Doom (March - June 2007) PDF Print E-mail

After the terrible month of March 2007, when I found out that my father had cancer and within the same month watch him die of cancer, I didn’t think things could get any worse, but I was not prepared for what was about to happen. After the funeral I was left to clear out his flat and get a lot of his belongings (now mine) from there (Halifax) to Newcastle upon Tyne. He owned a large Rover, now mine, however I don’t drive. With my Dad’s friends sons we devise a plan, to get my the stuff back to Newcastle. They both drive, so we arranged for them to come to Newcastle for the weekend, one to drive up in his car, and his brother to drive up in my Dads car, both cars filled with all the stuff. Everything went according to plan and we had a fine boozy Friday, and raised a glass to my father. My friend also told me that it was his 35th birthday soon and that I should come out with them and some friends to Leeds to celebrate. I knew I had to visit my relatives from my fathers side of the family a few weeks later, and I was able to combine a visit to my Mum’s in Halifax, a night out in Leeds with the boys and then a trip from Halifax to Derby to visit relatives and then I could get the train back to Newcastle. This brings me the actual night in question that would change everything!!!

Leeds May 2007: we got the train from Halifax, booze japery, went to the pub, all was fine, I was of course still grieving deeply for my father, it was all so sudden, and all these things had happened which I wasn’t expecting so I was difficult to completely enjoy myself, but anyway…they arranged to go to a nightclub. This was to be first time in a nightclub for several years. I remember the bouncer saying something like “do you really want to go in there lads”, and we laughed. I dutifully paid my £5 and entered the rockpit from hell. To say the music was loud was understatement. I soon found out that it was pointless attempting to talk or even shout, so I gave up. I am a rock fan, but the music in there made me feel old I knew none of it but I am pretty sure that everybody I was with knew none of it either, it was that new Scandanavian death metal, and it sounded bloody awful, but more than anything ridiculously loud. After an hour of this they opened another room, the older clubbers flocked in there to get away from the noise and enjoy some slightly more standard rock music at a few slightly quieter volume but it still seemed unnecessarily loud, and communication was still next to impossible. This area and the chill out room upstairs was where we spent the next three hours drinking. Tinnitus eh! What the hell is that? I had heard of it but never experienced it, I was soon to find out. Just before leaving and drunk at this point, I spent roughly 15 minutes standing waiting for people, a couple of metres away from a large speaker pumping music out at a horrendous volume in the main room. Why did I not move away? This was simply because I was drunk, foolish and had no knowledge of hearing damage. We left the club at around 3am, and basically I couldn’t hear people speak, we were all like this, shouting at each in the taxi queue, just so that we could hear each other, I found it quite amusing at the time and in the taxi. I had experienced this before, of course because I had been many noisy nightclubs in the past, but I knew that this had been the loudest one yet. However I had never suffered anything other than temporary damage which always cleared up the next morning. Getting home around 4am I went straight to bed and fell asleep. The next morning my hearing was still very fuzzy, it had cleared up a little but I knew that it wasn’t right by far, and it was then that I started to worry. I went down the pub to see my Dad’s old mates later and to meet up with a hangover comrade with who I had spent the previous evening. He was also still complaining of not being able to hear properly, this relieved me a little. Someone said I should sue them.

That evening it was still bad, and the next day too, but I was too busy to worry about it properly. It deceived me too, I would wake up thinking, “oh good its got better” but as I became more conscious I would realise that this was certainly not the case. Then I really started to worry. I did a bit of research on the internet and diagnosed myself with tinnitus, but I still hoped it was to be temporary. For some reason I had the impression that I was generally temporary. I visited my relatives in Derby the next day and of course it was expected that my thoughts would be mainly my grieving for my Dad, I was but I was also in shock about this damage that I had done to my hearing.

Getting back to Newcastle is when it got serious. As I currently live on my own, and previously having enjoyed silence I now found out that I could not enjoy silence anymore. My despair got deeper when I found out that this problem could well be with me for life. I could not escape from the high pitched whistling, hissing, buzzing, you know the score. I also found out that sharp sounds disturbed me, this had never happened before. I found telephone conversations very difficult, some peoples voices would hurt me. The simple clatter of crockery was now something I had to try and avoid hearing, because there was a very unpleasant pulsing sensation whenever that happened. This of course is very impractical, so I took to wearing ear plugs whilst simply washing up!!! My girlfriend was a great support at the time, but this was bad, it was terrible, what the f**k had I done! I had ruined my life!!!

My mother kept telling me to go to the GP, I knew it was futile but I decided to go. he was wearing a hearing aid, and told me that he had got tinnitus too, from shooting guns a few years back. He said I was stuck with it, and that was that.

Just before my Dad passed away he repeated several times to me “It will be alright, son”. I sat on my bed remembering this, and I thought that it certainly wasn’t going to be alright, not if I stay like this, and I can’t find a way out. I felt like I had ruined everything and that I had let him down and that there was no way out. Was this it for the rest of my life. I understood why people took their lives, it was like dragging a ball and chain.