Andrea - Founding MisoMatch amidst Pandemic Challenges

S4 E16 - 6/16/2021
In this episode, Adeel converses with Andrea, Founder of MisoMatch—a platform aiming to connect individuals suffering from misophonia and to provide them with valuable resources. The discussion delves into Andrea's personal journey with misophonia, highlighting the challenges she faced, especially during the COVID-19 quarantine when her work-from-home arrangement was disrupted, leading to a heightened level of misophonic triggers due to the loss of a quiet work environment. Andrea shared how working in patent information initially subjected her to noisy environments which exacerbated her misophonia, but she managed to carve out a quieter workspace over time, only for COVID-19 to bring new challenges. Furthermore, Andrea discusses the inspiration behind MisoMatch, envisaging it as a community-centric platform where misophonia sufferers can share coping strategies, product recommendations, and personal experiences. The episode closes on the topics of self-care and the importance of community contributions to MisoMatch, with Andrea encouraging contributions from those outside the misophonia community as well, such as spouses and professionals.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is episode 16 of season 4. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week, I talked to Andrea. Andrea is the founder of, a platform for helping Misophones connect and find resources to help them deal with Misophonia. But there's a lot more to Andrea than Miso Match. We get deep into her history of dealing with miso amongst family and friends, particularly in the last year when quarantines forced her to lose her alone time at home where she could focus on work. We talk about the inspiration for Miso Match, what she hopes it will become for our community, plus another hot topic in our community, which is how to discuss it with our kids. You can find a direct link to Misomatch in the show notes, but it's just Misomatch, M-I-S-O-M-A-T-C-H dot com. And it isn't hard to find on social media either. Don't forget to follow the show on our social media at Misophonia Podcast on Instagram and Facebook, Misophonia Show on Twitter. Also, you'll help us reach more people if you leave a quick rating or review wherever you're listening to the show. All right, now here's my conversation with Andrea. Andrea, welcome to the podcast. It's good to finally talk to you here.

Misomatch [1:25]: Thank you, Adeel. It's very exciting to be on.

Adeel [1:27]: Yeah, so you mentioned earlier that you've heard a bunch of podcasts. I'd like to just kind of get a sense of where people are located.

Misomatch [1:36]: Yeah, I'm currently in San Diego, California. It's sunny outside, like it usually is.

Adeel [1:43]: Yeah. Excellent. And yeah, then kind of what you, you know, curious what you do. I know we'll talk about miso match in a little bit, but is that kind of your main gig or are you doing other things too?

Misomatch [1:57]: Oh, no, yeah, me so much. A little side project. But I have been in the patent information industry for 20-some years. So it has a lot of names, patent information, patent analysts, patents, searchers. So I take patent information and help inventors and companies and surgeons figure out whether their ideas are worth pursuing, whether somebody else has patented them before and what are the risks from an intellectual property perspective of them going forward.

Adeel [2:39]: Gotcha. Okay. And so that seems like the kind of work that's probably you can kind of do in pretty much isolation, right? Just kind of like doing some research online. Are you in a big office usually before COVID times or are you generally working independently?

Misomatch [2:58]: So it's funny, it used to not be. So before all this information was available online, The way I started it was in a almost like a library setting where the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. had a library and you would go in there and you would take these stacks of paper patents and flip through them. So from a Misophonia perspective, it was quite challenging because it was it was an open space and a lot of the people who have done this have been there for decades and were, I mean, there's an article in the Washington Post about that environment. They would smoke, they would talk, they would cut their nails in there, talk on the phone, all kinds of things. So, It was a little hard. It then transitioned to computer use, but also in a library kind of environment. And I was one of a few people who would really drive the whole, this is a library, we have to be quiet campaign. So that was kind of hard. And then I worked in-house for a big medical device company and did not have my own office. It was open concept, cubicle, and as the years went by, it was actually harder and harder for me to be at work. And I would use as much as I could earphones, but the sounds would sort of penetrate. And I was near a printer where the entire department would come and print things near a door that people would have to scan their cards to go in and out. And it would beep every time. But eventually, I started my own. So I now have my own consulting business and I work from home, which was great before COVID because I was home alone. And with COVID, that changed. aloneness and quietness disappeared and has brought misophonia to a whole other level for me.

