Jennifer H. - From Chaos to Clarity: A Misophonia Journey

S4 E17 - 6/24/2021
The episode features a heartfelt conversation between Adeel and Jennifer, a relatively new listener who reached out after experiencing a significant misophonia episode. Raised in a chaotic household, Jennifer found solace in her room, away from triggers. Her journey through various careers, including commercial real estate and tennis coaching, eventually led her to embrace art—a shift partially motivated by her desire for a misophonia-friendly work environment. A recent episode led her to seek help, adopting teletherapy, medication, journaling, meditation, acupuncture, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or tapping. These interventions, combined with her husband's support, have significantly improved her quality of life. Jennifer's story is a testament to the importance of self-advocacy and finding personalized coping mechanisms. Her experience highlights not only the challenges faced by individuals with misophonia but also their resilience and capability to find joy and fulfillment amidst those challenges.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 4, Episode 17. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I talked to Jennifer, my second or third Jennifer. She actually reached out to me in January. She had just found out about the podcast after going through what she describes as a misophonia episode that really got her to seek help in many places, and she's now fortunately in a much better place. We talked about something that's been coming up a lot lately, for obvious reasons, the effect of the pandemic on us a year into it. We also go back deep into her past and her experiences as a child in a pretty chaotic family and how she hid in her room a lot. We also talk about her many career paths and the various therapies she has used recently to help her get through since the episode at the start of the year. You can check out her art, too, at, and I'll have a link in the show notes. Don't forget to follow this show on social media at MissTheFunnyPodcast on Instagram and Facebook. And please leave a rating and review, if you can, wherever you listen to this podcast. All right, now here's my conversation with Jennifer. Welcome, Jennifer, to the podcast. It's great to have you here.

H [1:19]: Thank you. It's so nice to be able to talk to you.

Adeel [1:22]: Yeah. So you said you've heard a lot of episodes. And, you know, I'd like to just kind of get an idea of where people are located for the listeners.

H [1:29]: So I am in Central New York. New York, upstate New York, just outside of Syracuse. It is sunny today, which is unusual for us.

Adeel [1:41]: Same here.

H [1:43]: Celebrate the sunshine. Oh, that's right. Where are you again?

Adeel [1:48]: Minnesota, in St. Paul.

H [1:49]: That's right. I knew that. I knew that. Yeah. Usually it's five feet of snow this time of year, but we've got a little bit of a sunshiny, warm break today. pretty nice yeah yeah that's cool and and uh and can i ask i kind of what kind of what kind of work do you do so um i have for the last five years been doing my own artwork i last year i illustrated a book um i do some drawing actually tomorrow i'm getting ready to do a kids workshop uh through our local library here I'm doing a painting, so that'll be fun. Yeah, I paint. For a long time, I did painting in kids' rooms. I did murals in kids' rooms, which was really fun. I have also spent some time coaching tennis. I spent about five years coaching tennis within the last 10 years. And then prior to that, I worked in Washington, D.C. in commercial real estate and had an office job. where I also traveled a lot.

Adeel [2:58]: Yeah, three, I would say, fairly different lines of work there are tennis coaching and corporate real estate, commercial real estate. OK, OK. Interesting that so the arc kind of makes sense to me, the office job and now art. Do you want to maybe shed some light on it? Was that an intentional kind of move? Yeah.

H [3:28]: Things have kind of unfolded. I went to school, I went to college, and someone suggested that I do accounting, and I was like, okay, and I did accounting. It was sort of this thing that made sense for me at that time, and I wanted to be able to get a job when I got out of college. So I graduated with a business and accounting major. I did not go the CPA route, but I got into accounting. commercial real estate and more of a management position. And I worked for the most fabulous person for 10 years. And over those 10 years, my job became less accounting oriented and more marketing customer service oriented. And I did a lot of traveling in there, which brings up some misophonia stuff. But at the end of that time period, I was kind of getting to know myself a little bit better. I was in my turning 30 i guess or early 30s and um wanted to shake things up i was on my own i had a single and i decided to go to art school so i quit my job sold my car moved closer into the city and went to our school wow yeah which was a blast and things have kind of unfolded from there i've used both my business background and then sort of my my creativity to a little bit here and there in my last, I guess, 20 years or so.

Adeel [4:57]: Yeah. So the, so the shift to art, what was more, um, just, was it, was it misappointed related? Like you were in a, in an office and it was just, you just couldn't stand it or, um, sounds like there was some issues there.

H [5:11]: That is such a good question. I'd say it partly evolved. because of my position and that I got in more of a creative position in that job, I would say that I've really up until the last maybe 10 years of my life, I'm not sure I really even knew exactly how misophonia affected me. So I've come to understand about myself that at first I thought, oh, I'm just the kind of person that doesn't like working for somebody else or I don't like being in an office. And again, I was very lucky. I had a great position and I had a great job. But I kept moving towards working on my own and I realize now that even when I had my office job, I was doing things to avoid certain situations because of my misophonia. And then the more and more I started working for myself and on my own, it was very, like I kind of had the protective place for myself, if that makes sense.

