Hi I've been hoping to find a tinnitus helpline but it turns out they only exist in the UK, because I desperately need someone to talk to right now. Basically I'm having an ear-ringing-increase attack right now after having to ride the bus 3 times back and forth between work and home because I left my keys at work, and something as simple as riding the bus once can make my ears ring a little louder when I get home. I'm miserably upset with myself for not waiting for a taxi and called my boyfriend crying, who is busy right now and couldn't say anything to make me feel better. I feel like my ears had calmed down a little over the past two weeks, but now I'm so upset with myself I just don't know what to do, and feel sad and angry and scared and hopeless, equally combined. I've had tinnitus to some degree for two years, the initial arrival after an awful show that my boyfriend did lighting (and sound) for that he afterwards said was about 170 db for 5 hours, when I didn't think to bring/wear earplugs because I'd never had tinnitus. It was dumb because he does lighting for this venue that I hate on principle because its an overproduced dance nightclub, and that was the only night I went. I wanted to go just once because I thought it'd be ironic, and he is great at lighting and wanted me to be there sometime. It was also the only night the sound levels were allowed to be so loud, and everyone there made a point about it. I, meanwhile, cried and felt ruined for at least a good month. The ringing levels at the time were barely what they became though. Especially in the last year its gotten worse and worse, and I only last month learned (from the third ENT in a month!) that the worsening ringing is in accordance the development of hyperacusis in both ears as well, as I and other people kept trying to tell me that things I was around weren't loud and can't make my tinnitus worse. I'm just so sad, as I've been trying to keep things at a quieter level around me at work and at home (I work in design/retail so I'm around people and music often, so just recently have gotten everyone to keep music at a low level for me and its okay with everyone, and that I can't use a hammer or electric staple gun, and I've felt happier for the first time in a year or so). Since the ringing has increased again I feel like a failure and like I don't know if they've reached another new high level, which is my biggest fear, because it always gets worse. I feel like I did after I rode a very loud engined airplane and couldn't stop crying during Christmas at my parents house for days, and had to drive the 10 hours home in a rental car after all. I am terrified that I've hurt my ears worse and can't concentrate on anything. I hate myself so badly when this happens. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how to look at it, I can't do things like cut myself or things like that because I'm too old and attentive to my looks now (oh, ha.) I also can't drink notable quantities of wine like I'd been doing a few months ago, because I'm such a naturally low-mooded person that after a few days I start to feel generally down, in addition to generally terrified of my ear noise. Also, I concluded that dehydration makes me notice the noise more acutely sometimes. I joined this message board just now because I need help. I've learned everything I can about tinnitus and hyperacusis and am trying so badly to help myself, and to maybe eventually get my ears to calm down and heal to some degree. I feel so sad and hopeless now though, and since the sound is proof of what I've done by trying to use public transportation again (I've cut back for the past two weeks, when I was starting to have hope for living with tinnitus/hyperacusis). I've saved $15 and lost my life.