Adeel [5:22]: Yeah, I think it has for a lot. I think it definitely initially, it seemed like, oh, great, one set of triggers will go away. But then after a while, there's another set that just becomes exhausting or maybe new triggers that you find. Did you find that?

Misomatch [5:39]: Absolutely, a whole range of new triggers. It was pretty manageable before COVID and before quarantine. And it has become almost unmanageable now for me. um yeah it it it's it's quite crazy and we uh we actually were in italy when covet started and the quarantine there was much more um yeah severe so we literally could not leave our house not even to go out on the street for for a couple months wow and and so there was nowhere to go and and at the same time some constructions two two construction projects started immediately next to our house literally next and i had nowhere to go so it was pretty horrible um did you have headphones at least any kind of uh whatever your usual kind of coping mechanisms are I did have. I mean, I didn't really, like I said before, I didn't feel like I need that many because I had a good chunk of six, seven, eight hours of quiet by myself at home. So my husband actually bought me these great Sony headphones that I've been using, but jackhammering goes through that no matter. And it was the first time I actually had my sort of a panic attack because of that. There was nowhere to go, and it was really, really tough.

Adeel [7:13]: Yeah, that sounds rough. You can't escape anywhere. That's kind of one of the unsung heroes of coping mechanisms, just to be able to, you know, the flight part of it is to be able to leave. And if you can't even open the door to go outside, that's, yeah, that's... it's quite severe um okay okay so yeah so triggers kind of um like so at some point you obviously came back and so now you're you're also at home but um um still dealing with all these kind of new triggers that that uh weren't there for you before covid yeah i mean it's so interesting with this um condition that once you once you get a trigger it will stay a trigger and um

Misomatch [8:00]: I really hate that because, yeah, I feel like just being home and being constantly surrounded by noises has brought on newer triggers and every new place, every new environment has added more to it. And I think I've just become a lot more aware and sensitive to repetitive sounds. Whereas before it was, it was a handful of things that bothered me and everything else I didn't notice. But now there's just this heightened sense of awareness of sound in general, which makes it much more easier to get new triggers.

Adeel [8:46]: Right, right. Yeah. So yes, it sounds like quarantine, like for many of us, has not been a fun experience and you're pretty isolated. And so it seems like it's around this time that you had this idea for, interestingly enough, like a platform that would connect people, other misophones around the world. Did that kind of inspiration come from this experience of being so extremely isolated and triggered?

Misomatch [9:11]: Yes, in part. It was, you know, a way for me to cope with all this was to start, you know, Googling misophonia again. And I had done that previously, but then stopped because there seemed to be no cure and nothing really helpful out there. And I was, you know, sort of managing on my own. But with the quarantine and how the condition was sort of taking over um my my being my life um that was a coping mechanism for me to start start researching again and i started i joined a bunch of facebook groups and reddit subgroups and i started binge listening to your podcast and um i mean it was interesting because i've you know i mean i've had i've had this drive to start something something new for a while, but I just couldn't, I also listened before COVID, for a few years now, I listened to the podcast called How I Built This. And it's all about entrepreneurs and it kind of aligns with my work, but it's fascinating how people start things and how they, you know, go through challenges and sometimes they fail and sometimes they succeed. And so I've been looking for something to do. And as I was being completely immersed in all this information and all these platforms about misophonia, the one thing that kind of stood out to me were people just being depressed and really depleted by lack of support in their environment, how nobody understood misophonia. They don't know anybody who has it, their spouses, their friends. make fun of them. And at the same time, I was also hearing you talk about how it was at the Misophonia Convention and hearing other people who went. And there was this excitement in their voice about how it felt being with others who have this. what a belief that is to be able to talk about it and to be understood. And, you know, I know that whenever I, you know, I met a couple people in my life that have it, and it's just a bond and this energy you're getting from it. So, you know, there are all these Facebook groups and the Reddit group where people, there are tens of thousands of people that are members, and they share all this information and they vent. But it doesn't... it doesn't allow for sort of a personal connection between people.