Adeel [6:30]: Yeah, no, I mean, a lot of people, even without misophonia, tend to, there are certain types that, you know, steer towards having that more control and freedom. And for us, it has that added benefit of, you know, not making us want to, you know, throw somebody against the wall kind of thing. And so, because we got misophonia.

H [6:52]: I love that, whether it's because of who I am, and I'm a creative person, as well as an analytical person, I've got a business and a Art background, I'm not sure, but definitely misophonia has been a threat through my entire life that's driven certain things, whether I knew it or didn't know it.

Adeel [7:10]: Right.

H [7:10]: Yeah.

Adeel [7:12]: And when did you find out that it actually happened?

H [7:14]: Yeah, in a pretty intense way.

Adeel [7:15]: Yeah, when did you find out that it actually was a thing? I'm assuming you knew it was causing problems throughout your life. When were you able to name it?

H [7:24]: Okay, so I love that question, because I've listened to many of your podcasts. And a couple in particular really made an impact on me. But it was only through somebody else that I knew that misophonia had a name. And that would happen about three years ago that I knew it had a name. And they told me because they had read the article that many people on your podcast talk about in the New York was it in the New York Times?

Adeel [7:54]: Yeah, yeah.

H [7:55]: Yeah. So when was that article? That was 2011.

Adeel [8:00]: I think it was May 2011. Yeah.

H [8:03]: So I was a little late to knowing that Misophonia actually had a name. And it really was only until this January when I had some incredible difficulties with it specifically. And I'm calling... I had a misophonia sort of episode that I did started doing research but with that said it has affected me my uh my entire life and I just didn't know what it was I didn't know what to call it I just said you know certain sounds bothered me or I knew certain sounds bothered me and but I never really knew that it was anything I spent quite a bit of time in therapy in my 20s talking about it and trying to figure it out, but it never went away. I just had a kind of a better understanding of it and maybe even a better understanding how to deal with it. But again, yeah, it really wasn't until the last few years that I knew that it was such a relief.

Adeel [9:09]: So in your twenties, you were in therapy talking about sound sensitivities and dealing with that, but no one was able to tell you that actual condition that other people have.

H [9:19]: No, and my therapist at the time was, yeah, very willing to talk to me about it. We were trying to figure out what it was related to or if it had any sort of underlying cause, but definitely never put a name to it. And truthfully, it hasn't really been until this year that I've had this sense of not being alone. And I don't wish this on anybody. As you know, yeah, it's not a fun thing to deal with, but it was really helpful, one, to find your podcast as well as find some things online and then to know about that article that I'm not alone. I'm not crazy. That feeling crazy or feeling different has been a thread through my entire life, my life related to misophonia.

Adeel [10:12]: Yeah, a lot of us can relate for sure. Do you want to talk a little bit about what happened earlier this year?

H [10:20]: Yeah, so, you know, maybe... Actually, let me tell you, do you mind if I start kind of going back when it first started? And then kind of build up to what I called my episode and that I'm still sort of coming out of. It's still sort of unfolding. My... earliest memories of sound sensitivity are around middle school and we lived in what i call an upside down house where my bedrooms the bedrooms were downstairs in the living room in the kitchen were upstairs so one uh well first noise actually probably is the gum chewing i know a lot of people have that gum chewing or the the sound right i love that you giggle because it's just It is what it is. It's the gum chewing, maybe like some cracking or sounds while we're eating. But then the other one for me in these, the gum chewing, somebody walking above me. So somebody walking upstairs, that noise, as well as music on the other side of the wall. So if I could hear somebody playing music, on the other side of my bedroom wall, that was a trigger for me. So those are the three triggers that started at that time in my life. And those three have been the most prevalent through my life, especially the gum chewing.

Adeel [11:53]: So I'm assuming, was it family members that happened to be chewing a lot of gum?

H [12:02]: Yes, these are poor family members, right? And now that I'm married, oh my gosh, my husband, he's a saint. But it is such an unfortunate thing that the noises are often ones that come from them. Yeah, and I think, so my sister played a lot of loud music. She's very outward and expressive. And I tend to be a more inward.

Adeel [12:32]: Introverted.

H [12:34]: introverted, sensitive person. So are maybe overly sensitive. I think back to that time period. And I think about how much and this makes me pretty emotional and kind of sad for this little kid, I spent a lot of time in my bedroom. And I spent a lot of time kind of maybe even like making forts in my bedroom. And I had a I can sit here and visualizing my closet. Um, and very specifically think about kind of hiding in that room almost to the point where I've got my hands over my ears, you know, covering, you know, kind of protecting myself from the noises. Yeah, it was a lot. There was other things. There were other things going on at that point. There was some sort of unmanageability within my family. My parents were divorced. My sister was, um, a little bit older than me and kind of maybe frustrated with her life and playing music. And my mom was working full time and trying to support two kids. And so there was the house often was messy. And I think I found like literally physically messy. I found myself hiding in my room. And does that make sense? Because I say all those things.

Adeel [13:58]: Yeah, no, uh, that's right. So there was, you know, not uncommon that there was, there was some kind of, uh, uh, I don't know if trauma is too much, too strong a word, but there was some chaos around the house. Yes.

H [14:09]: Chaos. Yes.

