Enjoying the Silence

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by tandpiano, Jan 22, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. tandpiano
      Relaxed

      tandpiano Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2010
      0the-troubles-of-my-heart.jpg There was a time when I could not even think of sitting in a room that was completely silent. Last year about this time I had a huge spike in my T! I found myself exactly where I was when I first got my T back in 2010. Traumatized, crying, suicidal, angry and those running thoughts of ... will this ever go away? I can't live like this? what am I going to do? I can't live one more day, one more moment with these sounds roaring in my head. I cried so much that my husband almost admitted me in the Psych ward.

      Tinnitus comes out of nowhere sometimes for no reason and for the most part is here to stay. I never thought in a million years that I would have to live with T. In fact I didn't even know what T was until T happened to me.

      If you are new to T and at your wits end and you see no hope or light at the end of this dark crazy tunnel. I would like to tell you that it will get better. Hang in there! Don't give up and let this things beat you! Cling to the things you love and the people you love. Try not to push people away and try every day to do something that you use to love to do. Even if it means taking a ride in the car with the windows down and the radio playing your favorite song.

      I remember when I went to the Audiologist the first time when I got T. I can remember how sympathetic he was and I was just so sad and so angry. I can remember him telling me that the body would eventually absorb the sounds and that it would get better with time. How much time was my thought. But he was right and he knew because he too had T and for some reason meeting someone who had T made me feel just a little bit better. It meant that I was not alone.

      Today I notice that I don't turn on the back ground noise right away any more. I can get up and have my coffee with caffeine in the morning and quietly do my devotions spending time in the Word with my God. When I walk in my sewing room I no longer turn on the gentle praise radio wanting the music to distract my mind away from the high pitched squeals. I actually sat and sewed for 3 hours in the silence.. just listening to my own thoughts. I think my mind has figured out away for me and my T to coexist! Everyday I thank God for helping me cope with T! I don't know why God has not taken my T away completely.. but I thank Him regardless for giving me the strength to live with T. He is my strength and my strong hold! I am ever so thankful that I am not where I was a year ago.

      Be encouraged and if you need someone to talk to.. message me. I am a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ. I was a believer way before I got the T.
       
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    2. Tara721
      Depressed

      Tara721 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/01/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Hi,
      I have to admit that reading your post had me in tears. Tears because what you described is so much of how I am feeling. My husband, although supportive, just doesn't get it or understand what it's like to constantly have this demon in your head, always screaming and you can't turn it off or turn the volume down. My T has been in a spike the past week or so, I've had T since august of 2013. At times I feel as if it's causing a strain on our relationship. It's difficult to find joy or happiness in the things that once made me happy before the T. I feel as though I have been depressed on some level ever since the T began. I tried going to see a therapist, she was nice but she didn't quite understand tinnitus and how it really can effect someone, so I stopped going. I felt it wasn't beneficial to me at all. When I think about possibly having this for the rest of my life I feel like I'm suffocating.
       
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    3. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      I am also a Christian and I pray everyday for God to give me the strength to keep going because right now I'm going through a rough time. I have to accept that God will heal me in his time not mine and there's a purpose for every battle that we face in the mean time all I ask is for strength and peace in my heart. Glad to hear that your t doesn't bother you anymore I hope I can say the same one day! God bless :)
       
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    4. Marls

      Marls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      I'm not a Christian, but do consider myself someone who is seeking a spiritual path. I pray to G-d everynight asking help in keeping me healthy...I think I might add asking help to find an added way to help me manage my Tinnitus. I am dealing with T by learning CBT with an exceptional therapist who helps me to be 'present' and to learn how to identify the feelings behind my responses to things, these being a trigger to my Tinnitus. It is helping although it is early in the process. Music helps and venturing outdoors to be amongst people aids in masking the T and gives me relief and a sense of silence albeit it'll never be the silence I now yearn for pre-T. But I am trying to be present which means what is 'now' is what matters. I'm glad for Tandpiano that her T is managed and she has the sense to know that it'll be with her but that she is able to co-exist with it. That is my goal. I'm writing this post with no music on (it is pretty late here tho) but as much as I'd like to have the music on to help me mask my T, I can manage. Whatever it is that's helping me, it's the little steps that enable me to manage a little easier. I hope the same for everyone else! My best,
       
