A year ago I was incapable of imagining a future where I could be happy. The mere idea that I could be happier than I have ever been was so far off the radar that that idea didn’t even know what a radar was. But here I am. Teaching idea about radars, and with a capacity for happiness that I have never known.
I still have tinnitus and hyperacusis, though it isn’t as severe as it was initially. That counts for a lot. Having dived deep into the community of people who are afflicted with these issues, I believe that the severity of the symptoms can directly correlate with the quality of your life.
I can’t overstate that my recovery from this crisis was the result of the work I put into it and the support I received. There were so many people, modalities, and events which contributed to my recovery. The love I got from my family and friends was what propped me up.
Discovering that I could still work on my music was a pivotal point for me. I believed for a while I had to leave that part of me behind. I probably would have eventually grieved sufficiently and moved on, but it would have taken a lot longer.
I’m not physically strong. For the first time in my life I do perceive myself as weak. I’m learning how to show up powerfully. After putting so much work tearing down the barriers that separated myself from my emotions, I’ve discovered that life is so much richer. It’s not always happy and easy, but it is intense and fulfilling.
Through The Men’s Circle I discovered that connecting deeply with people, being authentic, vulnerable, and opening deeply nourishes me. It was missing in my life, and I didn’t know it. These skills need to be modeled and practiced over and over again to develop fully. I’m improving at respecting my limitations and undesirable reflexive behaviors. I was also lonely, and now I am not. I feel seen. I’m so lucky to have found this support structure, along with my amazing coach, Adam Coutts. I’m also extremely grateful to have a partner in life who supports me in these investments.
Due to this personal growth, I’ve started showing up differently for other people. And to be honest, some people don’t enjoy it. It’s a new muscle I’ve started to develop, and I need to learn when it is appropriate to flex it. On the other hand, when it is well received, the richness of these experiences fills me up.
I still find myself getting angry or depressed about tinnitus and hyperacusis. What I’ve learned is that the healthiest thing to do is to feel into in those painful emotions instead of reflexively pivoting away from them.
There are still limitations and sacrifices in my life due to my hearing issues and physical pain. It sucks that I have to wear earplugs or a headset in most situations outside of my house. I unlocked something critically important about my life though, and I doubt I would have gotten there had I not been through this crisis.
If nothing else I want to be an example of someone who was transformed for the better from getting tinnitus and hyperacusis. I’m shocked as anyone else, but there it is. I know what it is to feel broken. I know what its like to simply have to put one foot in front of the other, because people depend on me. A little hope during my descent into darkness would have been very welcome.