Quiet Amongst the Noise

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Boy Elroy, Nov 19, 2016.

    1. Boy Elroy

      Boy Elroy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      If you are not like me or your tinnitus does not resemble mine this may be unhelpful. But I made a promise to myself that I would do this. So, for those of you like me, read on:

      When I got Tinnitus nearly 16 months ago, I thought it was the end of peace and joy forever. I visited these forums daily and, to be truthful, most of the threads caused me emotional harm, if I had it to do over I would never ever, ever, ever read anything on these forums. Why, the only way I could get my life back was to stop thinking about and being afraid of what I had. These forums lead me to focus on my tinnitus which prevented me from dealing with it. Sounds weird, but tinnitus is nothing if not weird.

      In my isolated and unqualified opinion, the way to "get over" tinnitus is to release your fear, accept fully that it's now a part of you and trust that the less you care, the less your mind will perceive it and the sounds will slowly drift to the background like any other sound, yes most other sounds you can control, but for me that difference is no longer important. Oh, and if your like me and think you don't even want tinnitus "in the background" then you do not yet understand what a distant place the background can be. Take heart, you will.

      So, a few things about my tinnitus. Mine is worse than yours :) I was that person ,one of the 20% that tinnitus really, really bothered, it was loud, really loud. Hissing and whining so loud I couldn't think. It made me sick. I gained 10 pounds. I couldn't work. I gave up on living. I thought unthinkable thoughts. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I developed a loud low grade engine type humm. I talked to two doctors who both said the same thing, it's very common, there isn't a lot you can do about it, the best thing to do is try not to let it bother you. Crazy, I thought. Not let it bother me? Impossible.

      Holy cow was I wrong. So wrong! I have tinnitus. It sucks, but I've never been more productive, peaceful and dare I say, full of joy. Even with tinnitus, life is good, great even. I go to the places I would go before and I am still, and quiet and full of wonder. Would I get rid of my tinnitus if I could? Heck yes, but I'm not looking up cures on the internet everyday cause it's just not that big of a deal anymore. I wanted to come back to these forums one last time, to say goodbye to this struggle and because there were two comments I read here long ago that gave me hope and I promised myself I would do the same if I ever "got over" tinnitus. So here is how it went for me, I hope it gives someone somewhere some hope. Your life is not over, in fact a new chapter of it is beggining, the one where to you take this annoying as hell disorder and let it run so free and wild that it gets tired that it takes a seat in the back of your head somewhere. Okay here it goes.

      The first 2-3 months are hell. No way around it. It's so new you have to think about it, you will wreck your mind trying to find what makes it better or worse (which is probably all wishful thinking on both accounts). You will be annoyed, distracted, depressed and possibly psuedo-suicidal. Take heart friend, it gets better and remember mine is worse than yours :) Take walks, don't worry, don't think to much. Don't turn to food or whatever else your vice is, cause it's going to get better and you'll want to be your best when it does.

      Somewhere in the 3-5 month range you will start having what I call "milestone" days about once every month or two. A "milestone" day is when you do something normal and are not as effected by your tinnitus as you thought you'd be. They will be small things, "Hey, I actually thought about something other than my tinnitus in a meeting today." or "I went 30 seconds without thinking about my tinnitus". These "milestones" will help define a new "normal" or give you hope as to what's possible with tinnitus. You will still have bad days (maybe even days where you tinnitus freaks out and does some new weird thing), bad weeks and depression, but there will be this tiny little light telling you things are bad, but maybe not quite as bad as your thought.

      At 5-9 months, you will begin to develop a tinnitus routine. This can be anything but for me took the form of counting good days vs. bad days. The routines sole purpose is for you to "know what to expect" by categorizing and qualifying how much tinnitus is currently f'ing up your life. You will judge your tinnitus in the morning and take inventory of it at night. You will believe in your tinnitus schedule and become depressed and anxious when your tinnitus goes off schedule. Routines are a good stepping stone, but just between you and I, tinnitus doesn't like your routine and will likely not follow it with any predictable reliability. That's okay. Because "routining" your tinnitus is just a stepping stone to the next goal, "blurry days".