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    5. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Tandpiano - Thank you for this wonderfully open and honest post. Like Tara721, I was also teary-eyed as I read your post. Christ is the ultimate healer and He will see us through all our pain and suffering. I'm so very glad that you are able to rely on His strength and love during this time. My tinnitus came on suddenly like yours and prevented me from getting sleep for several weeks. Fortunately, the Lord led me to a doctor who was able to provide me relief from the "monster" in my ear. She fitted me with a hearing aid (I have no hearing loss what so ever), and instantly, the ringing was gone. She adjusted the volume and added a bit of white noise (very quiet) to drown out the ringing and my hearing is what is was before the tinnitus. Truly, I cried and thanked God all day for taking this burden from me. Please, if you're suffering from tinnitus, contact the nearest tinnitus specialist/audiologist. They will help you to find silence just like me. The clinic that I went to is The Hearing Doctors in Wheaton, IL. The doctor is Dr. Sherri Billing. She was so incredibly understanding of the suffering that I went through and was determined to make the condition as tolerable as possible for me. With the Lord's guidance, she certainly did that and better! I now have my life back... please, please if you suffered like me, consider doing the same for yourself.
       
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    6. Mark K.
      Happy

      Mark K. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Honolulu, Hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure. May have been from medication
      I'm a Christian also, but I haven't been walking the walk for a while, which is why sometimes I think God is punishing me for something. Of course, when I first got my ringing, I started making deals with God asking "if he cures me I promise I'll dedicate my life in doing something good for my fellow man". I've done this type of "deal making prayer" to God with so many problems in my life, and he's always pulled me out of my predicament, so I figured he'd help me out again with this one. But now I'm slowly realizing that this time God is not going to bail me out like he's done so many times before. I guess we take God and our health for granted every day, and when something devastating like this happens, we realize just how good our lives were and how all the worldly things meant nothing. I pray to God and Jesus on a regular basis now, and I always ask them if they can grant me that one miracle and find a cure with some type of medication or natural remedy. This way everyone who's suffering can be part of this miracle. But until that time, I ask God to keep my tinnitus under control and stop changing it, and allow my mind, emotions and heart to habituate fully to this ringing. I pray he makes my mind accept the ringing with no fear and no attention anymore so I can sleep normally as well as function at a high level again. If so, then I can try and be more like him and give back to people less fortunate.

      God if your listening.....please give us a cure so all of us can experience your miracle, not just a few.

      Mark K.
       
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    7. Gordon Brown
      Balanced

      Gordon Brown Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1996screw
      Every person with tinnitus should find an individualized path to a degree of relief. The most important message from those of us who have found a means (or means) to cope, for the new sufferer, is that there is a better future. At the beginning, that optimistic message may be very difficult to believe but it is true. Trust in your faith, your self, your friends, your family and your physician. The sun will shine again, perhaps not silently, but you will not notice a peace that you once believed would never return.
       
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    8. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Mark K,

      Ditto to everything you said! I too asked God for a second chance and made my deal offerings. I now ask, for the ability to see the light out of the darkness and to help me habituate, so I can resume part of my life again. We should all know you can't make deals with God. You can only praise him and thank him for the things you do have. I Know it's not easy to do, when you have 100 insane insects buzzing around in your head all day and night.

      I also thought, this was some kind of test or payback for all the, not so good things I've done in my life. However, God doesn't operate that way. Most of us, have caused all this screaming in our heads, not God. For me it was years and years of listening to loud music, power tools, concerts, etc. Now I have to pay the price for all that pleasure and stupity.

