Slipping Back

Discussion in 'Support' started by UKJon, Nov 19, 2016.

    1. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Firstly, I do not want to be castigated or vilified on here simply because I have mild tinnitus. Not everyone is sympathetic even though this is a support forum. Suffering is suffering. Fear is fear. Depression is depression.

      I feel I'm slipping back after 2 years with tinnitus. I don't know why because recently, I had some very good days when I hardly noticed any tinnitus and believed that I really was beginning to deal with this. It was receding into the background of my awareness more and more. All that was left was to sleep with no sound enrichment and I set about waiting for this final breakthrough to occur.

      It's been a while since I was on here. My tinnitus started after a long period of stress followed by losing my mother in Dec 2014.

      The tinnitus I have is only really of concern in the quiet especially at bedtime. I have a very good sound system which I use nightly and which has helped a lot. I have a therapist, an audiologist and I attend mindfulness sessions weekly. I have been struggling to come through breakdown now for 2 years and it has been hell. But tinnitus keeps me from being totally cured. It has become an obsession and a phobia.

      Full acceptance eludes me to this day and I recently seem to be more aware of tinnitus again even though I don't think it's worse. I have read one of Julian Cowan Hill's books which is excellent but I have been holding out hope that perhaps my tinnitus would one day go. Who doesn't? This thought has sustained me and I was prepared to wait. But I don't think this will happen now and acceptance is so hard however even though I still have times when I hear no tinnitus at all.

      I cannot understand why the changes in the brain caused by stress which lead to tinnitus in some people cannot be reversed with time, meditation, activity and the right circumstances. This is what I believed could happen. My hearing is also very sharp and I protect my ears from exposure to loud noise. In a few days, I'll be 54.

      However, there is still a part of me that won't let go even after all the hard work I've put in to get better. I still hope that one day I'll hear no tinnitus. I still test and monitor against the advice of my therapist. She has tinnitus at times herself and I agree with her that my reaction is the problem. It's the anxiety. But by continuing to focus on it, all I'm doing is keeping it in my awareness.

      So it looks like I must now try and accept that I'll always need some sound enrichment at night. This is what I have been fighting against all this time because I'm an obsessive. It means so much to me to be able to sleep with no other sounds in the room like I used to do. This has been my ultimate goal.

      You may ask why is it so important to sleep in silence again when the sound machine reduces anxiety and I always sleep well anyway. I don't know. But just hearing that low humming tinnitus from time to time reminds me of so much fear and recent suffering. It also tells me that it's still there, locked into my head and can come and go even after a good spell. The good spells are when I think I'm really habituating of course so the disappointment is great when I realise tinnitus has had the last word as usual.

      I also read stories about people whose tinnitus got worse for no apparent reason. This is especially frightening.

      So there we are. Two years and counting and I still don't have the tools to finish the job. I've had a lot of support from members on this forum in the past. Perhaps I just need a top up.

      Kind regards to you all.

    2. glynis

      glynis Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hi Jonathan .
      I totally understand and we all can have tinnitus at different strengths and sounds and can bug us or drive us up the wall as we all tolerate it differently.

      It would be nice if our sound went but if had it years like myself the odds of it going to happen are like winning the lottery.
      I'm glad to hear your having lots of support and mindfulness to help you and you have come a long way since your breakdown and need confidence in yourself you are going to be ok and not breakdown again over your sound or stressful times that may come.
      Stay strong and positive and sound therapy at night can be relaxing with or without tinnitus and you will know in time if need it still but I think helps keep tinnitus at bay as it feeds your brain with sound in quiet times when tinnitus can come back to the front again.....
      Lots of love glynis
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    3. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello Jonathan

      You seem to have great self awareness, I am not a therapist but it looks like the Tinnitus is the hook for your anxiety, the scapegoat..."the thing that...".

      In ocd for example, always based in reality (a mild hum) the event is encountered by disproportionate reaction to the danger (the danger being an intrusive tinnitus that interferes with everything, which yours isn't).

      If you have a good therapist, you will get better, the bad reaction to t may be your Achilles heal which occasionally flares up or trigger memories, but you will learn to dismiss your reaction to it over time to the point it will be a very small issue. The memories will be fainter too.

      I get the fear of the future, but be sensible with your ears and go out and live your life. Start a new hobby? You will gradually swap the bad memories with good experiences.

      T and the concept of having T randomly is annoying and causes us to search, ruminate on possibilities, want to get to the bottom of it...answering impossible questions (they shouldn't be but thanks to science limited progress they are) - I do that, that's why am on here. I am bothered by t during the day, wear a wng as I can hear it all the time and find it wears me down. It also varies so the wng keeps it stable.

      Keep on going down the therapy route, having sound enrichment etc., sounds like you're doing all the right things.

      Take care x
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi Jon,
      Sorry to hear that you feel that you are slipping back and I hope this is just temporary. If I may say so, try not to expect too much of yourself and tinnitus. I know this can take time but try to direct your thoughts onto other things that you like doing and this will help take away your focus from the tinnitus. If you can, continue using sound enrichment but at a "very low level" instead of setting the bar so high and sleeping in completely silent room. I advise you to look at the positive things in your life. First by focusing on what you are able to do knowing that you have tinnitus and not allowing negativity to take hold, by looking back to the days when you didn't have the condition.
      All the best
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    5. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      John, Myriam Westcott once told me that one of our biggest enemies was times and targets. Forget breakthroughs. Maybe treat sound enrichment as you would using a heater or aircon, setting the scene for comfortable sleep. Call it comfort, not therapy. Before I had tinnitus I used to run an aircon (tropical Australia) to sleep in the daytime (night shift). It was just part of setting up the space, and I soon didn't give any attention to the fact of blocking out external sound, even though that's why I started using it. It just made the room comfortable. Eventually you'll just forget to turn it on and won't know until morning. Two steps back is OK sometimes, just not ten.
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