Hudson's Success Story — We Need a Pick-Me-Up!

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Hudson, Dec 7, 2015.

    1. Hudson

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello fellow tinnitus sufferers, patients and clinicians,

      I wanted to reach out because I have been AWOL so to speak and I used to be very active on this very lovely forum.

      I had noticed in my facebook feed the story of Mr. Jones' passing. I decided that I'd log in and see the thread for myself, and I noticed very many people expressing an understandable amount of fear, anxiety, depression, futility, and resignation. None of us are alone, although it may feel that way when we are very consumed in the depths of a tinnitus struggle.

      I'll give everyone a quick back story for anyone who doesn't remember me as I'm sure there are unfortunately very many new members who have come looking for answers and support.

      I first got tinnitus when I was 17 after attending a rock concert. My left ear rang incredibly loudly for the first three days or so, and then I magically woke up and it was gone. What had taken its place, however, was this extremely high pitched static/hissing sound that has not left me since. I was absolutely driven to near madness for nearly a year and a half, almost two years I think if my memory serves me. It affected friendships, I had girlfriends leave me, you name it. I did not realize that I was suffering from terrible depression and anxiety as I had never even thought it was that. All I knew was that I couldn't stop thinking, even for a second, or worrying, that my tinnitus would never go away or just get progressively worse. I suppose the idea of "progressive worsening" worried me the most. I often said things in my head such as "I think I might be able to adjust to this current sound level. If it gets worse though I'm done for and that's the end of me." Eventually, I managed to piece together a group of other geeky guys such as myself and we'd drink and play video games together, or go party up in the woods together.

      Over time, I noticed that I'd look forward to those nights of hanging out with my friends and partying, or playing video games. I looked forward to it because it was fun, and I realized that when I was with my friends and having fun, I did not think of tinnitus much at all. That gave me the window to realize that I could habituate to the sound, which I did then.

      Fast forward many years, and I've had a couple of times now where my constant hiss/static sound has gotten what I consider "slightly worse". However, with my brain that loves to latch onto things and stir up trouble, it was enough to send me over the edge. I could barely work, get out of the house, hang out with any friends (friends for a tinnitus sufferer, lol). My life was falling apart again, that's for sure. The questions of "Great, I had habituated to it, but now it's worse. Is it just going to get progressively worse over the course of my life?" really, really started to bug me. I knew that I could adjust to my old level of sound, but this new one? What if it gets worse? Ugg... it's enough to drive a person crazy as many of you know. :) EDIT: I want to clarify here that the only thing that has ever made my tinnitus worse has been being around loud sounds with my hearing unprotected. I have attended many bars, shows, you name it now, and as long as I use ear plugs I'm fine.

      This last time was different. I knew that this was anxiety and depression this time (as I crazily enough had a depression and anxiety episode during college that was completely unrelated to tinnitus in any way. In fact, I remember at the time thinking "I wish I could go back to worrying about that stupid old tinnitus. What a non-issue".) I sought out some treatment, got on some meds (Lexapro and clonazepam, which I'm still on the lexapro as I'm feeling good).

      Throughout the whole initial treatment process, I was extremely skeptical about my chances of success, despite having a track record of already getting over previous tinnitus episodes. Guess what? I was wrong.

      I'm back to my old self again, more or less, whoever he was back in the day. Except I'm a newer and stronger person because of it. When you get through your struggles with tinnitus (which you will), you may agree with my sentiment here when I say that "Tinnitus sufferers are an elite race of our own."

      Have hope everyone! You will get through your own struggles in your own unique way, and you may end up surprising the hell out of yourself with how far you've come. Recently, I've started attending some Alice in Chains coverband shows (alright, laugh it up, get it out) and I've been having a blast with my buddies. I pop in some ear plugs before I go in, and it isn't a problem, I don't even think about it. I just know now that I should not become complacent with the need to protect my hearing.

      It's been amazing to be able to go out and have fun with my friends again and not give a single thought to tinnitus. I've lost weight again (I was eating like a horse when I was sick with anxiety and depression), and to tell you the truth, my self esteem is probably at record levels at this point. I still have daily problems in life as we all do, but I certainly don't consider tinnitus to be one even worth worrying about.

      Feel free to ask me if you have any questions. I know that everyone is different and every path is different, so my story may not apply to everyone. I believe with a firm conviction, however, that each and every one of us has the amazing capacity within ourselves to adjust to these changes in our lives and be better after it.

      On a final note, I thought I'd leave you with something fun. I recently was able to achieve an old dream of mine, which was to get a cool old muscle car. When I was growing up, my parents did not purchase things like that for me, they expected me to earn it. Here is me a few weeks ago with my cool new (to me at least!) 66 Ford Mustang.

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    2. Nick in az

      Nick in az Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2015
      Throw on some white racing stripes :), nice to read about your success. First few months (or more) are quite an adjustment!! Hope one day to reach where you are at!
    3. bictors

      bictors Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nice car! congratulations man :)
    4. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      Great Post!!!!!! You nailed it.
    5. John Meyers

      John Meyers Member

      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Just One (1) Loud Rock Concert!
      Thanks for the update Hudson. I'm almost at 3 months with T after an AC/DC concert and still paying the price..

      Exercising and eating well is key.

      Nice ride! -- Just add white racing stripes and spinner hubcaps and you are good to go!! -- I've had over 20 antique cars so far. -- I recently bought an older BMW and am driving the crap out of it which gets my mind off of the T.. :)
    6. Natalie Roberts

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Thanks for your post!! Very inspirational and I love the car! Hope you are well now.
    7. Martin69

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Thanks for sharing your story.
      Can you tell how much Lexapro is part of your recovery?
      I am oftentimes wondering if only T is the problem or a general depression/anxiety disorder?
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