How I've Habituated...

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by BobDigi, Aug 9, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Hello. I've been meaning to do this for a while in the hope it may help someone else.
      I'm not making out i have all the answers. Nor do i know everything about tinnitus. It's simply my story, and how i've coped with tinnitus. I's a long post. So if you want to skip my tinnitus journey, just skip to the list of the things i've done to habituate.
      One day, a little over a year ago, i begun having tinnitus every hour or so. It would last around 5 minutes, then subside. I had never suffered with tinnitus before (only a few seconds every now and again), but i knew what it was.
      The next day the tinnitus was constant. It was now louder, and at a high pitch. Only in my left ear. A loud high pitch whistle/screech. And that was it. I now have tinnitus.

      Within a couple of days i was at the doctors. She told me it will probably go away soon. She gave me a nasal steroid spray, and that was it. The spray did nothing. And it seemed my tinnitus was here to stay. I got an appointment to ENT. Had to wait a couple of months i think. During this time i went through the usual Acoustic Neuroma worries, and joined this forum.
      I was so depressed with this new noise in my life. I was breaking down, crying like a bitch. I couldnt sleep properly, enjoy playing Xbox, listening to music, watching TV or riding my bikes. I felt like my life had changed for the worse forever. And i worried i'd never be happy again. I remember thinking, if i died it wouldn't be so bad. Because life sucks anyway. I only felt that way briefly. But that's how low i was for a while

      Anyway. A little over a year down the road, and my tinnitus doesn't bother me anymore. It's still as loud as ever. It's louder than everything. It's louder than cars, my motorbike, tv, music and conversation. But i'm cool with it. And i've been cool with it for about 5 months. After about 2 months of tinnitus and an ENT appointment with MRI, i began the habituation process. I'd read about habituation on this forum. But thought it was unlikely to happen to me.

      I would have done anything for my tinnitus to stop. I looked into the AM101 trial. I was declined. However i can honestly say, if i had the option to undergo an operation in the hope of killing my tinnitus, i honestly wouldn't have it. I wouldn't run the risk of an unnecessary operation. I don't need it. I've habituated. And this is how i've done it. Please note i don't want to offend anyone who's struggling with tinnitus. I'm not belittling the struggle your going through. And i realize we are all different. What works for me might not be possible for you. But this is how i have habituated. This is what i did, and how my thought process worked. It was over a period of a couple of months.


      1. Stop hoping tinnitus will go away. It's unlikely it's going anywhere, and neither am i. Sometimes tinnitus stops. But after a couple of weeks, it's very unlikely. Wishing it away just wastes time, and prolongs acceptance.

      2. Stop feeling sorry for myself. It's time to kick myself up the ass. Stop crying and toughen up. I'm not a weak person, so stop being weak. It's time to fight this mofo.

      3. This is the one that really helped. Pretend to myself and everyone else that i'm coping better with it. Keep telling myself "tinnitus sucks, but i'm dealing with it. it keeps getting easier to live with" this wasn't true at first. But after a while it helps. Lie to yourself. Pretend to yourself and everyone else. If someone asks how your coping. Don' t say "i feel miserable and desperate", say "better, i'm coping better"

      4. Stop reading about tinnitus online. and ease up using forums for a while. You want to start doing things that will help take your mind of tinnitus for a while. Reading about tinnitus online and going on forums wont help this.

      5. Start doing the things you enjoyed doing before tinnitus. You wont enjoy them as much straight away. But it's a process of getting back into life. Force yourself into doing your past times and hobbies. What else are you going to do anyway. Sitting in a room feeling sorry for yourself wont help neither. So get up, get out and start living. Obviously going night clubbing or beating a drum next to your ears isn't a good idea. But do something. Now's a great time to start a new hobby.

      6. Stop worrying about your tinnitus getting worse or better. There's nothing you can do about it anyway. And most importantly, stop analyzing it. Who cares what it's doing. Worrying wont help. So fuck it. Let it do it's thing.

      7. Don't do anything that might damage your ears further. But don't try and live in silence either. You can go to the cinema, but try using good quality ear plugs. Ride your motorbike, but use earplugs, Go clubbing but use earplugs. Listen to your headphones, but keep the volume at a safe level. Keep doing the things you love, but don't be stupid.

      8. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

      To most this might seem like a load of rubbish. But my hope is that some will find it some help.
      If you are the type of person who moans about life, and forever feels sorry for yourself, perhaps you'll never habituate. But if you are a generally positive and strong person, then it's time to put that positivity and strength into practice. And start beating this thing.

      Good luck. And if any questions, please ask.

      This forum was a great help to me in the early months. And continues to be.
      This is why i wanted to share with people how i've coped and
      Habituated.
      Thanks, Bob.
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Hey, great post, I'm glad to hear you're doing so much better.

      I don't think it's rubbish at all!

      This is a little petty, but, I do grimace a little at your use of "crying like a bitch" -- I understand exactly what you're trying to say, but, putting it this way is a turn off because it's reinforcement of bad cultural memes, as far as crying being a sign of weakness, females being weak, etc. No big deal, but do keep in mind that this forum has a wide and diverse audience, and some people might be rightly outraged by that comment.
       
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    3. Chris Alexander

      Chris Alexander Member

      Location:
      Glasgow
      Tinnitus Since:
      31/05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      @BobDigi Hey man, glad you are feeling good!

