Here is a question from a community member, about tinnitus:
My tinnitus is very inconsistent, it varies in intensity and loudness, I take the no big deal approach but my question is, I wonder, will it ever completely leave my conscious mind, return to my auditory brain and quietly store away for eternity?
First of all, great job that you’re taking the no big deal approach. That is a really the core, the most important rock steady skill and tool to remove that emotional loading of your tinnitus. It’s totally normal that it’s inconsistent, that it comes and goes, that it changes intensity and loudness because all of that will change depending on what you’re doing, your circumstances, your situation, your mood, even what you’ve eaten or how much you’ve slept. There will be many biological factors that change the quality of the sounds we hear in our body.
The piece about your comment that I feel like is perhaps unhelpful for you, so I’ll bring it to your attention, is this ‘for eternity’ piece. What we see when people heal and recover from tinnitus using neuroplasticity, is that rather than the tinnitus sounds being locked in the front of their attention and their awareness, and them being present all the time, is that they learn to distract the brain and teach their brain to filter the tinnitus sounds out. And while technically the tinnitus sounds might still be firing in the background, it’s not in the awareness so they’re not hearing them — they’re not perceiving the sounds. And I think more and more moments of that will come to people who use these Rock Steady tools to resolve their tinnitus. But it doesn’t mean it will never, ever come back ever again.
So, this idea of eternity or needing rigid certainty that the tinnitus sounds won’t ever come back, it almost, to me, feels like saying, “Well, will I start my car one day and I just won’t hear the idle sound?” Well, when you start your car, there is sound. It’s like fighting reality. The body does make sound and it’s okay to hear that sound from time to time, but what we want is that hearing these body sounds is coming in and out of our awareness at a really healthy pace and that we’re not getting upset if it pops in, when of course it’s welcome and it’s normal. But we then want it to just as easily pop out again of our awareness. So, I think the overall answer to your question, I think, is yes, we can have a situation where it does leave our consciousness, it leaves our perception, it leaves our awareness, but it’s also okay if it comes back again. It doesn’t need to be for an eternity. It’s actually really healthy and normal to hear our body sounds from time to time.