The house fire that is tinnitus

What would you do if your house burned down?

Experiencing tinnitus can seem like your house has been set on fire and razed to the ground. All that’s left of your life as you knew it is smoking embers and damp ash. It can feel – and look – like devastation.

You’ll know, if you’ve read my recent blog, that when this happens it’s really important to give ourselves time and opportunity to grieve. We need to allow all of those challenging emotions to come through and have their space – whether that’s fury, blame, guilt, helplessness, frustration, or any of the many other feelings that arise when we realise that the situation in which we find ourselves is not going to change any time soon.

And after that?

We rebuild. We rebuild our house and our lives.

Now, we could simply wait for someone to come along and rebuild our house for us.

And wait…

And wait…

Because, sadly, that simply isn’t going to happen.

Just as there are no magic house-building pixies who are going to rock up and put a roof over our head, there is currently no magic tablet that will cure us of tinnitus. Instead, it’s down to us to engage a builder and ask them to help us to rebuild our home/life.

So, here’s an interesting question: would you rebuild your home exactly as it is? I know I wouldn’t. Unless you have recently remodelled your house, it’s likely that your home isn’t exactly as you would like. There may be some elements that have niggled at you for ages, and you’d really like to change if you had the time and money.

This is where an opportunity presents itself. This is where life gets really interesting.

What if you could make those changes you’ve thought about, but never quite had the money or motivation to achieve? Assuming, of course that you had insurance cover for the fire, you might choose to create that big family kitchen you have longed for or add a much-needed bedroom in the loft space. You might do something radical and create a smaller footprint for your house so you can have the outside space you’ve always wanted. More radically still, you might sell the now empty plot to a developer and move lock, stock, and barrel to another part of the country, or even another country. Wow!

Before I lost my hearing in my right ear and got tinnitus in its place, there were a lot of things in my life that could change for the better. The adjustments that my tinnitus encouraged me to make in my life (such as managing my 24/7 stress) were adjustments I had needed to make for a long time. But work and life were busy, and I’d procrastinated and procrastinated. The house fire of tinnitus helped me to pause and look at my life with fresh eyes. It gave me the opportunity to rebuild my home/life and include those changes I had been wanting to make for years.

So, to return to the question I asked at the start of this newsletter: what would you do if your house burned down?

What much-needed change is your tinnitus encouraging you to make?

How can you use this challenge as an opportunity to rebuild your life in a way that suits you better?

Let me know in the comments.