Anxiety will run away with your reason if you let it…
Sometimes the best idea is to take a deep breath and return to the present moment (the only thing – let’s be totally clear – that we the power to do anything about.)
The extent to which a person might be pushed as a result of misophonia is not to be taken lightly – we’re talking to the absolute precipice of “The Verge.” As we speak – oh, the irony! – someone is tapping above my apartment, and I feel this murderous rage coming over me like an insatiable wave.
No, I’m not kidding.
I’ve popped in my trusty 44 decibel earplugs (thanks to my amazing husband), and turned up the soothing “Get High” by the beloved Rob Zombie. “I’ve been stepping on the devil’s tail. . .” Uh, NO. But so someone is seriously stepping on mine right now!
Anyway, misophonia was recognized more recently as a *air quote* condition *end air quote* (oh boy, thrilled to have one of those!) But I can remember struggling with sound sensitivity for…well, as long as I can remember. This article suggests that those of us with misophonia have had bad experiences in life and somehow our wires got rerouted straight to the anger-zone as a result. Hmm. True on the experience part, but most people have SOME baggage by adulthood. Human beings, hello? That thing called life, psycho bosses, and bad exes?
There is some tie, per the above, to the emotional circuit boards when “trigger” noises are heard – on the one hand, I like that my anger can be explained by a trigger prodding my emotional headquarters with a hot poker. I *kind of* feel redeemed. But I also feel like there’s suggestion of emotional instability. Of course that depends on whether we are we speaking about when the noises are occurring or the overarching picture (minus the noises.) Thanks-a-lot, anterior insular cortex.
According to other sources, such as this one, there are indeed biological cerebral differences in those with misophonia, and those without. You better believe my frontal lobe and anterior insular cortex would be doing some kind of Martial Art should it be subjected to an MRI while simultaneously being exposed to chewing, breathing, tapping, or other noxiously incessant sounds. My brain vs. Floyd Mayweather? Man’s lucky he’s already famous.
Yet other science folk say that it’s okay for me to “blame my brain.” That’s nice. . .have a scapegoat at the ready. . . But I feel a little disloyal tossing my gorgeously grey matter (how gloomy and gothic!) under the bus.
“Yes, my elegant encephalous…under the wheels you go! . . .Aaannnd the wheels of the bus go round and roundddd…!!”
On top of what’s already ailing, the same article claims that there’s extra activity occurring in:
Geezuz, for someone who hates parties, what the hell?! (Maybe they’re doing extra workouts? That might make some sense…) But then there’s the whole I-love-heavy-metal thing – I’m not sure I’m able to reconcile the discrepancy save to say that metal sounds uh-mazing. Chewing, scratching, neighbor’s-baby-crying? Doesn’t.
I’m glad at least there’s a community of us Misophonians (yes, I made the word up) with whom I can commiserate. I liked 10 Things Someone With Mispohonia Wants You To Know for exactly such support. The fact that someone made this image (below) also gives me some comfort. . .(it shouldn’t give anyone ELSE any though, since I punch things for fun.)
There isn’t a cure for this sensory sensitivity but I guess in a strange way I’m thankful (maybe not WHEN the chewing or tapping is going on. . .but after!)
I recently was observing a three year-old boy with autism for a graduate class that I’m taking. I noticed his propensity for reaching towards his ears and asked the teacher whether he had headphones or earplugs, as I wondered whether the crying (which he exhibited about 75% of the time or more) might calm a bit. Well…yesterday I heard from a classmate that the teacher tried headphones, and the child is crying FAR less. What a joy to hear that news! ❤
As much as I want to seek-and-destroy the things that make my ears scream like banshees…the idea that I might have helped one person as a result is amazing.
I’d also like to – very loudly – note that my husband is a trooper through it all. He is always incredibly conscientious because he knows how painful this truly can be at times (and that it really ISN’T my…or my brain’s…desire to be that way!) Support is key (so long as it’s silent.) 😉 *LOL*
The Awkward Yeti nails it again.
Funny as presented here, but also a terrifying, confusing, and incredibly frustrating response to have! In the midst of stress and conflict, this is sometimes reality for empaths, INFJs, introverts and many people with a traumatic past.
What I love about Doug is that he has a sense of overwhelming positivity – he manages to infuse so much of his content with the passion to learn, to grow, to challenge oneself…and to look for what’s good (in our training, in life…everywhere.) Even when having to present flaws in someone’s design on the aforementioned show, he finds a way to frame the criticism so the contestant learns, but doesn’t feel totally horrendous about their work. I’ve found that approach with coaches to make ALL the difference in Martial Arts (frankly, in school or work just as much.)
I really enjoyed this “Morning Coffee” post today (today is St. Patty’s, March 17th, but I may schedule this for later! That’s the date if you want check it out, though!)
Life is definitely NOT peaches and cream all the time – it can get rough and tumble, and there are days where you feel like not only losing it, but throwing in the towel altogether. DON’T LOSE HEART.
I’ve learned a little bit about how painful experiences can be stored in the body, how the brain can then tell your physiology that it’s being directly assaulted, and why that “feeling” registers as “this is going to last forever.” Which, despite the very real visceral reactions, it isn’t.
People say “time heals” – when you are in the throes of the difficulty (whatever that may be – illness, work, relationship etc…) that’s often the last thing you want to hear.
BUT…to Doug’s point, making an effort to see the best in everything CAN make a marked difference. What isn’t mentioned here is the science behind what the brain does in response to the change in attitude and perspective – it’s pretty remarkable and, in its own way, real life “magic.”
Challenge yourself to change your attitude about what’s dragging you down – even if the problem is still there, and might be for some time, the “seeing the good” approach will give YOU – your mind AND body – a break from the (again, very real) effects of doldrums city.
LOVED Doug’s post and hope it brings a little positivity to YOUR day too!