I Feel Like I Owe This Forum a Success Story... So Here It Goes :)

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Banana, Jan 15, 2016.

    1. Banana

      Banana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi folks!

      I have been thinking about writing this for some time. So, it has been two years since I started hearing that whistling in my ears and I have almost forgotten that it's there.

      A little background: Music has been the love of my life. Always will be. And boy, I liked to play it loud. First were the headphones. Since I had first mp3 player I had them on almost all the time. Commuting on the train. At home. Then came the gigs. Of course I always wanted to be as near the stage as possible. And oh, do you know that line array sound systems blasting dBs at you? Loved them. By the time I went to high school I alread had an electric guitar. Of course the amp goes all the way to 11, that's what it is supposed to do!
      I went to university. Of course there was a lot of partying involved. First it was just attending clubs with electronic music which i got interested in. Than I tried DJing and it changed me permanently. It was love at first site. I bought a synthesizer and played it at home. I tried music production. Of course I loved it! I started playing in local club circuits. First it was a single party which was a blast. Then again. And again. After some time I had a really busy schedule with DJing. I played every weekend. I spent several hours at VERY loud environment every week. Sometimes even more than once a week. By that time I have already considered music as my professional career.
      Of course with no ear protection, why would you need that?

      And then came an opening party at a local craft beer pub. I loved those. In fact I like the non-standard clubs more than regular ones. It was late autumn in 2013. It wasn't even that loud I thought. But since it was an opening there was like a TON of people and obviously my ears had different opinion on what was right and wrong for them :)

      The next day I woke up and already noticed that something's wrong. I remember that whistling in my head, I had experienced these before but it had gone after soon. But this time it was way louder. And it didn;t want to go. And then I noticed something strange.. Some sounds were sort of 'hurting' my ears. Then I learnt that it was called hyperacusis. I googled those symptoms and was petrified. All the articles were screaming at me: HEARING LOSS!

      I was so scared. Oh no.. That is impossible. I felt as if my career was doomed. That was the most depressing stage of my life. I felt like I will never ever experience the joy of playing again. I stopped listening to music at all. I cancelled all my upcoming gigs. I sat at home and googled every single tinnitus article possible. I read all the research threads on this forum. I read almost every single thread here to find any positive news. I was seeking reassurance. In the meantime I took frequent trips to the bathroom which was almost perfectly isolated from outside sounds just to pluck my ears and check: "Is it gone yet? no? oh.."

      From today's perspective I feel like this is somewhat similar to OCD. Real OCD, not the popular myth that you just have to align everything perfectly. It is a debilitating fear about something. An obsession which you cannot get out of your head. And you constantly check whether it is true.. You seek confirmation that it is not the worst case scenario.. That it is going to be good. I say this as an actual OCD sufferer. In fact, I believe that the onset of my OCD was in fact related to tinnitus.. It manifested itself shortly after I got tinnitus.

      It felt like I failed. Like all my dreams have collapsed. I felt terrible. Winters in the place where I live tend to be long and dark. I just sat at my computer terrorized...

      But after some time it definitely got better. How? Well, I am not going to give you any new tips. You already heard those. But guess what? They work!

      The first thing to do was to see a doctor. I went to the best specialist in my town. I received prednisone. It didn;t help much, I think, but at least I did see a specialist who said that it WILL get better. Than, it was just waiting..

      After a terrible winter I remember that the first relief came.. after I bought a bicycle. Yes, a bicycle. It was a used Dutch-style bicycle which I used to commute. It was like a miracle. Spring came and finally it was warm and sunny outside. I took long trips. Physical activity felt great. I felt a lot calmer. I could get my mind of the PC and get on with my life. Then I slowly reclaimed my life back from fear. First it was listening at home. I listened to all the records I loved. Once again, I reconnected all the wires in my studio and got playing the synth and guitar once again. Of course at lower volumes.. and nothing happened! Then were the first attempts at social places. First i went to restaurants.. nothing! It did not get any worse. Then were pubs. A little louder, but still nothing. I got a limited edition Ear Piece earplugs for my birthday.. So then I decided it was time to go to a gig. First a small one.. nothing! I was really careful not to blast it too much.. Nothing happened. I felt OK. Clubs.. OK..

      Then came the big moment. There is this large electronic music festival in my country which I attend every year. I was anxious, but I got the courage to go.. I had a good time. Met friends. I had earplugs almost all the time.. But guess what: NOTHING HAPPENED! That was a cathalyst for me. I though: hell, I went there, if I am careful then maybe everything is ok?

      From then on it was great. I started DJing once again. This time with the ear plugs. I gathered a couple of friends and now we play together. 1-2 hour sets work much better than whole-night workouts. I use headphones sparingly outside of my DJ sets now though. But I do use them.

      Fast forward to now: How is it? Well.. You heard that. I forgot that I have tinnitus. Yes, it spikes ocasionally, but it never lasted more than 1-2 seconds. Even then I know that it is not that great of a deal. But I have to go to a silent place and pluck my ears to actually hear that. I have HABITUATED.

      So, as far as advice is concerned: exercise, keep busy and KEEP CALM. it WILL get better!

      "There's nothing to be feared but the fear itself" :)

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    2. Jahhsoul

      Jahhsoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown (not acute acoustic trauma).
      Fu** I would like come back to my loved electronic festivals. And if my T stay at same level, I think I will be so happy like you. :)
    3. AUTHOR

      Banana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Well I got back. Obviously, don't put your head inside the speaker, get a decent set of earplugs and you should be OK.
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. Aussie Lea

      Aussie Lea Member

      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      Inspiring story, thank you @Banana!!
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Dominic1955

      Dominic1955 Member Benefactor

      Waverly, Pennsylvania
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic hearing loss
      Did you have hearing loss too?
    6. Honey_Bee

      Honey_Bee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection?
      Love this! Congrats on getting back out there and making music. Your experience was similar to mine. I had a three day music festival that I was worried about going to. Well, I went, with ear plugs, and had the best time! Just came back from it again last weekend, and you can bet I am going again next year! Congrats on your success!
      • Like Like x 1
    7. andrewk

      andrewk Member

      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      @Banana Thank you very much for sharing your story. It's great to see such commitment to your passion, that your hobby could cause you such grief but that you are willing to return to it because it is a part of you. Just like most, I was so scared to listen to music after I developed T. "Can I ever enjoy music again?"

      The answer of course, is yes! I enjoy music just as much as I did before. If music is what caused my T, so be it; I don't regret listening to it while growing up. Of course, more should be done so that people take ear safety more seriously.
      • Like Like x 1

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