Adeel [12:00]: Exactly, yeah.

Misomatch [12:02]: Yeah. And so that was one part of it where I wanted people to connect. And then I also, in my quest to find new tech solutions, you know, I mean, I've been, I'm the kind of person who, you know, my work, I do research. So before I buy anything, I research the heck out of it. Um, and, and one of my things I wanted to sound proof as much as possible in my office, for example, and, uh, you know, I was looking for sound panels and, and I select sound isolating material and there's nowhere I can go that I can read reviews from other people with misophonia. Um, and, and it's the same for, for earphones and, and, you know, there's a bunch of new earphones and earplugs and coming out to the market these days. Some of them specifically advertised for Misophonia. But there's no central place for us to go and see all these reviews. And if we have Facebook, we can go to a group and try to search. And people are extremely generous with their experiences, sharing them. But there's no central place. So those two ideas kind of combined made me start

Adeel [13:23]: Yeah, no, you hit a lot of things that I've noticed too. And I'm glad you got that message from my babblings about the convention. That's exactly right, that a lot of us have that kind of surreal connection. And yeah, and I also felt that, I mean, the online groups, the Facebook Reddit groups are great. They have, you know, sometimes tens of thousands of members, but it's usually only a fraction who are usually actually active. And... People usually either stop using Facebook or just forget about the group. But yeah, it's usually just kind of fragmented rants, which are great, but then there's no real kind of one-on-one connection other than like a tiny font comment underneath. And so, yeah, no, I totally support and love to see new platforms come up to help people connect. And so, yeah, I definitely encourage people to check out Miso Match and connect with people. I've connected with some new people and some... old listeners from the our guests from the podcast contact me from there so it's and i'm glad to glad to see it getting getting out there um that's awesome yeah it's it's i mean you're definitely the most popular member on there and well i think i think i just being uh being uh yeah someone who uh probably has better things to do but uh start adding adding everybody as a friend and see who yeah see who connects yeah i like to connect with whoever um so i think everyone should do that anyways so

Misomatch [14:55]: Yeah, no, it's fantastic. And there is, you know, it's an international platform. And the cool thing about it is, you know, you log in, it's free. You log in and you kind of zoom in on a map and you see where people are. And so it's easy to figure out. who lives in your town or in your country. And then there's also an ability to create groups. And quite a few people have already done it. So there is sort of geography-based groups, like for countries, there's one for Canada, India, and the UK. The UK one is actually pretty, membership is pretty big. There's for different states like Maine and Texas and Virginia and California. for towns like San Diego, of course, but then Windsor, Canada and Orlando. And these are all groups that people have started and they're hoping to connect with other people from there. There's now a group for spouses who have, you know, so they don't have misophonia, but their spouse does. There's one for parents and caregivers. there is language-based groups there is one a french group one latin american group and then my favorite and one of that was also an idea i got from from your podcast where you interviewed a lot of college students and they they were trying to get accommodations or just a group starting i know i know you featured somebody who started a ucla instagram natalie i think i found her uh group and and there's different facebook groups but there's you know you have to be on instagram to be in that group and you have to be on on a specific platform so um And once those people graduate, then I assume that that group kind of falls apart. So I'm hoping that this will also be where people can come and create, whether it's a university, a college, a big corporation, they can create these groups that they can use to connect with people who go there and advocate for themselves, accommodations, or just support groups.

