, and while sitting in my quiet, dark, lonely RV. I went to an ENT and learned that i had lost 15 decibels hearing in my left ear and that's what caused the tinnitus. All he told me was, "Goodluck." The next several months were hell. I was going through intense pain every day and was losing my mind. I had no support; nobody to talk to. Tinnitus aggravated the loneliness and intensified every other emotion I was experiencing, and those emotions; depression, anxiety, paranoia, fueled the psychological pain from the tinnitus in a negative feedback loop, like a snowball rolling down a mountain increasing in mass and velocity. I don't remember the exact date, but at around December of 2014 is when things probably begun getting better. When i finished the semester I decided to leave school and went back home. And it happened like this: after several months, I realized that I had gone countless days, and I mean numerous days were I did not notice the tinnitus. When I focused to hear it it was still there but it wasn't constantly screeching over everything like it always had been. It didn't get softer, nor louder, it was still remained at the same volume, but my brain developed a mechanism were is tuned it out. It no longer bothered me. My brain had habituated to it. I have seen this phenomena happen in another instance in my life. In the home that I have lived my entire life, other than the period of time I was away for college, we had a carbon monoxide/fire alarm system installed in every room in the house when I was at about the age of 10. The alarm system made a very loud beep regularly from room to room about every 30 seconds. It is so loud that you can hear it whilst walking on the sidewalk outside my house. Fast-forward 5 years to when im about 15 years old, and I bring a group of friends over. And everyone mentions the loud beeping sound. "Do you hear that? What is that?!" one friend comments. "Yeah what is that? There it goes again!" another one butts in. "What the hell are you guys talking about? I don't hear anything." I say confused. "There it is again! How can you not hear it? It's loud!". We all stay quiet and I focus all my attention on my hearing. It's so silent that the crickets chirping outside are audible. "It just happened again!" my friend exclaimed. And at this point I thought they were playing a joke on me because I absolutely did not hear a thing other than the cricket chirping outside. I strain my ears to listen once again and suddenly, "BEEEEP!" I had heard the phantom noise. And it WAS loud, they weren't lying. They even made comments like, "How can you sleep at night with that?". But for the last 5 years I had not heard the alarm. I wasn't even aware it made a noise. Within 5 minutes of this conversation I no longer heard it again. If I focused on it I could listen to it but as soon as my mind drifted to something else the loud alarm beep no longer existed. This is the extreme nature of how the mind works. A few things changed after experiencing tinnitus. I no longer listen to music at high volume on my headphones. I now carry a pair of decibel reducing ear plugs on a keychain attached to my jeans/shorts, and i'm more aware of taking care of my hearing. But I still go to festivals, I still dance, I still listen to music, and in fact I have begun producing music. I'm typing this out as I listen to a mixtape on my studio headphones. I remember seeing a lot of posts on here about people being absolutely worried about listening to music on headphones and no longer going out to music listening events, but that isn't necessary. You can still do that, just take some noise reducing ear plugs and take care of your hearing. Use your intuition to know when a situation is damaging to your ears. My tinnitus hasn't spiked. I remember having the thought that I could no longer enjoy music nor dance because it wouldn't be genuine. But I do listen to music, I do make music, and I do dance. It gets better guys, surfANDmusic out.