      Mine started June 1st 2015 - started off as a rumbling sound and then progressed to a high pitched beept and gradually calmed down. I could still hear it but it never bothered me at all. Now about 5 days ago, its back but not really loud but my anxiety is back.

      My question is - do you, as do I and lots of other people find that the anxiety was worse than the noise itself?

      I had a disorder before this and as you can imagine, my anxiety hit Pluto and bounced off Alpha Centauri when this started!!! It has not been as bad this time around though. I'm more annoyed that I seemed to have gotten used to it and for some reason regressed!!

      Thanks

      Chris

      p.s mine is not very loud - a bit like holdijng two sea shells to my ears. It is also not constant!
       
    4. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Hi Chris. Yes the anxiety is worse. Habituation is, to me at least, not feeling anxious about the noise anymore. It may irritate you slightly sometimes. But it doesn't bother you enough to make you sad, angry or anxious.
      By the way, I still get anxious. I have OCD. But I'm not anxious or bothered about my tinnitus anymore.
      Because yours isn't constant, I believe one of the most important things you need to do is to try and stop analyzing it. When it comes back, so what, when it leaves, who cares? It will probably come back, so just let it do its thing.
      Also don't be sad or angry you feel like your regressing. Things won't steadily get better day by day. Some days will be better than others. Some weeks will be better than others. It's not smooth. But generally things will be getting better.
       
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    5. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Noted and corrected. I wasn't trying to offend. It was just my thought process. But I've amended. Thanks.
       
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    6. Honey_Bee
      Barefooter

      Honey_Bee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Amazing! I'm about 5 months in and doing all those things has helped me more than anything! All easier said than done but it's the best way to go about it. So happy for your success! :rockingbanana:
       
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    7. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Thank you. I agree it's definitely not straight forward and easy lol. But possible. Good luck to you too.
       
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    8. Beessie
      Relaxed

      Beessie Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      21-01-2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? + badluck? Clubbing? IDK!
      @BobDigi Thank you for sharing your story:).

      Did you also had set backs in your habituation process?

      Overall I am getting habituated but sometimes the anxiety/annoyance and I start monitoring the sound again. If you also had set backs how did you have dealed with it?

      For me anxiety has gone up twice which give me a set-back (1. after a long festival, with earplugs, back to normal after a week). (2. currently on amoxcilline (antibiotic) this is pretty safe regarding to Tinnitus but I am still a bit worried.

      Both are just examples of me struggeling with the habituation process, if you have some tips, please provide me with it.

      Kind regards,

      Bas
       
    9. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Hi Baz. I think anything that is hard has its ups and downs. And yes I had a few set backs. I didn't cope better and better and better. A couple of times I felt like I was going bacowards. But I had to keep strong and keep figthing. Feel down for a couple of days, or a couple of hours, then rather than dwell on feeling low, get back up, and get back to beating this thing. Stay strong and determined.

      OH and lastly I wasn't referring to a bitch being a women! Men can be botches too. It's just a figure of speech. But I get your point.
       
    10. Beessie
      Relaxed

      Beessie Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      21-01-2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? + badluck? Clubbing? IDK!
      Thank you Bob I will and I have 2 although it is hard!
       
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    11. TMLB

      TMLB Member Benefactor

      Location:
      British Columbia, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Thanks for the post. I've had tinnitus for about 2 years now and am slowly becoming less anxious and disturbed by it. Your encouraging words do help and reinforce what to do and not do. I ride a motorbike as well but didn't insure it this year because when I wear earplugs the tinnitus becomes really apparent and distracts me -- not from a safety point of view but it takes away from the enjoyment of riding. Are you finding that when you wear hearing aids you are more aware of the tinnitus yet because of your attitude towards it, you still enjoy the bike? Riding is one of my true joys in life and if I can find a way to get back on, well, that would really help. Thanks
       
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    12. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Hi TM. Please believe me I went through the same thing. I thought I was going to sell my bike because of my tinnitus. For the first few months I didn't take my motorbike out at all. I rode over 11 miles to work and back each day, because I couldn't bare the tinnitus volume increase, everytime I put on my helmet.
      And to be honest with earplugs and helmet on, the tinnitus does sound louder. But it still doesn't bother me. It doesn't effect my enjoyment of riding one bit. So what if I can hear it more? It's not going to hurt me.
      Get your bike out and give it a ride. Looking back, I shouldn't have stopped riding at all. You want to keep doing everything you normally do in life.
      The problem with changing what you do, is that when you start doing it again, you have to get used to doing it with tinnitus. And it reminds you that you have tinnitus.
      You want the periods of time you DON'T think about tinnitus, to get longer and longer. You can't do that if you have constant reminders. So just get on with life and don't let tinnitus stop you doing anything. Everytime you ride your bike, it will seem a little more normal. And as you habituate, you'll think less and less about your tinnitus, no matter what your doing.
      Get insurance, get out there, and enjoy the thing you love mate. Perhaps just do a couple of miles at first. Wear earplugs and enjoy it. It could be just what you need!

      Ps it was my push bike I used for 11 miles, not my motorbike with no helmet lol.
       
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    13. TMLB

      TMLB Member Benefactor

      Location:
      British Columbia, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Thanks so much for those words of encouragement. Next year I will put the insurance back on....our riding season is almost done now. For the first while it was tough to ride - it was tough just to travel in a car. Truly appreciate your response!
       
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    14. Eltel

      Eltel Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/14
      I too find with the earplugs the T is so much louder so some days I ride without plugs but keep under 60 mph so the wind is not so noisy
       

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