Adeel [17:13]: Yeah, I mean, even just the first category, the geography category, people would be surprised how many misophones are around you. Like, I just for fun once at one point started like a, almost as a joke, started a next door group. I hate next door. I'm hardly ever on next door. And, you know, it's one of the smaller social networks, but... um there's already there's 20 people in my neighborhood who are who are like not my tiny neighbor but basically kind of my my part of the city um and so i was i was surprised so i you know i would encourage anyone to kind of just uh yeah try to start or join a a local um yeah a local group i think you might be surprised how many people slowly join over time even if it's just kind of you and a few people at the beginning so

Misomatch [18:01]: That's what I'm hoping for. One is that they actually meet up in person. That is my ultimate hope for this. That's why I think this is different than anything out there. It would allow people to meet up, create friendships, but also share resources. Maybe there is a specific movie theater that has no food for a matinee, or maybe there is a specific... I don't know, library that really enforces the quiet principle. There are all these things that people can share that is local, and it would make no sense to share them in a larger online group because that wouldn't be very useful.

Adeel [18:49]: Exactly. Yeah, I've been toying with the idea of creating like a Yelp for Mesa phones. So that kind of goes very much in line. So, yeah.

Misomatch [18:59]: Yeah, I think that would be cool. And I, you know, I luckily still struggle with restaurant noises. It's loud enough. Of course, we haven't been to a restaurant really since COVID started and since my misophonia got worse, but I'm hoping it's still the same. But I know people, other people very much are. So there would be restaurants that are quieter and maybe have some kind of cubicle or, you know, Something that would enable people who otherwise can't do it anymore to branch out again. That would be wonderful.

Adeel [19:32]: Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to hear a little bit more about MISO Match. But maybe, do you want to go back a little bit? I'm sure people would love to hear maybe a little bit about your story. You said you did a bunch of Googling about MISO in the not-too-distant past. It sounds like it was a kind of... manageable before covid and you just kind of had a reawakening or like how like what was your life like before covid like how you know um how far actually how far back does it go for you when you kind of first remember it well it was interesting because when i was thinking about it um the memory that came first in my mind as a very strong first reaction was when i was already 15 16 and my

Misomatch [20:23]: I had a younger brother who was an expert at pushing my buttons, of course. And I guess that was one of my buttons. And he would tease me by chewing, you know, making chewing sounds in my ear. And I remember going to a bathroom and locking myself in our house and I could still hear him outside and just having a horrible time. Interestingly, he also had it maybe even stronger than I did. But not at that time. He was still, I think, too young or I don't remember. But then a couple of years ago, I went back. I'm actually from Romania. And when we were living in Italy, we visited my, you know, my hometown and met up with my childhood friend and he was lovely and we went on a trip together. I was in the car with her and she started biting her nails and it all came back to me. I mean, we were best friends in middle school and that is actually my very first memory is being annoyed at her for doing that. It was a, you know, a tick she had and I would yell yell at her and we were very, very close. I probably spend the most time with her more than with my parents or more than with anybody else. And it was actually more of a visual trigger because you can't really hear that. But yeah, I would constantly be on her to stop doing that. So that's kind of... how it started in hindsight.

Adeel [22:07]: So your parents weren't really a trigger initially? No. It was kind of the people your age, like your brother or your brother and your best friend.

Misomatch [22:15]: Yeah. Yeah. It's really interesting. And in hindsight, my father had this, but it was hard to tell because he had a very serious temper. And so there was no, you know, back as a child, I couldn't sort of differentiate between the things that bothered him from, you know, this condition versus something else. But yeah, we were not allowed to chew gum and we were not allowed, it was, you know, chewing with your mouth closed was very much enforced. But it is sort of, I mean, from a culture perspective, it's also very interesting because I think Eastern Europe in particular, you're just taught not to do those kinds of things anyways. So I didn't really realize it until now that I'm thinking back at certain events that had happened as a child and things that my father would get mad at. So I definitely think he had some of it. And also seeing my mom, she's sort of conditioned already for looking out for those things.

Adeel [23:28]: Because of your dad. I think so. Trying to make sure he doesn't fly off the handle.

