Cast Away 2: Self-esteem on the island of Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Barrowww, Oct 20, 2014.

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    1. Barrowww

      Barrowww Member

      Location:
      Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Hello. I'm sorry, this is just a cry for help.

      I would like to ask you, fellow Tinnitusians (a nationality I just made up) about self-esteem and confidence. Because that's what I am losing every day. Since the onset of the MoAT (mother of all tinnituses) I'm losing it. I'm losing myself, I am mourning myself, I mourn the world around me that I can't touch like I used to. Everything is behind this curtain of never-ending tinnitus. And I just can't come out and play.

      My self-esteem is gone. My confidence in ruins. I loved life. LOVED it. Now I feel like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. A shadow of my former self on a deserted island where every day is a struggle. No Wilson tho.

      I would like to ask you - what helped you to find yourself again after the onset of tinnitus? How long did it take? Or - in case you never lose yourself, your self-esteem and confidence - how on earth did you do it?

      It just feels so lonely on this island of constant ringing, when I don't even feel my old buddy self anymore.
       
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I literally forced myself to seek out those less fortunate than I and tried to make some small difference in their lives. That's how I found myself again and gave meaning to mine.

      stephen nagler
       
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    3. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Several factors came into play for me. First and foremost, my Christian beliefs gave me the hope to keep going.

      Second, admitting to my friends I needed help. They reached out to me, prayed for me, and spent time with me. This helped me focus on stuff other than tinnitus and that really helped me realize that I could still enjoy life even with tinnitus.

      Third, I sought counseling. I don't believe in accidents but I sought a Christian counselor. And he happened to be a CBT therapist, which at the time, I didn't know that was one of the treatments for tinnitus. And then it just so happened my therapist has tinnitus too. So I feel he can really relate to me.

      Fourth, learning of others who have tinnitus and how it doesn't stop them from enjoying life.

      Until I got tinnitus, I didn't even know my dad had had it for nearly 40 years. It didn't stop him from having a very successful career and completing two degrees. He said for the first years it drove him crazy. But now he said he doesn't even notice unless he thinks about it.
       
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    4. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Sorry to hear that you are struggling with self-esteem and confidence in life and in yourself. But you are relatively new in T in the dreaded first phase of utter suffering. The body is still trying to cope with this new harsh condition it doesn't understand. Give it time and seek out some strategies which work for you including getting masking and some meds to help. Be patient with T. That is all we can ask of ourselves in the beginning stage.

      I can't say for others but I am living absolutely an enjoyable, productive and abundant life, even more so than the pre-T days. Why? Well, I can go back and enjoy all that I used to enjoy, fishing, gardening, dancing, singing, hiking, camping, eating outs, partying, and more new hobbies (which were intentionally added to stimulate my nerves to focus on something else interesting rather than monitoring T) such as photography, raising challenging aquarium fish such as discus, learning the trick of setting up aquarium aquascape, etc
      .
      But the most improvement I have made is in how I approach life's challenges. I used to be anxiety & panic prone for decades. T forced me to research on how others cope with T and chronic illnesses, particularly the mental approach. I have since learned new life skills such as acceptance, flowing, mindfulness, realistic and positive thinking instead of the old way of thinking in distorted ways (the so called cognitive distortions in CBT). These new skills help me cope with my anxiety & panic disorders so much better that I haven't have a single panic attack since those related to T at the beginning and I rediscover myself and my own self worth.

      Lastly, the most important attribute I gain through my T & H experience is compassion for others who are suffering. I have received so much unselfish, caring support from kind folks all over the world through these support forums, that I decide to do the same in return to help out newer T sufferers. I have found my life's greatest personal fulfillment in overcoming my former selfish self to reach out for others. Like most caring members here, we find great joy when someone comes back to post a success story after receiving some help by the collective effort of caring member here. So for me at least, I am living my life abundantly with personal fulfillment even when my T is blasting away every morning. With me treating it now as a neutral stimulus, I don't give a dime what it will do. The brain just fades it out most of the time during the day anyway. With time and a positive attitude and the correct approach, everything is possible, including reclaiming our self-esteem and the confidence to move forward in life POSITIVELY. Don't give up on life because of T.

      Cheers,
      Billie
       
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    5. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Wow...this feels like you just described my life...I'm sorry I don't have any advise as I'm stuck in a similar spot. This probably doesn't help but you are not alone. I grieve for my old self everyday, he is lost and seems to have died with the onset of my tinnitus. I miss him and also miss what life looked like thorough his eyes.

      Sorry I can't be of any help but if you have severe tinnitus like I do, it might take time, a lot of time. I'm not even close yet...I hope I adjust to this sound or at least get used to living a different lesser life.

      Take care and try and remember you are not alone.

      Telis
       
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    6. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      @Telis were you able to determine whether spicy food helped?
       
    7. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hey Matt...it did help in a certain way. I think my Eustachian tubes get gummed up, the hot spicy soup seems to clear something. I don't know if this is possible or not, but it seems to be the case for me. My ears feel less blocked and I think this helps me hear a little better giving me the impression of lower T. It's a slight improvement but in will take it.
       
    8. Barrowww

      Barrowww Member

      Location:
      Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Thank you all for your replies, from the deep of my heart. Your experience and insights mean a lot to me, @Dr. Nagler, @MattK, @billie48 and @Telis. I see now this island is maybe not so deserted as it seems to be at first. And maybe it's not even an island - maybe it's just a peninsula. And there is a way back to the mainland.
       
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