Yesterday was a bad day for noise exposure and I’m still feeling its impact today – in higher tinnitus and grinding of teeth. The silver lining is that the social event I was dreading went way better than expected, but I did suffer more than usual at the cafe later.
We had a party at friends’ house. 4 families, one sleepy dogs, and some young kids. It was noisy at times. However, I don’t remember being irritated or hurting from noise most of the time. Even when I was with the kids in their room, or when one of them was playing the piano (for me, and really well!), and another trying his hand on drums (badly). I was happy, and a bit drunk. I guess the alcohol dulled my senses, and happiness kept the anxiety levels low despite the noise.
Later I walked to town for my Sunday evening coffee and reading break. The cafe (Nero) had more people than a usual Sunday evening. I found a comfortable seat but with noisy tables around – chatty teenager girls, and louder-than-usual talkative couples. I tried using my earphones, without anything playing, to reduce the sound. It didn’t help. After a while, I was able to ignore the noise and continue with the reading. But I think the noise stress accumulated below the surface. I was stressed out for rest of the evening.
Finally, before sleeping, I was reading (and wildly nodding my head to) this article about noise in restaurants and cafes. The pain from the noise in the cafe, combined with recurring visual (and aural) memories of several such experiences came rushing back. I got a headache, and the ears started hurting again. I could feel, and not stop much, my teeth grinding and anxiety flooding in.
I had to take a paracetamol (for headache), and use a Calm sleep story (Shipping forecast) to help me sleep. They worked.
I have been awake for an hour, trying to work. The tinnitus is louder than usual. The room is awfully quiet too, as expected at 6:30 AM, so that may be a factor. I’m still occasionally grinding my teeth, and stopping myself when I notice myself doing it. Anxiety levels are a bit higher than usual, but better than last night.
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