Healing like a ChaChaCha
I always hope done day there would be a pill for tinnitus. I thought that just some day soon I would be able to just take some medication for a while and this devastating ringing in my ears would go away.
Now, nine years later it still hasn´t happened. Luckily, I don´t wait for it anymore. I am on my own healing path. One day I was just sure, what I had to do…what I need to do in order to feel better. I´m not hoping for a cure anymore, it would be my dream…..but I´m working on feeling better right now and not in the future.
Step by step I took on healthier habits, habits that helped me manage my life with tinnitus and that made me happier, fulfilled even.
This past year, was a year full of changes for me. No, not big changes – small ones and they might not even be recognizable for others. Those changes happened within me. I didn´t even see them at first, a friend who I hadn´t seen in a while said: “Wow, you look different and you seem so different – what did you do?”
I didn´t even know how to answer, when I looked into the mirror the same person as always looked back at me. But thinking about it, I realized that my state of mind had changed. And that was big…it was not a small change. I had and still have to acknowledge that.
So, what changed?
My outlook on life in general finally is more positive again. I don´t see everything and everyone as negative again and I don´t see myself and my situation as hopeless. And that is big. For the longest time after I got my tinnitus I did – I just floated through life without being an active participant in my life story. And the years passed by with me just watching my life and the lives of my friends, who build their lives.
When exactly I started to take action I can´t even say anymore, but I little by little I wanted to create my own life and not just the bystander, having to witness how my friends got promoted or did their masters, started families….the list is long. I realized that I wanted that too. I wasn´t ready to give up.
Soon I found myself reading inspirational, spiritual, motivational and self-help books. For a lot of messages I wasn´t ready yet, but they put me on the right track. Finding stories on the internet also helped, I read about so many people who had lost hope but found their way back into a normal life.
Soon I started to use audio books with inspirational messages, doing meditations and picking up my yoga practice again. And with every day I felt better.
Feeling better motivated me to do even more things and so I started to work out again, to eat healthier again and to do breathing exercises. I also added stretching and me-time to my routine.
The result was that I became more centered again. It is not that I´m totally centered now, it is a work in progress, but I feel like I´m becoming myself again. The tinnitus and the depression it brought with it had driven me away from being myself.
When you are not authentic, then you don´t feel well. Not living your true essence can make you sick, as you are not acting according your principles nor doing what you actually would like to do. You are pretending or putting on a mask, nobody can do that for ever. How could you be balanced if you are doing things you don´t stand for. You can only be truly yourself and be an authentic person if you act and even think according to your inner rules, to your inner standards and to your essence. And you will never be able to love yourself if you are not yourself.
This is what I understood from all the books I have read, from all the talks I went to and from all the workshops I took part in.
I’m sure my balance was totally out of wack…it is in not totally balance yet, but as closer I get as happier I am and as more I love myself.
How do I know that I´m more centered?
I can´t say, I just feel it.
So all that changed and I guess you can see it. Of course I still have way to go, and mostly I´m centered when I´m doing one of those things I listed above. It is a whole different story when I´m out and about. On the street or at work, I loose it still a lot and small situations still irritate me quickly.
My tinnitus still affects everything, even though it is a lot less than before.
So much about my process. But why did I say healing is like a ChaChaCha?
It wasn´t like climbing up the stairs, on day is good, maybe even two or a whole week goes according to plan or goes well. I don´t notice my tinnitus as much and I don´t find myself in situations that cause a flare up…but then, all seems to go down the drain due to a small incident. And all I want to do again is to lay in bed and cry, I wish again for my life to be over because I can´t stand this sound in my head, because I feel like this will never be over.
How or why does that happen?
To be honest, I just recently realized that I hate when things don´t go according to plan. I just can´t deal. If is my fault or some unpredictable situation that came up, or someone else crosses my plans – it doesn´t matter it throws off my whole day and my emotional state. On those days I used to curl up in a ball and stay in bed all day, if somehow possible.
And if you think that doesn´t happen anymore just because I found ways to manage my tinnitus then you are so wrong. I can manage my tinnitus on good days, but I still have bad days.
The good news is that those bad days are not as bad anymore or better said they don´t last as long anymore. I can pull myself out of that hole I fall into, before I couldn´t get myself out of the darkness.
So when you are on a healing journey it doesn’t mean that you will heal or feel better every day a little bit more until you are completely well. It is a process and there will be setbacks as well as relapses to old behaviors. Sometimes you will advance super quickly and fly high, but then the next day you will feel like you hit rock bottom again. That is ok, it is an on-going process, the important part is how you react to those setbacks.
Usually I saw them as prove that I would never heal or that it was not in the cards for me to be happy and to live a normal life again. I felt like I was being punished and thought about all the things I had done in my life that I felt ashamed of, that I regretted or that I just wished they would have never happened. And I honestly thought that I deserved to be punished and I wondered how long it would take to be even, to have paid my depths with karma and the universe.
So of course forgiving was a big part of my journey, forgiving myself and forgiving others. For every little thing, so I wouldn´t carry all that baggage with me all the time doing nothing but holding me back! And I´m not done yet, there still things coming up . . . and every time I try to accept my past and forgive to be able to move on. To move forward. To not feel like I need to pay for depts from the past.
What do I do now in order to get over a setback?
Just like in a dance, you need to move. You need to step forward again after stepping backwards.
And trust me I did not find it easy, I got so discouraged from relapses and from setbacks – I felt like I couldn´t get back to the same behavior than where I was before. But you can!
To overcome a bad situation or a relapse like that I just try to apply everything I have learned already. Use affirmations to affirm that I´m where I need to be and that I can heal or feel better. For example I use: “I am exactly where I need to be and I am safe.” “I am healing my mind and body at my own pace.” “I deserve a happy life and allow my body to go back to it´s natural healthy state.” “I allow myself to take the time I need.” “I am a good person and deserve good things happening to me.”
I also try to go back to my routine as soon as possible, to meditating and to the breathing exercises as that is what helps me to find to balance and centeredness. Often after a relapse I use more guided meditations as I normally do, it helps me to get back into the habit and helps me to be able to stick with it.
Not missing my workout is also an important part, even though I don´t feel like it I try to get myself to the gym every day. If I don´t go because I feel down, I force myself to go back as quickly as possible. It helps me to get that high after the workout and it truly influences my whole day for the better. It lifts my mood and stirs me towards positivity again.
The other thing a blue day brings with it for me is a bad diet. I eat everything that is bad for me or that I try to avoid. I have always been an emotional eater and it is so hard for me to not fall back into that old pattern. It actually depends on my mood, sometimes I just allow myself to indulge myself with forbidden-food, if I do that the important part about it is that I don´t make myself miserable about it later on. If I allowed myself to do that, then I did that. And even if I tried to not fall back into that pattern and I do, I work harder on not judging myself for it and not punishing myself for it than on avoiding it. BUT it is just like with the gym, I try to get back to my healthy eating plan as soon as possible. It also makes me feel better, my body is nourished in a better way and that affects everything. It affects my mood, my health, my energy level…just about everything can be stirred by food.
The most important thing is actually the state of mind, to acknoledge the setback and to not let yourself drag down by it. To accept it as a part of the healing journey and to continue with your plan.
I also give myself always the time I need for the next step, so if I need a setback before I´m ready more a few more steps forward in my healig journey – then I allow myself to take that time.