Misomatch [23:32]: Yes. Yeah. So, but, you know, once I moved away and I didn't really live by myself until I was 25, but I don't remember it being, you know, yes, that I didn't like when people were eating, chips next to me. But you know, I would just also eat the chips that and it was okay. And I think it wasn't until I got married and and, you know, it was sort of a reoccurring thing. And, you know, I went back in my my emails, and I have the exact date when I found out about misophonia. Because It must have been a fight that my husband and I had about chewing gum because I wrote him an email. Oh, I I looked this up and it's actually it's got a name. And I sent him a link and then reading his response. And this was in 2011. So 10 years ago about, you know, how it's great that there is a name for it.

Adeel [24:35]: But that doesn't help right now.

Misomatch [24:39]: It doesn't. Yeah. Basically, that, you know, the way I was approaching it as him being doing something wrong was not not right.

Adeel [24:46]: Do you remember what that link was? Was it that New York Times article?

Misomatch [24:51]: No, it was not. It was not. I think it was just a random article.

Adeel [24:58]: okay so interesting so okay so that was that was a reaction that uh right so your your tone at that point was kind of accusatory like many of us when especially when we don't know what it is we kind of lashed out um did has that kind of changed over time i've had to change it over time

Misomatch [25:22]: Yes, and, you know, I mean, it's... Well, it can go both ways, too.

Adeel [25:24]: It could be like, you know, you could be like, okay, she's going into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde now, so I better kind of just wait it out kind of thing, but also you're probably changing your tone a little bit.

Misomatch [25:38]: Yeah, I mean, I'm sure it depends on the personalities involved, but, yeah, I've had to change it, and I'm thankful for those lessons, you know. a lot of times I think it's an educational journey, not just for our spouses and the people we put through this, but for ourselves as well. And realizing, because sometimes it seems like, what's the big deal? Just stop doing those things. I guess it's not as easy and the way we say it and the way we approach it has a big impact in how our loved ones approach it as well.

Adeel [26:24]: What are some of those lessons that you, did you kind of get any tips from anyone like a professional or just reading online or, or just kind of like learn them on your own through kind of trial and error?

Misomatch [26:40]: I mean, I think in the beginning it was a lot of trial and error and how, you know, just learning what works with my husband, you know, it's hard because not everybody's the same and I had to learn how to approach him and how to say what are the things that bother me and how to do it. This is not a one-time thing. It's not like you stayed one time that don't crack your knuckles. They forget and you have to constantly do it. And so it's a very hard back and forward dance. And then I've had to do it with, I have a 10-year-old daughter, sort of ease her into it as well. But yes, most recently I've started approaching this in therapy. And again, it's not about, it's not therapy of bad misophonia, it's therapy. I mean, we talk about how, it's really these interpersonal relationships and how to navigate them and what's, reasonable to ask and how is it reasonable to ask it and how to advocate and what are the other things, you know, like what you talked about with a lot of your guests and self-care and creating an environment and a life with fewer triggers.

Adeel [28:05]: Right. Did you choose your therapist based on their knowledge of misophonia or was that kind of secondary?

Misomatch [28:14]: It was secondary. It wasn't the reason I reached out. But it has been very helpful. And I think I've actually asked her recently whether she has treated somebody else who had this condition. And she thought that she might have before, but I don't think she knew about the name. And she's... done research and I've sent her a few links to listen to some of the webinars that I've attended. So I think she's probably a better student than a lot of the other therapists out there.

Adeel [28:56]: Yeah, I think kind of, as you've probably heard, it's kind of a totally flip of a coin whether a professional has heard about it or not and then if they will take it seriously or not. Yeah. I was going to ask, so your daughter, how have you broached the subject with your daughter? Is it something you name it or just kind of like ease her into maybe being less of a trigger?

