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Posts: 105
Reply with quote  #1 
This will be year 3 for me facing the holidays as a person who can't stand the noise of being in a group, and I don't seem to be any more prepared for dealing with it than I was the last 2 times. All the people I know will be attending things where the volume would not be comfortable for me. I can go with noise canceling earplugs but what's the point when you can't converse? No friends are available to hang out. I know I can spend the day by myself and have done, but inevitably that feels sad to me even when I have prepared myself as much as I can.
Does anyone want to share what they do to cope with the holidays, or even share how it feels to them? 

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Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #2 
Hello anniekin, I have deep empathy for your situation, I myself am in much the same; the fourth holiday for me, as a matter of fact, I have not even seen or spoken to most of my family since last Christmas. I know the holiday season is supposed to be one of love, cheer and goodwill, still I know how hard it is to cope, to enjoy the lively festivities like we once used to. Our hearts are with you, and may our spirits feel close to our brothers and sisters, just like you.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Annie,
    I know erectly what you are talking about.  I experience the same issues.  I feel like I have two bad choices.  Either I can be alone or in an environment where I am uncomfortable because of the noise.  I think may times people think I just make up the problem because they think I'm anti social.  I will go to a Thanksgiving meal with my family in two weeks.  There will be a lot of people there and a football game will be on the TV with the volume loud.  I'll probably wear earplugs part of the time and try to find a quiet place if I can.  
   I don't have any good solutions for you (or me).  However I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.


Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #4 
I think a lot of folks even without H and T feel the same you do, on top of a busy life, this is a busy time with a lot of "enforced joy." I say be gentle with yourself and all you do is to be honest with others and take care of yourself during times like this, I'm sure once you've been honest, as you have, others will just have to understand. A LOT of folks are going through grief and many things and simply do not want to be with others. You'd have a lot of company when you say you'd like to simplify and keep things simple and quieter and would be setting a precedent. 
Jane Parks-McKay

Posts: 225
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Anniekin,

This is my fourth Christmas, and still the same!  I empathize with  you completely!  The holidays have changed for me as well!  There was much laughter, some music and lively conversation before my condition.  I am lucky that my grown children still come to the house for Christmas Eve dinner....but it's just not the same!  I am thankful though that they come.

I don't know what your symptoms are, but I have amplified hearing with tinnitus issues.  When exposed to environmental sounds, or certain music louder than background, I have kindling and reactive T as well.  This makes it very difficult to manage the T !

Explain to your family your situation.  I am pretty certain they would keep their voices, and any other sound at a comfortable level for you.  When  your ears have had enough, go to a quiet place and "rest" them.

Just know that you are not alone in your feelings.  People want to "connect" especially during this wonderful time of the year!   Anything that hinders this ability, leaves you feeling alone and isolated. 

Kathy Mccain


Posts: 105
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks everyone who replied with heartening and thoughtful comments about the holidays.

Reporting back on my Thanksgiving experience. My request to my in-laws was for them to try to keep their voices low for me just during when we were eating, so that I could eat without earplugs in. Some of them can do it, some of them are just completely unable to remember, and others seem unable to control or even perceive any variations in the volume of their own voices. So I got through about half of dinner and then had to resort to earplugs. So while I appreciate that they are willing to even try to do this for me, at times it is more frustrating to ask people for something and then watch them NOT do it in 500 different ways, no matter how many times you have asked. So far most people I know either can't do it or they can, and that hasn't changed. It is a pretty basic thing, habits of talking, and in some ways not a surprise that people can't modify it. Ditto being aware of others, or not. Ditto being able to focus or remember things.

Since one of my character flaws is impatience with people who lack awareness of their surroundings and can't focus or remember anything, this is challenging for me! What I have learned from trial and error is that it is easier for me to mostly NOT ask anything of people unless I have seen that they can actually do it pretty easily, otherwise it just becomes a chore to constantly remind them and worry about hurting their feelings if I have to shush them. Even my kind and sensitive yoga teacher can't remember to ask the class to put away their props etc without loud chatter at the end of class, something she said she would gladly do, but in actuality can't remember to do. So even the nicest people just can't remember what they say they will do. I guess is hard because our condition is invisible.

But now that I made it through Thanksgiving and was around people without getting too overwhelmed or aggravated, I feel less isolated, and right now I don't care as much whatever Xmas brings. I am doing lots of crafts and listening to music and enjoying the fact that since it is winter, I am not the only person kind of living at home most of the time. I think my sound sensitivity has improved slightly, I can deal with the sound of the bathtub filling up now, I am not using the Bose earbuds quite as much in short car trips and stores, but I am always on the edge of feeling worn down by the sound when I am out in public, and wary about unexpected loud sounds. Still this is an improvement from where I was 2 years ago.

I know from reading stories on this message board that it could be much worse, so I am aware of my blessings. I have not given up hope that I will keep progressing, I am pretty regular using my sound generators and having exposure to sound. I have never had a setback so I am not afraid of that. I just have to manage fear that I won't get better that crops up inside my head from time to time, and then I am pretty OK. 

fa la la la la,


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