Get your mind around this thing ... really works ... ignoring is not the same

Discussion in 'Support' started by RicoS, Jun 29, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      Hello (sorry for my bad english I hope you can understand it.),

      I'm new to this forum but I follow it for about halve a year now. I'm from the Netherlands and I have tinnitus since june 2013. At the time it was extreme loud and I could not deal with it what so ever.
      Also had the same feelings some of you had. My meaning of life was totaly gone and I lost a few pounds of wheight in no time. I tried to mask it , tried to go outside as much as possible. But still could not deal with it.
      Sleeping was terrible and I tried to mask it also when I would go to sleep.

      I have tried meditation, acupuncture , ginko , magnesium etc etc .... and I do not even know if it worked or not.... I just hoped it did. Besides my tinnitus I get these short spikes every day that last around 10 sec and than go away again. At least one time a day this occurse.

      I do not know if I have found a cure and it sounds stupid but i still want to share it with you.
      .... We all hate tinnitus.... we can not fight it ....so we have to accept it.... but...... ignoring is hard.
      10 years back I had eyesurgery on both my eyes because I had a lot of floater. (for those who do not know what it is... it's when you look at a white wall or the sky and you see all kinds of black or transparant dots moving in your vision) ... The first time I got that I kept staring at white walls and look in the sky try to see those things and hope they were gone. The more I looked for them ...the more I saw. Until my whole vision was full of eye floaters. It's like a bug on your window when your driving a car. If you don't know it you won't see it but if you focus on it you keep seeing it and it irritates you (imagine 1000 bugs on a window in you vision 24/7).
      Anyway... I got the surgery and it was very expensive ...around 10.000 dollar for both my eyes (but my work paid for it...so I was very lucky), so I got rid of it. A lot of people don't do the surgery because of the risk that you can go blind. I said to myself....f#$k it ..... I cannot go on like this.
      I was so happy when my vision was clear...and I kept looking at white walls and the sky for about 6 months and could not notice a thing......it felt great... I had my life back...yahooooo, This was the worst that could ever happen to me....EVERRRRRRRR.

      But than 2013....... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I was sitting in a livingroom on vacation and I thought that something made a weird sound. I was looking in the kitchen if something was wrong but could not find a thing. I went to bed ...didn't hear anything so slept great..... (guess that my mind was not fully focused on it yet). Than the next day I didn't notice a thing...but again in the evening... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Very loud. The next day we went home and after a week I was sitting alone in the living room and my son and wife were already to bed and suddenly this EEEEEEEEEEEE sound came back harder than ever. It was like as a airplane was leaving and I was standing next to it ...so loud was it. It scared me so much that I was in total panic mode. What ever I did I could here it over everything. A friend of mine had tinnitus and I always thought...well that sucks but did not think much about it....and than I thought.... O my god...don't let me have tinnitus..... I called the hospital...called the doctor.... but all said .... it's tinnitus deal with it. I went to and ENT and she said the same thing. My life was over......... I thought I cannot live with this .... First the eyefloaters and now tinnitus...god must realy hate me.

      I thought I was in hell and this was a punishment for something I do not remember doing. I didn't want to do anything anymore.... no sex, no computergames, no sport nothing. I cried like a child ....got heavy panic attacks that almost make me faint. But I have a beautiful son and wife....and without them I would have give up on life...but I tried to get energy to deal with it by be there for them and perhaps I would not focus on it anymore.

      Well............. that did not work either..... It's the type of person that I am... If I have something that is not 'normal' I want to have it fixed. Tinnitus is the first thing that you cannot heal easy or win from. I'm a teacher in MMA three evenings a week besides by regular job and have fought also in the ring and cage...so perhaps I have a winners mentality ... I just cannot give up. And this tinnitus was something that I could not win from... no matter what I did.
      Everyday ....litery every day..... I put my fingers in my ear about 25 times a day to hear if my tinnitus was still there or if it was louder than the moment before. For 10 months I did that. Even when I know it would not help me. But just as with the eyefloaters....it was just me ... hating it so much that I kept focusing on it. Until last month....... I knew I had to change otherwise it brings me nowhere.

      I cannot beat it.... I cannot ignore it so what else could I do........ And it may sound stupid but please hear me out. It works for me....

      What I did is try something else to dislike but is very normal in life. And with dislike I don't mean that I realy hate it, but that my mind focus on it instead of my tinnitus, but it has to be something that when I focus on it I also do not like. So what did I do. I know a lot about eyes. When you close your eyes you do not see full darkness....you see all kind of colors. When looking at a plain color screen or wall... it's not 100% that plain color ..because of light interuption and your own eyefluid and your white bloodcells etc...you always see something. When walking in the dark ..........dark is not black...you see al kind of disturbens.

