Coping - a little faith

Last year someone came out to a few of our support group meetings and was quite panicky and stressed out at the time. It was an enormous pleasure to read the email she sent me yesterday (2003) and I'm sure she wouldn't have any objection if I'd share a small paragraph: "I wonder if you remember my name! No matter. I was walking here last evening - here being ..... Island where I've retired - and was telling a woman about the belief you had in yourself over the power of tinnitus."

Tinnitus no longer rules her life and she's having a grand ol' time. The "power" she refered to? Nothing magical at all, just a plain and simple "someday it's bound to get better." But, with the added "just don't try and define 'someday' else you'll set yourself up for big time disappointments."

Too simple? This might help you out: while cleaning up my office tonight I came across a scrap of paper, I'd written down a quote I heard somewhile ago in a movie (Love is a many splendoured thing) on tv: "if we didn't believe the unbelievable, what would happen to faith?" It doesn't have to be the earth shattering divinely inspired type of faith, although religious faith can be enormously comforting - I'm talking about the no-frill every-day type of faith, the kind of faith you have that the coffee machine will still work this afternoon, or that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, or that the roof will still be on your house an hour from now. That's the simple and take-it-for-granted kind of faith I'm talking about. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of that, faith.

It happened for this lady. It happened for many others, including myself. Someday tinnitus will loose it's importance in your life, someday it will, that's simply all there's to it. For some of you right now, this very minute, it might take a fair bit of faith. Might even take quite a leap of faith, but that day will come sooner or later. Just don't go trying to quantify "sooner" or "later." When that day comes for you though, sadly or happily, you probably will not even notice it. You see, getting over tinnitus usually is a process, not an event. Getting over it, and finally realizing that you did get over it, probably will get you the biggest smile you've been able to crack for some time. Kinda like when I broke my foot a few years ago. Hopping along on my crutches and one day finding myself standing on top of the staircase holding on for dear life to the railing, totally panicked because, "where the eff are my crutches?" Sure enough, I could see them down the hall, downstairs. So, uh, how'd I get up here..? And then the penny droppeth and THE smile came.

In the mean time, you might have some more traveling to do. Along the path of getting over tinnitus that is. Some of the traveling will be along a rough road, but some of it will be smooth sailing. While trekking along though, don't bite the hand of those trying to help, especially those able, capable and willing. Seek help and solutions for imediate problems like not sleeping, anxiety, depression etc. In our case these things are the "pennies" the old folks had a great saying for: "if you look after the pennies (=your immediate problems), the dollars (= your tinnitus) will look after themselves." Make sure you always remind yourself that and here's the all-time biggie:

TINNITUS CANNOT HARM YOU!!!

Recite it as a mantra if you need/want: tinnitus cannot harm me. What's that again? Tinnitus cannot harm me! Here's another gem: NOBODY can guarantee you'll have tinnitus for the rest of your life!

Sometimes all it does take is a bit of faith and of course, hugs go a long ways too so here's one for "all y'all!" or "olla yooze eh!"

P.S. if you found yourself smiling at any of these ramblings, guess what: it truly and simply means you're well on the way to getting over it...

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This article was first published in June 2003 on the alt.support.tinnitus newsgroup on the internet

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