Write about a noise — or even a silence — that won’t go away.
Thats an easy one – my tinnitus! Although I wouldn’t say it causes me anxiety because that just makes it worse. It just is what it is although at the start it caused me anxiety for sure.
It’s going crazy today – because I’m really tired I think but it’s always bad when I first get up – before the noisy day sounds begin and block it out or I start thinking about other things. It’s always bad when I go to bed as well because it’s quiet so that’s all I hear and then I start to think about it and then I go INSANE, which is why I usually sleep with the ceiling fan on; because it makes a constant noise. I know someone who has tinnitus who sleeps with a fish tank in the bedroom so the pump noise masks the crazy ear noise but I’m such a light sleeper I think that’d be too noisy for me.
When I was first diagnosed with it (about six years ago) I really did think it would eventually drive me insane, I didn’t see how anyone could live with it forever but after a while I became used to it and the trick is to not think about it and to keep other noise around you. If I can’t block it from my mind I just think of it as being a motor – like a fridge motor you can hear – I think of it as my brain motor just humming along. Another trick I read was to project the noise out of your head and imagine it as being somewhere else. I do that sometimes at night – I project it out of my head and into the laneway outside the window; as if it’s something happening out there. But that takes a bit of concentration and tends to make you fixate on the noise so I usually just go with – ignore it or accept it.
I’m currently doing an experiment to see if running makes it worse or not. I’m not sure yet but sometimes I think that constant pounding could exacerbate it but I haven’t read anything confirming or denying it.
Tinnitus comes in many different variations of sound and the only way I can describe mine is that its like cicada noise or summer night insect noises if that makes any sense. One time I found a page where you could listen to examples of some of the noises and ringings that different people hear and some of them are just awful, I don’t know how they live with it so I’m thankful that I just have a head full of crazy insects on a hot summer day.
Once my daughter told me that a girl in her class had spelled cicadas as sakatas which made me laugh because sakatas are biscuits and since then I’ve always imagined I have a head full of crazy screaming little biscuits trying to escape.