How Do You Deal / How Have You Dealt with Setbacks?

Discussion in 'Support' started by ApolloChris, Feb 6, 2017.

    1. ApolloChris
      Jaded

      ApolloChris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18.11.2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma + stress?
      Hi all,

      I probably shouldn't but I'm beginning a new thread as i'd like to know how those of you with T, T&H and H of varying severity deal with the inevitable setbacks along the way (or those perceived by ourselves to be setbacks).

      Personal experience:
      The reason I ask is because 2.5 months in, I've had several unfortunate situations occur, to the point you almost feel there is a greater force against you. Things which never seemed to happen earlier have occurred just when i've been beginning to accept and 'return' to the world.

      I've had bad reactions to medicinal olive oil ear-spray, people banging things nearby (possible slight H made it seem louder), tripping up and making noise and most recently and in more detail, on Saturday last, a part of a brand-new small inflatable float for my child blow-up on me after the lifeguard said its best to use to compressed air. A frightening, unsuspected impulsive bang. I feared the worst and walked away in blurred / cursed disbelief.....'why me again' (in hindsight...as usual, i should have double-checked the instructions but that innate trust i have in those who are within their area of work, who you feel know this etc. got the better of me....again :/. The engineer in me should have thought about it or at least double-checked the instructions but the joy of the moment got to me).

      The worst and best part was that some family members including my parents were here visiting, had to witness it but did their best to support me in the fallout. I was a mess....again. Once again i felt a high-point, a time of joy, was reduced to rubble. I need to stop thinking everything that happens is equally bad or damaging to my ears. I'm a worrier, like many of you, and im trying to change that but these incidents come too thick and fast....before 'im ready' to take these on the chin. Our focus is shifted so much after the original onset, i'm aware of that and of course try to change my mindset, exercise, meditate, ginko/magnesium and protect hearing when necessary (but not over-doing it). It just seems like im hit by a sledgehammer each and every time, followed by the tears, the panic and the fallout. I'm tired of that. I need that confidence back, to not move deeper in to hypochondriac territory.


      Enough of me....on to you guys:

      How have you dealt with these minor to major issues in the past? Did time and experience lead to level-headedness (change in mindset), a calm reaction or is that why we remain in this situation (in some regards)?
      Have you learnt from your setbacks and used them to make you eventually stronger or the opposite?
      It would be great to hear your experiences and whether or not we all share this mentality in more ways than one.

      Apologies for the long write-up. I'd rather not have to visit this wonderful forum but i feel i need to reach-out at this stage.

      Cheers,
      Christopher
       
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    2. NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hey Chris,

      I wish I could offer you some really good 100 % waterproof guidelines - or in fact, I wish they existed so I could live by them as well. Thing is, I find the life to be just as unpredictable as you explained it and it is scary, when living with reactive T. Seems like sudden loud situations just keep happening out of blue. You said it nicely in that "you almost feel there is a greater force against you" - indeed, that's exactly how it feels at times for me as well.

      I think one major thing would be accepting the fact that one can only do so much and that it is not possible to control everything. We can wear earplugs to a crowded event, but we cannot predict dropping a frying pan at home. We can choose quieter venues than nightclubs, but can't help it if suddenly a firealarm starts screaming near us. I suppose understanding what is in our power to do and what just happens nevertheless would be important. I spot you saying regretful "I should have..." of a the float blowing up, that's you beating yourself up about something you didn't know at the time. Trying our best should be enough and it is harsh enough of a condition without judging ourselves for every little humane misstep we make. We can't be perfect, not even when it comes to dealing with T. Easy to say ofcourse and to be honest, it is something I do all the time as well ("why did I go there", "why did I do that", "why didn't I react instantly", "why did I freeze", "why didn't I say anything" etc.).

      I guess replacing that remorseful and judging voice with something more constructive would be a big help. I sometimes think what I would say to a friend, instead - I wouldn't say "you froze near a barking dog and just stood there, why are you so freaking stupid?", but rather "hey - you panicked and it's a very natural reaction, nothing to be ashamed of. A horrible experience for sure, anything I can do to help?". If our first reaction is that something just attacked us and then we go through the horrible situation over & over, with only ourselves to blame... No wonder if the fear grows and one starts to feel as if something bad indeed happens each time (which is the reaction itself).

      In addition, these things help me with setbacks:
      • I try to put the event in perspective. I got my T from incredibly loud concert that went on for hours, so a short exposure of sudden loud sound is nothing in comparison. Short exposures haven't done anything drastic yet, so it is very probable they are not doing it in the future either. Further speculation always starts in my head, but believing in "I'll be fine" is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, just like "something bad will happen" is. We can try to affect which one we believe and therefore, which one we strenghten.
      • Masking. If I come home after a day that has felt too loud or something spesific happened, I try not to listen whether my T has increased or not. I know I will only make my T stronger my listening and analysing it.
      • Talking to someone or writing here really helps. My latest bad setback was when I went to friend's place and suddenly a barking dog was right next to me and it just kept on barking incredibly loud. I froze and just stood there, didn't even put hands over my ears. So afterwards I noticed clear spike in my T and was a total wreck, blaming myself. I came here to write a post about it and it helped me so much to pour it out and know there's people who are going through the same thing.
      • A setback with T can be devastating, so I try to give myself a break. Rather than curl up in a crying ball and listen to T (still doing this, but...), I try to do something I enjoy to distract myself from it and to comfort myself. Something to calm down and something to get distance to the chaos, whether it's video games or a walk by the sea.
      • I am trying the technique people here have talked about, in which one tries not to analyze T and its volume, but rather think about how it makes one feel. In other words, instead of investigating the volume and frequencies of T, I'll think of how I feel about it - creating a difference in them. This is actually really hard, but makes sense to try shift the focus from being totally neurotic about T changes and rather observe one's mental state.
      I hope if not anything else, this lengthy response of mine tells you that there are others struggling with this very same thing and you are not alone. Even better, if there's any help included somewhere between the lines. So... what sort of event caused your T? How would you rate it from mild to severe, or whatever terms you prefer to use? I assume it is reactive and comes with hyperacusia, by what you told in your post?
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ApolloChris
      Jaded

      ApolloChris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18.11.2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma + stress?
      Moi NimQ. Kiitos, kiitos Paljon for your response!

      I am delighted to have received such an informative and overall positive response to my long-winded message :). Kiiti again. I'll respond in more detail shortly.

      Cheers,
      Christopher
       
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