      The bright side is, we will all get better. It will take time and everything we have mentally to get there, but we will get there. It will never be perfect, but it will be a life again. God promises that to all of us. Just keep believing in him and have patience.
       
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    9. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Don't lose faith and do not despair God is not mad at us he loves us and remember God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers!!!
       
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    10. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Chelles, I too believe God gives us burdens he feels we can carry. Therefore, we cannot fall by the wayside. We will be rewarded when we leave our material bodies and enter the spiritual realm of heaven. The fight is ours to battle, until then.
       
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    11. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      When I was deep in my sufferings a few years back, I often wondered what's the point of so much sufferings from the spiritual perspectives. I find Romans 5: 3-5 to be pretty revealing about the purpose of sufferings in our life. So, at hard as it may be, I try to 'rejoice' in my sufferings knowing it builds stronger character, and it did for me personally. I also learn the concept of 'finding joy amid the pain', trying to enjoy life despite T.

      http://www.biblestudytools.com/romans/passage/?q=romans+5:3-5
       
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    12. avalynette

      avalynette Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/15/2014
      Thanks, billie48, for sharing that bible verse. It was helpful! I am also trying to find joy amidst the pain....so difficult! But just thanking God for each moment helps. We only have the present moment.
       
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    13. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      God ,has helped me though T also .You know through my life I have not had many health issues and sometimes it takes something to let us know how much we need God in our life.And yes it will make us stronger and when we all get through this we will all be alittle closer to God.
       
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    14. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      The we'll known but so strong psalms 23 is what has gotten me through many night.
       
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    15. Don H

      Don H Member

      Location:
      Edmonton
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      It's hard to seek support when there's no one to go to. My wife thinks my T is something I should be able to handle because "you're not in pain". She has severe allergies and has had some surgery for arthritis so her issues are more objective. My second malady is clinical depression which can knock me down pretty hard too. So I'm blessed with the invisibles, the depression is taboo an she'll never understand the tinnitus. Maybe, as a Christian, she may believe the seriousness of the disease by reading all of your posts.
       
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    16. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      I know what you mean. People think I have an anxiety disorder, burnout or depression.
      They do not get how a noise can make so many problems. And you know what, I sometimes even myself do not know why it makes so many problems. Isn't this weird? My GP says, my T caused a "reactive depression/anxiety", so it is a result of T. Nevertheless, people do not understand. They don't know what is in my head. So I stopped telling them. I only talk about T with people who have T. But even then, T is not T. People with mild T even do not understand why I suffer. Maybe play this to your wife, but I guess she doesn't want to see this and could become angry (if T is taboo):
       
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    17. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      I watched this the first day I had tinnitus..... After that I want in a panicmode so severe that a friend has to come over and take me to the hospital because.
      If I watch it now....it does not bother me....but when I just had it I did not know what it was and thought mine would stay the same as with this guy.
      It sounds almost the same, but mine is more in the background now.

      Martin... Reactive Depression/Anxiety is something I at the moment also experience with something else, you should work on that m8 ....it can be overcome!
       
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    18. Mark K.
      Happy

      Mark K. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Honolulu, Hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure. May have been from medication
      It's so hard for people to realize the toll listening to a high pitched sound 24 hours a day can have on an individual. I considered myself a pretty happy go lucky person with no real anxiety issues. I felt I could handle anything. Well after receiving tinnitus, I realize that this thing is a whole new bag of worms. I compare it to a drop of water dripping on your forehead 24 hours a day. At first it seems tolerable, but then you get to a point where it starts to wear on you both mentally and physically. But............about 4 weeks ago, I did have an "aha" moment where I just got so tired of monitoring and focusing on my T. Something just clicked in my head, and I really stopped focusing on it so much, and even though some days were louder than others, I just said "The heck with this! ", I'm not going to let this stupid noise effect my emotions or reactions anymore". And guess what, I really felt in control again. It happened that quickly! I heard the noise 24/7 but It didn't really bother me anymore. It was more annoying, and less anxiety and focus. I started going out again and doing all the things I loved to do (Gym, Bars, Malls, Golf, Etc.). I even started eating the things I like, even though I knew it could or would make my ringing louder. But you know what I didn't care, because I didn't care about my T anymore. I really felt great, confident and in control. My family, friends and girlfriend actually thought I had been cured, because I wasn't talking about it anymore, and I was the same old fun loving guy again. I would tell them, "No unfortunately I still have it, and its still louder than ever, but I just stopped caring about it".