      At 9-12 months the difference between good days and bad days will still be there but the line will begin to blur. You will gave great bad tinnitus days and bad good tinnitus days. It's gets muddy and thats a good thing. You will have some days were your tinnitus is being a pain in the butt all day and you hardly cared, sure you knew it was there, but you very well may have had 30 minutes without noticing it, and even when you do "think about it" its more of a fleeting thought then the intense meditation it used to be. By this time you've probably said things to yourself or others like, "I don't care that I have tinnitus" or "I'm totally over this tinnitus thing" only to have a terrible day and think, "dang, why am I still bothered by this non-sense". Life is becoming a conversation about tinnitus instead of a reaction to it. This is a good thing, because, like all conversations, the one you are currently having about tinnitus will get boring and you'll want to start talking about other things. Things you used to talk about.

      At 12-16 months. This is where I currently am. I have had days I thought were impossible. My tinnitus has done things I never thought possible, both bad and good. I do care that I have tinnitus, it's just that it doesn't control my thoughts in the slightest. Sometimes, and I know this sounds weird, but it's sort of comforting. Like a friend you can always rely on to be unreliable. Do you wish your friend was reliable? Of course, but its kind of comforting to know that somethings are what they are. This forum post is the most I've thought about tinnitus is several months and remember I have it worse than you :) For me, even as bad as my tinnitus is, it has become like a bum knee. It's bothersome but not worrisome. It's irritating not devastating. It is part of me and me is not all that bad. Last year I forced myself to go to a Christmas tree farm with my family even though it was a "bad day". I cut down a tree and I hung lights and it was miserable. Absolutely miserable. I'd only had tinnitus for about 4 months at the time and I was in a bad place. A year later and I am absolutely me again, I am looking forward to Christmas and blessed to be able to look forward to anything again.

      Please take heart and take hope. There is quiet amongst the noise. A new kind of quiet? Maybe. But my thoughts run free, tinnitus has no hold, and best of all I'm me.

      I don't think I will return to this site after I hit the create thread button below. My journey is ongoing, but the interesting part is long over. Be well, it's gunna be okay.
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    2. brownbear

      brownbear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden sensorineural hearing loss ? cochlear hydrops
      I'm surprised that there haven't been more comments regarding this post which gives me much hope and inspiration. Thank you so much for posting this.
    3. John G

      John G Member

      Nice story..congrats

      I have fully accepted its there. The "mine is worse than yours" saying is a little out there though.
    4. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thank you @Boy Elroy going to bed now...will fall asleep on a happy note...
    5. ACG

      ACG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 10, 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      Wonderful post and your timeline seems pretty accurate for me. Thanks so much @Boy Elroy for the positive and honest post.
    6. SleeplessSoul

      SleeplessSoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2014
      Awesome details and timeline. Great
      Description of emotions that go along on this journey. So well written and things I thought about myself and my ups and downs are so similar.
      Good to know others have forward movement and setbacks.
      I know you left the forum after posting but thank you for taking the time to write this. Very well said.
    7. gobolts07

      gobolts07 Member

      Tampa Bay, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, concerts, etc
      I can basically 100% relate to this. I've had T for about 15 months and I have good days and bad days. Some good days I barely notice it and some good days it's there but I don't care. Some bad days, like today, it's in my face the second I wake up and I'm stressed all day. Strangely I can sleep well even when I have bad days but it will be very bothersome when I am at work without distractions.

      I try to remind myself that I have come a long way from where I was last fall and that helps keep me going forward. I couldn't eat or sleep and lost 10 pounds in a month. Some days still aren't a lot of fun when I get anxious. I haven't completely found inside me how to combat that anxiety and be more accepting, but I'm working on it. I've started seeing a psychologist to help me sort stuff out in general as well as ways to help manage the anxiety and stress.

      Great story and it gave me a little boost I needed today.
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    8. thomas hubbard

      thomas hubbard Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Seven years ago
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power tools,
      Great to hear you have adapted, thank you for sharing. Tom

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