Misomatch [29:24]: It's probably the hardest. thing for me is is navigating a music phone yeah for a lot of people it is it's like how much do you exactly like what's what's what's the gonna what's gonna be the effect like you know because obviously we don't want to activate it right right exactly um and you know preparing for teenage years i don't want that to be an additional reason for her to hate her mom but um i mean i remember being absolutely terrified uh as i was preparing to to get pregnant and while being pregnant that she will be born and she will instantly trigger me with you know just drinking milk as a baby and it was a huge fear luckily that didn't happen and she actually was not a trigger until she was i don't know five five six years old um so i'm super grateful for that period of time where i did not have to you know make adjustments with her because of misophonia um and now now that she's i mean i think in the beginning i as she was starting to trigger me um i would just say i don't like that noise or or i would just try to leave as much as possible and not not put it on her but um now now that she's older um she yes she does know about the name and she does know why what things make me um get me triggered and when when i see her look at me because she realizes that there is a sound nearby so oh there's an example her her little friend came over for dinner and um she was her my daughter's friend was sort of tapping her feet or something. And I see my daughter just give me the look. She knows, she knew instantly, even though that's not like one of my big triggers, it was just a repetitive sound. And she knew instantly and she looked at me with that look. And it breaks my heart at the same time as it fills me with so much love. that she is aware and she knows and she's, you know, trying her best to not do the sounds. But it's hard. It's hard when you have to tell your child you can't eat around me and, you know, we're watching TV and it's a choice of do I leave the family room as the family's watching something or do I make her not eat?

Adeel [32:13]: Yeah, no, it's tough. It's tough. Yeah. Yeah, a lot of certain similar situations. Yeah, another great reason why we need more places to kind of meet up and, yeah, discuss this stuff.

Misomatch [32:28]: Yeah, and I wish there was, you know, sort of guidelines from a child psychologist of how to deal with this. And, you know, I do bring it up sometimes as a therapist and try to figure out what's appropriate and what's not and reasonable. And, you know, it was sort of my fears of not imparting this condition on her. But yeah, I mean, although I think there's certain sounds that she definitely does not like. So it'll be interesting to see if it develops into music for her. It's just, you know, sounds she doesn't like.

Adeel [33:10]: Yeah, maybe you'll have to come back on here while she's in the throes of her teenage life. Let us know. Or let us know on Miso Match. What about, did you have a chance, I don't know about your dad now, but have you had a chance to talk to him about his condition after you knew what misophonia was? no i don't have a relationship with my father so um we we don't like i couldn't talk to him about it gotcha gotcha okay yeah another thing another thing i got to ask you yeah you you kind of you're talking about how um you know you that early friend was your best friend was triggering you and then she started to re-trigger you here's how it kind of uh start to affect your social life as you were growing up going through high school, college years and into kind of independent life. Was it kind of affecting the people you would hang out with? You know, just start to categorize people. Just curious how how it affected that that social aspect of your life.

Misomatch [34:17]: No, I I'm I think, you know, listening to all the stories of the people who come on your podcast, I think I was truly lucky that somehow it didn't affect me. And I went to high school and university in Sweden. So I lived there for 10 years. And I think it's also a different kind of environment where your personal life and your school life are not as integrated as they maybe are here. There's no sports and there's no some, you know, school is school and university is university. And then you go home and you have your other life. And somehow I don't remember being triggered. I don't remember, you know, other than normal stuff with me. I think if somebody was sitting next to me, it was, you know, I didn't like it. But it wasn't anything that I struggled with. So I'm very, very thankful for that.

Adeel [35:25]: And, um, but you, you say you did, you have probably, um, met or bumped into some people who are also misophones. Like, did you guys talk about it or was it just, you suspected some people you ran into had misophonia?

