My first 7 years with tinnitus

Hi,

I just found on my PC an old word document that I was going to post on this forum (or similar) in 2012.  I don't think I did ever post it, so I'll do it now below.  The main thing is that 7 years later I still have tinnitus but oddly enough I don't mind it all!  It's almost a friend of mine, if it went, I think I'd miss it and probably feel lost without it! 

My main message is that if you're in your first few weeks, months or years of having tinnitus, don't despair.  Even if it's just as loud in a few months or years, it gets much less annoying.  Now, 7 years later, for me the volume is probably same but I'll go for ages not noticing it.  And when I do think about it it's not really in a negative way and it's only a fleeting thought.  Of course, that's just me and everyone's different, but I hope my "story" helps someone...  My 2012 "post" is here, written one year after I discovered I had tinnitus.

I noticed my Tinnitus September 2011. At first it was really odd, something in my head was saying "metallic" to me! I hadn't associated a sound...then after sitting down and trying to figure out what this sensation was, it became a high pitched whistle.

I did the usual thing, doctors and ENT specialists, I even had an MRI…but nothing could be found.  So, that was that, and I had to get used to it.  And I have, most of the time.

It’s the same sound and volume as it was a year ago, but I don’t focus on it now so much.  When I do, I know that I’m making things worse, so I force myself into doing something else.  Though the desire to just sit and listen to it can be very strong.

At the beginning I read forums and I saw a lot of people panicking about their tinnitus, I did too.  I remember crying in front of a mirror, almost screaming, and then half expecting that would “fix” the tinnitus.  Of course it didn’t!

Over the months, although it’s always there, there are days when I don’t really think about it.  It registers, I think about something else and then it might register again a few hours later, I think about something else and then I may not notice it again until I’m in bed.   Of course, if I listen for it, it’s always there, it never gets any quieter really.  The trick is not fixate and to get on with other things.  Then it becomes less obtrusive.

Earlier on (for the first 6 to 8 months), forcing myself to think about something else was much more of a problem.  The tinnitus was still a “novelty” and I was hoping it would quieter or if I could work out what caused it then I might be able to fix it.  Now, I’ve given in and accepted it, as a result I’m not thinking about it so much, which means it’s getting better…although it’s still there as much as it always was!

For anyone who’s reading this and just developed tinnitus, don’t despair.  It really does get better but you do need time and some days will be way worse than others.  The thing is, it’s not the tinnitus that’s getting worse it’s just that you’re listening to it more. 

I still hope most mornings that it’s gone, and listen for it, but it’s not every morning.  Sometimes I really have switched off to it. 

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I'm not sure when I stopped thinking about it entirely, probably a few years later to be honest, but the negative feelings really stopped quite soon and that was an important step.  This year I've probably thought about it 3 or 4 times, if that.  And I wouldn't have done now if was wasn't tidying up my computer!

Anyway, hope this helps someone.

Best of luck!