      Then last week, I got food poisoning, and my T was a much louder for a few days. The combination of me being sick and the brief increase of loudness, brought my anxiety levels back up again. I couldn't believe how I could go from feeling so confident and in control to almost going down to ground zero again. And in just a few days.

      I realized a few things, one is I needed to strengthen my Neuron Pathway of confidence and control, so the next hurdle I run into, It wont bring back all those old feelings of anxiety. The other thing is I realized I couldn't be so arrogant and cocky and think I have my T under control. I needed to stop being so reckless, and understand I do have limits and need to monitor things like diet, noise exposure, etc.. And finally the biggest thing I realized, was that I could actually get to a point in my mind and body where I was confident and felt in control again. That even though I have T, it doesn't control my life, and I can live each day without being consumed by my T. I need to monitor it and deal with it on a daily basis, but I could move forward and actually have days where I really wasn't thinking about it.

      Believe it or not, I'm still not back at that confident level I was at a week ago, but I'm getting my self back up to that level again. Remember, if you've climbed to the top of the mountain, and get knocked down, you know you can get back to the top again. Even if it takes a little longer the 2nd time around.

      Remember...we are not Tinnitus Sufferers.......We are Tinnitus Survivors!!

      Mark K.
       
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    19. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      That is great to hear Mark. You are on the right track - acceptance. You basically tell the brain you don't care anymore and decide to peacefully coexist with your T - the beginning of moving more to acceptance. A lot of our sufferings with T (anxiety, fear, depression, sleeplessness) has to do with resistance, even unconsciously. The dialogue inside the mind 'My T is too loud to be livable for life' (a total resistance) has to be replaced affirmatively with "My T is loud but not unique. I know my brain can and will accept this ringing in time like others. It proves to be livable and I am going to ignore it when I hear it. Many people with loud T have recovered if not cured. So will I, at my own time frame, and I am not going to worry about how long. Let time & my body do its healing miracle as long as I am on the right track".

      We may go through the motion of living our life again, but unless the brain gets the signal of acceptance from you, even grudgingly, it will keep on spewing out those mental sufferings when it hears the T ringing. The only way to disengage this suffering chain link is to tell the brain, however hard, that you are willing to accept loud T as a reality in your life like others, even loud maddening T (as I am hearing it now while typing). You will do the mental conversion to acceptance first, then let your body catch up with the reaction and it will react less and less to T as time goes by.

      Think of the brain like trying to force it to like spicy foods (like me). I used to hate hot spicy foods. But I saw many friends around me enjoying the spiciness feeling. So I decide to accept this burning sensation. But my mouth just couldn't take that sensation. So mentally I have decided on acceptance. That is, no more resistance even though 1 drop of hot sauce would force me to gobble up a cup of icy cold water to 'put off the fire', LOL. So the body is lagging behind my will power to accept this unpleasant burning sensation. But I kept at it, 1 drop of hot sauce at a time, more icy cold water to put off the fire, on and on, but not complaining (resistance). Eventually the body caught up and slowly it agrees with me this burning sensation is acceptable. No more icy water needed. Now it is not 1 drop, it is 1 table spoon at a time, and I lllllooooovvvvveeee that spicy hot feeling. Somehow, the 'stupid' brain has adapted and a new neural pathway opens up. Now, spicy hot ----> pleasure. Go figure. Same hot foods, same brain, but different overcome over time. One important ingredient - no mental resistance and gradual acceptance of the hot burning sensation, even grudgingly at best initially.