Misomatch [35:39]: Um, well, I mean, I, I have actually was another classmate and she, she on Facebook is very, very, uh, vocal about, uh, certain sounds that bother her. but she, I'll not want to admit that she has misophonia. And I think she lives by herself. And I think that that probably helps her very much. And then my neighbor in this new house that we moved in, she has it at a lighter level. And so when I started talking about it, because they were, as we moved in, uh they were uh putting in a new pool and there was also the city was conducting uh uh like a six week construction project on our street so i it kind of came out uh how how much i'm struggling with all this and i found out that she she also has it to a certain extent

Adeel [36:37]: Did you know the name? Yes. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, because there's people who say they're annoyed by sounds, and then there's people who actually take it to the next level and identify the name. Yeah. Okay, yeah, interesting. So yeah, maybe coming back to, well, is she on? Well, hopefully she'll be on MISO Match as well. I'm curious, you just launched that recently. What are some of your hopes for MISO Match? Do you have any features lined up coming down the pipe or you're just trying to grow it, get the word out now?

Misomatch [37:16]: Yeah, I think for this to be successful, it will have to be a lot of members that join, right? And it's really in their hands to create these groups and make it to what I envision it to be, which is a very interactive person to person or small group kind of platform. And I mean, it's really amazing because it's been live for a little over a month now, and they're close to 140 members from 25 different countries. So it's very exciting, but yeah, that's what I want to see. I love it when I see somebody start a group and I see others join. I think there's a little bit of shyness. So I don't know how much I should get involved and sort of suggest to people like, hey, you know, there's a group in your city or did you know there's somebody who lives in your neighborhood? And I've done that. um a little bit but i yeah i don't know how much uh the miso tech part is the one where you don't have to be a member and so i'm i'm really really hoping that people will will go on there and leave reviews and suggest different solutions that they have found and you know it doesn't have to be earphones it could be i mean i'm i'm i want to put up some sound isolation like i said um like

Adeel [38:45]: like wall panels, for example, or... Yeah, something people could put in as just, could add to that part might be just like, I'm sure there's a lot of YouTube videos on how to do that. So, you know, just if people have like something that's worked out for them and just have some instructions that they can share, that'd be one way to contribute, I think.

Misomatch [39:05]: I would love that. Yes. And there is a form where you can suggest, you know, again, you don't have to be a member. You just suggest something that has worked or has not worked. I think it's equally to have things that, you know, all of us are so desperate to try and we'll pay money and then it doesn't work. So I think that's also valuable. There's all kinds of new. I almost feel paralyzed. I mean, I feel like every month there is a new earbud or something that comes out. And by the time I'm ready to make the jump to buy one thing, there's a new thing out there and I want to know, does it help? Does it not help? So yeah, that's something I would love to see more people come on Mesa Match and then go to the Mesa text section to leave reviews. It's a work in progress. I'm by myself and I'm doing this by myself. And I've actually had to take a step back a little bit because it was my whole life. I mean, I struggled with misophonia and then I have to read all this stuff and work on me some acts. So it was starting to be a little bit too much. And I have to walk a fine. I don't know if you have that with the podcast where...

Adeel [40:26]: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Everything takes more time than you expect. And so you got to negotiate that with yourself.

Misomatch [40:33]: Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, there is a miso provider section, which I initially was very excited about. But then I saw that there is actually a misophonia providers dot com website. So.

Adeel [40:47]: Oh, really? I didn't know that.

Misomatch [40:49]: And, you know, I don't want to replicate necessarily. I don't want to take away from somebody else's platform. So I I don't know how I feel about proceeding with that. And I would love to hear feedback from people. It doesn't make sense to have. There is a blog as well on the site. And I know for a website to be successful, you have to have content. It's one of those things where you learn. I'm not a website person. I'm not a social media professional. So all these lessons you learn that you have to have content. So I'm hoping that other people will contribute, A, because I don't like writing. It's not my thing. I've had to write or I haven't had to, but I have written a few articles for my patent business and it's a struggle. So I'm hoping not just because of that, but I think it would be cool to feature just like you feature all kinds of people. I want to feature... not just people who have misophonia, but spouses and providers. And I got into contact with somebody who works with acoustic panels, and I want him to write an article or a little blog post about things we have to think about. So there's all kinds of different angles and not Yeah, this is not a scientific website. So I think freedom, you know, that allows it to be informal and, and, and a freedom to kind of write about whatever we want. So yeah, I agree.