      It's normal.... and we never think of it. Just as you do not think that you blink your eyes or that you are breathing the whole time or that you can see your own nose when closing one eye. When looking at a lightsource and then looking in to a darkplace you see residu of the light...which slowly faints.

      We are just not that selfaware the whole time to get bothered by it. My vision is great...but to get my mind of it I was looking for visual noise even when I know it's normal. But ... I know it sounds stupid ... for some reason I can make my mind focus on it. So that I'm more selfaware of my vision and getting a little irritated of the amount of information I have to proces. Because of that.... my tinnitus was getting lower within days. (and my tinnitus is loud!) it seems that if i try to focus my mind on something else which I try not to like it ignores my tinnitus. Even when I'm typing this I do not here my tinnitus at the moment...which is weird, because it's very quiet here. When I put my fingers in my ear (Doing it at the moment) I hear my tinnitus....but it's not that loud anymore. Let say on a scale of 10 it was an 8 and now it's a 2.

      That being said..... for me is proof you can train your mind to ignore it...even when you are focusing on it like me or just like me, cannot let it go. Your mind has te have some other thing to focus on. I know that going outside and stay busy is what everybody says....but that's not the same to me. My wife also has tinnitus, but can block it by not thinking of it. And she says that it is very loud when she put her fingers in her ear. But her focus is on our son and me ... here mind is just focusing on that and forget the tinnitus.

      I guess it's different for everybody. For me it cannot be something I like....for me it's something that has te bug me a little, but way more less than tinnitus.
      The same thing happens to me when I got the flu and having a fever. My tinnitus is almost gone when I'm sick. As if my body and mind are to busy fighting the flu or virus. The moment I'm better my tinnitus came back.

      Is my vision worse or better than before? No it's not I see great no difference what so ever....but my mind is more aware of colors and the imperfection of things that we think are perfect by nature and we accept as normal. My wife was lauging the moment I tried it ... I said to here. "If you look at this plain white wall now..is it 100% white or do you see other stuff." So she is laughing and said...yes of course i see something ...I see colors or somekind of noise. When the room is more dark ... I see like the vision when you keep your camera in a dark place and it gets not enough light. So I said... yes we all see this more or less and it's called closed eye vision(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-eye_hallucination), but are not bothered by it. I want to try to focus my mind on it to think that it bothers me. I know it sounds stupid...... that is what she said also, but she also said ...you have to try what works for you.

      What I try to say is that we all have to find something that get our mind of tinnitus...... and you can....but you cannot do this by constantly thinking that you are ignoring your tinnitus...cause than you are still focused on it. Perhaps the thing I did was tried to be more selfaware of my vision so my mind does not focus on my hearing. It realy helps me and my tinnitus is realy low now that I do not need any masking device ( I even have the maskingdevices that I can put in to my ears, but do not use them anymore).
      The bad thing about this......well I notice more imperfection in normal vision but....that is 1000000x better that listing to my tinnitus. I focus on this on purpose because I know I can this go in the future.

      I hope that this helps people to try something else ..... and perhaps it works for you. My T was realy loud... and since I'm doing this I can only hear it when I look for it...just as I'm looking for imperfections in my vision. If I do not do that I won't see the imperfection and I won't hear my tinnitus. When my T comes up I quickly focus on imperfection of vision just to keep my mind busy.
       
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    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I think this is a great story, and it proves that it's possible to habituate to tinnitus. Thanks for sharing, @RicoS!
       
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    3. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14
      Great story!!, thanks for shearing !God bless you and your family!!
       
    4. here2help

      here2help Member

      @RicoS, your English is very good and it is easy to understand your meaning. I agree with Karen: this is a great story. You were able to take extremely loud tinnitus you could hear over everything (as loud as an airplane when it takes off), which you were initially unable to deal with, erased the meaning of life, affected your sleep, caused you to lose weight, caused you to feel listless and disinterested in things you once enjoyed, resulted in panic attacks and the sense that your life was over, and find a way to no longer feel affected by it.

      I enjoyed reading about your insight into the similarities between tinnitus, eye floaters, and a bug on the windshield. “The more I looked for them,” you wrote about eye floaters, “the more I saw. Until my whole vision was full of eye floaters.” A similar dynamic is at work with tinnitus. The more we focus on tinnitus, trying to gauge whether it is louder than usual, and checking to see if we can hear it in particular places, the more affected by tinnitus we can be.

