Living a normal life with tinnitus?
This seems to be on the mind of people getting tinnitus.
“Can I live a normal life with this annoying ear ringing?”
My first instinct would be to say yes . . . But wait, what is a normal life?
First we have to think about what a normal life is. And that is not easy. It brings up the old question, giving a meaning to the word normal. Not only to the word normal, but to the phrase ‘normal life’.
Going to school, then to College, finding a partner, building a house and then having kids and at the same time having an amazing job – is that a normal life?
Going to school, going to University and then landing a high-paid job – is that a normal life?
Being happy. Is that a normal life?
Doing everything to have fun. Is that a normal life?
Talking to people I get the sense that many define their life as normal when they do the same things over and over again. When they do the same things as their friends or members of their family. But does that mean it is a normal life?
Let´s just start by saying that normal is a subjective description for something. What is normal to me doesn´t have to be normal to anybody else.
Also, does normal mean that it is something we normally do or something that follows the norms others have set up?
For the longest time I have thought that normal meant doing the same things what I was doing before. Before my life got changed by tinnitus.
So what does count as normal?
For me, and again it is completely subjective, it meant that I just continued with my life as nothing had happened, but didn´t said life make me sick in the first place. Today I can say that I truly believe that, that the life I had back then is what made me sick. I mean “sick” as from the outside you could only see that I was depressed. . .
For me it was normal to eat and drink whatever I felt like.
It was normal to go out drinking and partying every weekend.
It was normal to hang out with my friends upper regularly.
It was normal to go to concerts.
My normal doesn´t have to be your normal, it often varies a lot from person to person.
So when my tinnitus went up to the point where it is now – it was really hard for me as I felt like I had to give up my whole life. Giving up who I was.
But let´s take a closer look!
Eating foods and / or drinking things that don´t make me feel good – that make me even feel worse or sicker . . . are not the kind of foods I want to take in. I might find those kind of foods to be delicious, but that doesn´t mean they are helping to me to feel better. So eating or drinking what ever I want isn´t really what I want to be my normal. This is what my tinnitus has taught me, so keep looking until I make the adjustments to what is good for me.
Now following a clean diet is what is normal to me. . . so we can change what we perceive as normal.
Read more about here what I changed in my diet and what in my opinion influences my tinnitus the most: https://thetinnituslife.com/2017/07/16/tinnitus-and-diet/
What about partying? Isn´t partying, especially at a young age something you have to participate in? For the longest time I felt like if I didn´t go out I felt like something was missing.
Over the last few years that changed. Music started to affect me, it affected me more and more so going out wasn´t fun anymore, not at all.
Well, it took me a while to find out that not every music affected me the same. For me it was especially music with high pitched tones, which you find especially at clubs that have electronic music on. As that isn´t the kind of music I really enjoy, well I finally decided that I would only go to places where I actually loved the music through and through – with hearing protection of course. I have tried many different ear plugs, there are some specifically made for musicians which you can use at concerts or for going out. When I use hearing protection going out can be fun again, but it has to be the right kind for each occasion.
Consequently I stopped going to places where I never felt so comfortable at and I just went because of friends or because I didn´t want to stay at home or because I felt like I would be missing out if I wouldn´t go. Now it seems like it has been personal growth or just a natural way of how things go when you are getting older.
Looking at it now I feel like it contributed to me showing up for myself and no matter what is going on around me doing what feels good for me and what is right for me.
Though I have to say that I do go out less, why then?
Through my tinnitus I have found other passions and things that I enjoy more than so cutting back on going out just came naturally for me and now I don´t miss it anymore. Not even a bit.
One thing I have to say is true, I don´t hang out with people all the time anymore. I used to want to hang out all the time. I man it, I hated being on my own. So I wanted to be around people all the time.
Then I felt really bad and it turned into the complete opposite – I didn´t want to see anybody anymore. All I did was staying at home, depressed and drowning myself in self-pity. It took me some time to find a way out of that hole…for that I had to dig deep and do some serious work on myself. I found a way back to think positive again, to accept myself, my current situation, to find out what I really want from life and to pursue that of course.
Following this work on myself I actually enjoyed spending time with myself and on my own. I really liked exploring myself and getting to know the purpose of my life as well as of life in general. I really started to enjoy keep working on myself and becoming a better person as well as widening my spiritual experience.
Not just that, now I love having a break from people just as much as hanging out with friends or family. So I´m trying to implement a balance between me-time, friends-time and family-time. And that actually feels really good.
When I do hang out with friends, then I always make sure that this happens at places that feel good to me. You know where you feel comfortable and what makes you feel good. Suggest where you want to go, invite friends to your house….just do what feels good. There is no point in agreeing to do something just because the others are doing it. And the most important thing is, it they are really good friends they won´t mind that you keep suggesting places to go to because they understand what you are going through.
And now let´s be clear – during the time I blamed my tinnitus for having a terrible life I actually had a terrible life. But I told myself over and over that I had an awful life.
It all depends on the point of few – when you feel like you have a normal life and like you are happy then this is what you will be. It depends on our perception of life and the thoughts you are imposing on it.
Once again it is all about your mind and thoughts, it depends on us what me make from it and what we do to feel better.
Read more about it here: https://thetinnituslife.com/2017/08/14/its-all-just-in-your-mind/
What is normal to you and what do you feel like you can´t do anymore?