Adeel [42:34]: Yeah.

Misomatch [42:35]: Anybody wants to write something, it could be one or two paragraphs, it could be several pages, I'm happy to feature it. And I'll be very thankful.

Adeel [42:48]: Yeah, no, that's great. Yeah, I'm sure there are a lot of writers. I'm not necessarily one of them, but there are a lot of writers that I know because, well, I've spoken to some and also it's writing is a skill that you can do kind of on your own. And I feel like a lot of people probably gravitate towards that skill. So yeah, like you said, there's many topics. In fact, probably that acoustic panel person doesn't have misophonia, but they can contribute something. So maybe if somebody listening here. Yeah?

Misomatch [43:22]: Yeah, I actually found somebody who has a spouse who has misophonia. So he's an acoustic panel person. So I think he has a special insight that maybe others don't. Yeah.

Adeel [43:35]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. And I'm sure, yeah, I mean, writing a blog post can kind of help, you know, if that person has a website that needs some SEO, it kind of helps to guest post on another site like Mesomatch. So, you know, there's many benefits for sharing content. So, yeah, if anyone's listening and wants to contribute. This is a great opportunity. Yeah. So, yeah, Andrew, we're heading up to about 45 minutes or so. I'm sure there's more stuff that will come up. But, yeah, I kind of want to let you kind of share. Is there anything else you want to share either about MISO Match or any of the lessons you've learned along the way with your spouse or otherwise that you think the listeners could benefit from?

Misomatch [44:28]: Nothing that hasn't been said before. Self-care is very important.

Adeel [44:36]: And then I do think that... Actually, yeah, what about self-care? So I guess most of my interviews, we talk about the hardware, the headphones and earbuds and what, but in terms of self-care, are you doing any kind of meditation or kind of checking in with yourself regularly throughout the day or preparing your headspace before... before meals. What kind of little tips do you do in that regard?

Misomatch [45:12]: I would love to be able to meditate, but my head is just racing. I've tried that throughout the years with a small success, but not really a true, I cannot get into a true meditative state. So there's apps out there, right, that help you and and i'm able to do those guided kind of um meditation sessions and and i think they they help i struggle with uh with i mean time management it's just we're super busy right yeah my own business parenting and and everything that comes with um with life it's it's it's hard to be disciplined and strong enough really strong enough to set aside that time and say that this is what I need and it might come to the expense of not doing other things but it's important and when I when I have good time periods in in my life where I'm still strong enough to do that and I think that varies from person to person I mean I you know I like succulents so I spend some time looking at my little succulents every day. And just moments of, it's like a warm balm on your soul, you know, when you do something that is for you and it helps frame the entire day. And I think more than anything, it's that strength and self-confidence to know what you need. and to do as much as possible for that. Because like we know, if we don't do that and stress takes over, that's when misophonia rears. It's a very ugly head.

Adeel [47:06]: Right. That's definitely an exacerbating factor. Yeah.

Misomatch [47:09]: Yeah.

Adeel [47:11]: Yeah, those are great tips. Well, yeah, Andrew, I want to thank you for coming on. Thank you for taking initiative to start a project, an ambitious project like ESOMatch. You know, I'm in tech, too, so I know that it's hard to set these things up and get them off the ground. And it's great to see dozens of people, hopefully soon, many hundreds and thousands of people joining and connecting in different ways, not just... in the usual group situation about contributing with reviews and articles. I think that'd be great.

Misomatch [47:42]: That would be wonderful. Thank you so much, Adeel. I really appreciate you getting the word out there. And I think, you know, we all can do a little something to raise awareness and make life a little better for anybody who has schizophrenia.

Adeel [47:57]: Thank you again, Andrea. It's great to see misophones trying to build community and spread awareness. Don't forget to check out on the web and social media. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. Music as always is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and fly.