Coping - life then and now

I was driving home last night from a dance I'd been invited to play at. Merrily cruising along on the highway, windows open, stereo on, and I got to thinking - what a different world now then compared to the way it was about six years ago.
Back then I wouldn't have driven around with the windows open. Back then I wouldn't have had the stereo on. Back then I wouldn't have been on the way home from playing banjo. Back then I had stopped playing banjo. Back then life sucked.
I had stopped one of my all-time favourite activities, playing music. The sound of the banjo was so piercing that it hurt my ears. Yup, hyperacusis (over sensitivity to sound) was an added bonus feature of my tinnitus. Oh, by the way, not everybody with tinnitus has, or will ever get this. I shelved the banjo and bought an electric guitar to fill-in the void, no amplifier, just the electric guitar. The sound volume was gentle to my ears and I even learned to play a tune or two. An electric guitar is nothing like a banjo though, there's one string too many, them strings are tuned all wrong and they don't even look round like real instruments. They just won't even play real music. OK, ok, so I'm milking it, no flame wars on this one, pleazzzzzzzzz!
Anyway, after a few months of struggling on this thing I gave up, uncased the banjo and gave that another try. Still loud, but doable. Doable nicely at about month nine or ten or so. Quite enjoyable after eleven months in fact. I put the guitar up for sale and when it sold I celebrated my own little private victory party. No one ever knew this was a big deal for me but I tell you, wasn't it ever.
Life resumed, normal life that is. I'm still not crazy about loud sounds but that's simply because I don't like them, not because they bother me cause they just don't. Not anymore that is.
I guess the moral of the story is that there is a tunnel and that at the end of it there really is a light. Someday, not too long from now, you'll be there too. Maybe things don't look that way right now but they will. Was I Superman to overcome all this? Naw, no way. Are you a whimp for still being back there? Absolutely not!
Travel the medical path to make sure all medical reasons are ruled out. If there are any, they might be fixable. If there aren't any keep focussing on common sense and allow mother nature to set things right for you, sooner or later she will. If you're in rough shape over it, don't be shy to talk to your family doc. Maybe they can prescribe something to help you take the bite off so you can "keep the lid on." No sense toughing it out on your own or to be a hero about it, plenty of goodies available in that department.
Sometime down the road I'd love to read your own blurps about it being and feeling better than you are now. Maybe some of the old salts on this newsgroup can chime in with their own success stories cause believe you me, there's plenty of them.
Here's hoping you'll soon be one of them,
Bart.

This article first appeared on the usenet (alt.support.tinnitus) July 2005

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