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Diary - Stopped Singing for 12 Months

Sooo.. I stopped singing and doing exercises for 12 months. Work just consumed my life and I also got into a car accident that gave me, what I think is, permanent tinnitus. Tinnitus completely changed my relationship with music as I live in fear of making it worse - which music in excess can do. This made me stop singing. For a period of several months, I started to feel extremely sad. I couldn't put my finger on why. I realized that I stopped doing the things that I love to do outside of work - music.

Anyways, I am back and spent the past week doing workouts. Here's how it went:

- It turns out that my chest voice is largely in tact despite the long break. My higher falsetto is also in tact.

- I did notice that something felt off. I mechanically knew how to sing still - support, ribcage expansion, etc. - however I felt quite restricted. It turns out that my passagio is completely wrecked. My lower falsetto is also completely inaccessible - hoarse from not being used. Upon further reflection, I made another connection. I have been (accidentally) using mix voice sometimes in my speaking voice for much of my life. I have always used mix voice when I sang - trained and untrained. While I stopped doing workouts in the past 12 months, I also changed my speaking voice to sound more masculine in my current job. The result of which probably made this section of my voice so weak.

I think after a bit of focus on my passagio and lower falsetto, I will be semi back to normal after all this time. I did Ken's mixed voice workout today in effort to repair those sections and felt quite good afterwards.

Happy to be back :)

Comments

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,176
    edited December 2019
    hi Danny, welcome back, sorry to hear about the accident, and forced singing break!

    I have researched tinnitus for my final paper i wrote back in the day for sound engineering school, maybe science changed in the past 16 years but I remember that back then, hardly anything was known about it (causes, treatment, etc), so it can also not really be predicted when and why and if it stops at some point. it's maybe easier said than done, but you should try not to see it as permanent. because there is a psychological component to it as well. if you are stressed, it might get worse, and if you stress out because you think it is permanent, guess what might happen? you might manifest it into being more persistent. how i said, while it's easy for me to say that, it is maybe not so easy to implement. what i know is that anything that reduces stress is good. also, good nutrition and light exercise will be beneficial. do you have someone (doctor) taking care of the treatment?

    i hope that you can have fun making music again. great that you are back!
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,852
    Hi @reallydanny,

    very good to have you back again, mate. Hopefully you will recover fully from your Tinnitus. Contrary to what ENT colleagues often say I made the experience that Tinnitus can be cured.

    Since you know all the mechanics your voice will be back very soon.

    Doc
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,601
    Man, car crashes are scary! I've been involved in one that wasn't too bad, I feel for you! I actually have mild tinnitus but I don't let it stop me, it comes and goes, reading about yours actually makes me notice it more so I think there is a psychological aspect to it.
  • reallydannyreallydanny 2.0 PRO Posts: 32
    edited December 2019
    Klaus_T said:

    hi Danny, welcome back, sorry to hear about the accident, and forced singing break!

    I have researched tinnitus for my final paper i wrote back in the day for sound engineering school, maybe science changed in the past 16 years but I remember that back then, hardly anything was known about it (causes, treatment, etc), so it can also not really be predicted when and why and if it stops at some point. it's maybe easier said than done, but you should try not to see it as permanent. because there is a psychological component to it as well. if you are stressed, it might get worse, and if you stress out because you think it is permanent, guess what might happen? you might manifest it into being more persistent. how i said, while it's easy for me to say that, it is maybe not so easy to implement. what i know is that anything that reduces stress is good. also, good nutrition and light exercise will be beneficial. do you have someone (doctor) taking care of the treatment?

    i hope that you can have fun making music again. great that you are back!

    What a coincidence. It's cool that you did that paper 16 years ago when nothing was really known scientifically at the time. I hear you on the "try not to think of it as permanent" thing. I think there is a psychological component to this too.

    I must confess that this drove me nearly insane in my first two months of having it. It's weird in that normal people decompress in silence and when their mind is at ease. I find that when I relax completely, all I have done is strip away the mental barriers I have formed to try to block out the tinnitus - which makes the tinnitus even more prominent.

    The idea that thinking of this as permanent may cause a self-fulling prophecy resonates with me. I find that even seeing the word "tinnitus" makes it more prominent. As does acknowledging the sounds that I hear day after day. The ultimate strategy is to pretend that it doesn't exist and attempt to go about my day normally. It's fucking hard though. It's the most difficult, mental thing I have ever experienced in my life.

    From what I gather, not much progress has been made on this still since your paper. I went to an ENT who simply put one of those things in my ear to look inside and simply said - "Nothing seems structurally off, you'll be fine" - and sent me on my way. I went to another more experienced ENT who said that the medical field still knows nothing about this and I will simply have to live with it. I had a physical this month with my primary care doctor who also told me the same.
  • reallydannyreallydanny 2.0 PRO Posts: 32
    edited December 2019

    Hi @reallydanny,

    Hopefully you will recover fully from your Tinnitus. Contrary to what ENT colleagues often say I made the experience that Tinnitus can be cured.

    Since you know all the mechanics your voice will be back very soon.

    Doc


    Thanks Doc. Great to hear from you. Indeed, my various doctors told me that I likely will have to live with it. You have personal experience with tinnitus being cured?
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,176
    @reallydanny now actually some stuff came back to my memory from reading your latest post (unfortunately I can't find a copy of the paper): one thing to help relax your mind was to play some ambient noises (rain/beach/forest you name it) softly in the background to mask the tinnitus, thus easing your mind and helping you break the cycle. like when relaxing, working (where applicable), going to sleep. you can find these things on youtube nowadays, back then they sold CDs or even designated players that had the stuff stored on them. i will dig deeper in my memory and hopefully remember more from this paper.

    I am not sure if you are familiar with the law of attraction, which is maybe a bit to vast a field to discuss here (although I am happy to give you some hints towards interesting material about it), but it really resonates with me and would also be an explanation for the effect you describe, where labelling something as a permanent disease only then MAKES it permanent where it wouldn't need to be.

    it's a medical fact that with the closely related issue of sudden hearing loss, you need to avoid stress at all cost (also because it can actually be caused by stress alone, I "lost" a band member earlier this year because he had enough stress at work to trigger it). so the stress factor is very real, I would be surprised if it would be much different for tinnitus
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