      This experience plus witnessing how other T veterans are living normal lives with loud T convinces me that perhaps I can roughly follow the same approach with T - mentally accepting it if not yet physically. There were naturally many setbacks within the first 2-3 years. But given time, the lagging brain and body finally caved in & gives up its resistance and now it is hardened to T and won't give a dime high or low. I won't say it likes T, LOL, but it is willing to peacefully coexist with this dog whistle without all the mental sufferings like before.
       
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    20. Mark K.
      Happy

      Mark K. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Honolulu, Hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure. May have been from medication
      Aloha All:
      I agree. Acceptance is the very first step in habituation. Once we accept the fact we have this ailment we need to go through the natural process of emotions till we get to that point of truly not caring about the T anymore. But the first step is acceptance. Currently, I say to myself on a daily basis: "I accept my T, and I am calm, I have no emotions towards my T anymore. This is just a sound, that cannot harm me, and I refuse to give it anymore attention and focus." Just saying these words four (4) times a day (morning, noon, evening, and night) will slowly start strengthening the Neuron Pathway of acceptance and calmness towards your T. Even when you don't feel that way, continuing to say the words with conviction, will really begin to change how you feel & react to your T. It takes one (1) month for a Neuron Pathway to your brain to be formed. So you need to continue to reinforce this thought process multiple times daily. Does it work? Of course it does, just look at the countless T survivors out there that have practiced this type of Mindfulness and are now either partly or fully habituated. I tried this a month ago, and it worked for me in a few weeks. I don't know what triggered my brain, but one day I was working and something just clicked in my brain, and my thought process changed. But the key is to continue to use these type of practices on a daily basis even on the days you feel good. The more you strengthen your Neuron Pathway (even when you feel good), the stronger and solid it will become, to carry you through the bad T days as well.

      Just a quick example: My father has ringing in his ears for almost 20 years. According to him, both ears are high pitched and fairly loud. However when he first heard his loud roaring ringing, his brain immediately attached a non-threatening emotion to it, and an "I don't care" Neuron Pathway was immediately formed. So of course, it never bothered him at all from the beginning. He can still hear it, but because his brain's Neuron Pathway formed immediately and strong, it doesn't bother him at all. Sleep, Focus, is not an issue for him. Unfortunately, my brain didn't form that type of reaction and pathway. Which means I need to develop and strengthen my Neuron Pathway so I become like my father, and not give any attention, focus or emotion towards my T.

      Any tool or practice that helps you get to full habituation is good.......Remember.........We are Tinnitus Survivors!!

      Mark K.
       
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    21. tandpiano
      Relaxed

      tandpiano Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2010
      View attachment 5185 We have T .. T does not have us! We are survivors! I know that there were days when I didn't know if I was gonna survive one more days with these sounds constantly screaming through my head. No release.. no freedom... no silence.. all the time.. everywhere! But.. God is good and He is the one who gives me strength and acceptance for His glory! Not only do I have T.. But I have had two kidney transplants in my life. One when I was 8 and the other when I was 18 years old. This kidney that I have my brother gave me 26 years ago and right now my levels are high.. :( .. But I know that God has me and in the storms of life His is my safe harbor.

      2 Corinthians 4:16
      For this cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

      Hey .. I am being renewed day by day... and I faint not that this outward body is perishing.. is decaying.. is ringing.. because for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I live everyday for His glory alone. Hang tight! Don't give up.. don't lose hope! Fight the good fight! We are all in this crazy thing together!
       

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    22. Dubbyaman
      Angry

      Dubbyaman Member

      Location:
      Northern Indiana
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Excessive loud noise
      In your case of t, your ENT should be able to perform a stapedoctomy which should eliminate it.
       
    23. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Thank you always looking for techniques to encourage habituation.
       

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