      We can spend a lot of time hoping for a cure, and yet in many cases the “cure” (maybe solution is a better word for it) is within us. As you say, by focusing on something else you dislike you discovered an approach that works for you.

      This is the kind of post that brings hope to others who struggle with tinnitus that they too may find an approach to manage tinnitus that works for them.

      I can see why putting your focus on “imperfections” in your vision is helpful to you. Our sight, like our hearing, is very personal to each of us, and your interest in vision and closed-eye visualizations, combined with the challenges you had with eye floaters helped you to place your awareness on your sight and away from tinnitus.

      The way I understand your approach is that you aren’t really “ignoring” tinnitus; rather, you are placing your attention on something else of interest to you. As you say, making a conscious effort to ignore tinnitus is really just another way to focus on it.

      The only thing I’d add to your terrific post is that there is nothing “stupid” in your approach. You are very insightful.

      here2help
       
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    5. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      Hi everybody,

      I don't care if anybody gives a negative reaction to my post. If you don't understand that I try to put something here that might also help for you than it tells more about you being negative than me trying to help by sharing my story.

      My tinnitus was bad.... so bad it hurt my ears. Perhaps it became worse because i just focused on it 24/7 and putting my fingers in my ears every moment I could...just to listen if it was lower than the moment before.

      I you people talked about habitation I thought it was not for me, because I already tried everything. I guess I think I found something that works for me. I DID NOT CURE my tinnitus....but for me ....now... it feels cured.... WHY ...because I do not hear it.
      So you all want to know... "You mean you don't hear it or can live with it"... I don't hear it... I don't hear the sound. If I focus on it.... it comes up..... but like I said I keep being focused on my vision...finding things that I think are imperfect but are completly normal.

      I tried to be positive... didn't work.
      My work gave me 3 weeks because perhaps taking a break would solve something....didn't work
      I tried all kind of herbs... didn't work
      I tried acupuncture.... didn't work
      I tried to ignore it.... didn't work
      I cried...didn't work
      Staying negative and feel sorry for myself....didn't work
      Going to this forum.... gave me some relieve that i'm not alone...... but didn't work to lower my tinnitus

      So than I tried this... and my mind lets the tinnitus go. Perhaps for others it works to get you mind 100% focused on something beautiful instead of something negative to replace it. For me that did not work because the negative energy of tinnitus beats the positive energie.
      So I had to try to replace this negative with some other negative.
      Like I already said it sounds stupid.... and I'm a down to earh guy...but what the hack...if it works ... it works.
      I do not realy know how TRT works... I bought the book... I understand what tinnitus is, but how TRT is done.. I would not know...perhaps it's almost a simular approach. But than again... I don't know.

      I saw a question in my mailbox if I still wear the mask devices. The ones I have look like this (See picture below)

      pic.jpg

      .... I do not use them anymore. Because I don't hear my tinnitus anymore during the day.
      Do I hear it in a complete silent room? Yes I do.....
      Is it loud? .... nope I only hear it soft in my left ear....in my right ear I do not hear it...only when I stick both my fingers in my ears.
      How loud is it in a silent room..... like I said on a scale of 10 ....it's a 2. Before that it was a 8 or even a 9. It was just to loud to sleep without masking.
      Can it come back?... I don't know.. I'm happy I don't hear it for now.
      How long did it take to lower my tinnitus..... Two days.
      Like I said and I say it again... it sounds stupid....but I know for a fact that I have my mind focus so much on my vision now...that it does not care about the tinnitus. And yes I do not like it to be focused on my vision all the time by processing so much information that was normal. But for some reason I get a little irritated by it.
      But it's better than have a jetplane in my ears.

      If I find something else to focus on I will try that. And no it's not an act that I'm being irritated by some minor imperfection in my vision...... I realy am irritated. But I never noticed it before. My eyes are perfect and perhaps to good. That is what the dokter said before my surgery. For me everything looks like HD ...it's so damn sharp....but because of that I can also see stuff that your mind blocks out all the time (when i focus on it). Knowing that I try to see those things that are normaly being ignored. The moment I did that... and I found something... I got nervous ... because I thought...damn I never thought that we see this all the time. But at the same time..... my tinnutus was way softer .... so I got myself crazy by focusing more on the vision stuff and my tinnitus went away like snow in the sun.
      Is it coincidence.. I don't know... I don't want to know.... but for me I don't think so because for 12 months it was screaming in my head....and when I tried this....it was almost 90% gone.
      So if there is no pill to cure tinnitus ... I stick with this.
      And I know there are a lot of people who are trying everything and still cannot realy cope with it....just as I have.
      So perhaps you can try something like I did.
       
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