Hi Dr. Nagler.
Hope you enjoyed the holidays. I wanted to express my thanks to you for providing this wonderful forum. I also would like to offer a word of encouragement to others who may be suffering with tinnitus now.
I've had tinnitus since Thanksgiving 2016. But, I no longer suffer from it. In fact, most times, I no longer notice it.
In the beginning, it was life changing. I thought my life was ruined. My wife and my friends all noticed. I was miserable every waking minute. It affected every aspect of my life. I felt like I had lost everything.
But thanks to you, and to Dr. Rohe (whom I know is a friend of yours), I'm actually better than ever. In some ways I actually now see tinnitus as a blessing...one I wish I didn't have...but a blessing none the less.
How did I get here? It's a long road. And, I imagine there are many paths. For me, it was first acceptance. And, then letting go. That sounds odd, I understand. But, you really have to just put less mental and emotional energy into the tinnitus. Stop feeding it. Make it unimportant and enjoy your life. Your emotions will either feed or starve it. It's your choice. You hold the keys.
I absolutely did not believe this at first. I thought all this talk was bunk. It's not. As I sit here now, the noise in my head is less loud than the refrigerator in the kitchen. I can hear it, but it has no effect on me whatsoever. I simple don't care. In fact, I'm only hearing it b/c I'm listening for it.
Six months ago, the sound would've consumed me and I would've been a miserable, anxious wreck. Today, it is so innocuous I wonder if I've not had it all along and just forgot to notice until two years ago. The important thing I hope people realize is that the "sound" has not changed. I have. My reaction to it has.
I wish you all peace. Please get help. The CBT book and essays Dr. Nagler has offered are excellent first steps, but I strongly encourage you to get professional guidance too. Whatever you do, trust me...it gets better. Little by little until one day you just forget all about it.
I hope this helps someone.