Adeel [14:11]: Um, you, you found escape in your room and not just from noise. It sounds like probably, yeah. Like you said, physical, um, yes. And, uh, and yeah, and that was like kind of the one place where you probably had total control. Um, And interesting that the walking upstairs, yeah, you were living in an upside-down house, so there was probably a lot of walking upstairs when you were trying to hide in your room. And I can see how that could interfere with your desire to control your environment in your room and kind of exacerbate some misophonia. I'm just kind of like, you know, commentating and speculating maybe, but I'm kind of seeing those pieces fit there.

H [14:56]: A whole bunch of bubbles just kind of pop as you're saying that. One is that I'm not sure if I've made this up, but I can kind of hear my mom saying something like, well, Jennifer likes to spend a lot of time on her own. She likes to spend time in a room. And and I'm thinking, I wonder if that's true. Like, did I really like that? Did I like being by myself or was that something I was just doing to kind of get by at that point?

Adeel [15:26]: Yeah.

H [15:28]: And then the other. Yeah. Kind of cope. The other thing is my sister and I love my sister so much. And she knows that my sister's. passed away at this point. She passed away about eight, 10 years ago. So it's funny to talk about my sister, but, um, she tortured me. She would play the, she would play the music louder. I wouldn't say she tortured me, but yeah, she, she's, she had a pretty powerful force in my life playing the music louder or, um, you know, forgive me. I'm like to my sister right now but you know she would maybe chew the gum in my face even more you know kind of like kids do um but for me it was really overwhelming and you know if i saw kids kind of playing and picking on each other there is a normalcy to that but for me it was really difficult that was very difficult and probably forced me to go even more inward

Adeel [16:37]: Oh, so you were extra sensitive to observing kids kind of picking on each other?

H [16:43]: No, you know what, I guess what I mean is, yeah, if I saw kids picking on each other today, I'd be like, oh, that's kind of cute or funny or normal. That's what kids do. But for me, yeah, maybe I am sensitive about it. For me, it was, yeah, that wasn't a fun time period.

Adeel [17:00]: No, no, no, of course not. Yeah.

H [17:04]: I love what you said though, something about having, sorry, about having control. And, and again, I'll go back to what happened a few months ago, but it really wasn't until recently that I realized that it, I have set myself up at certain situations in my life to be in more control and that now, and I think I've always been, Oh, I don't want to be a controlling person or people use that. You're a control freak. And I've had a negative feeling about that for a long time about myself up until recently. And I'm like, you know what? It's okay. It's okay for me to set myself up in places where I can be in control because it's maybe a healthier thing for me. And the reason I say that is I look back, I was in my room organizing things like alphabetizing my, my toys and putting, all the little gadgets and things in certain drawers. And I was, I really think I was trying to control my environment within that, that room at that point in my life.

Adeel [18:12]: That makes sense. I was, I always look back and be like, yeah, you were, I have big do slips like a library. Yeah.

H [18:21]: Yeah. Okay. See, we're not alone.

Adeel [18:25]: Yeah, no, that's interesting. I mean, I think the, the, the whole control freak kind of, I think, I think it's the negative connotation is only if like, you know, you're, you're bossing people around, but controlling your own environment. I mean, I think that's a very natural and important skill. Yeah. Especially for us.

H [18:43]: Yeah. I probably have been considered being overly controlling person in my family and maybe that's why. Yeah. It's, it's, And maybe because they just don't. I think I've always had this feeling that I was kind of different in my family and not really knowing why. And the misophonia is a huge part of that. And I don't think my family really even knew that. I don't think my mom knew that I was having trouble with my with sounds. And maybe my sister did. My sister knew. But I don't think she realized that it kind of wasn't my fault that I was. having trouble with it she was just teasing me about it so and really the first person that's truly understand stood that i have this that i deal with the misophonia and the need to control my environment is my husband and he and i've been together now for uh eight eight years and he's the first person in my life that i've been able to tell him everything this is the deal and i threw it right out there at the beginning of our relationship and he's the first person that's made me feel like hey it's okay yeah and other than oh and that's not true and the other person is my uh the the therapist that i talked to in my 20s

Adeel [20:03]: right but right okay yeah but at that but your husband knows about misophonia and he's able to now like understand that it's a real thing this is the first person that that's that you've really been able to to label it with um and with that would that become comes at least you can kind of look at uh um ways to help you cope um and uh and kind of make things hopefully make things a little bit better um Whether or not that's successful, I'm not sure. But at least you can try.

H [20:38]: Yes. He's such a good person. He's a great partner. He's a good person. We're good friends. We like each other. But holy cow, misophonia has been a prevalent part of our relationship, especially this last, I'm going to say like last six months when it kind of came to a head for me. When we first met, I told him all about it. And so he was sensitive to the gum chewing. He kind of knew about the music, kind of knew about the footsteps above me because I told him about those things. So he just didn't chew gum in front of me. But it wasn't until... And now I'd love to talk to you kind of more about the episode thing that happened. It wasn't really until the pandemic that things shifted and have changed dramatically. yeah, things have changed. It's been, it's definitely been difficult and getting better. It got really difficult and now it's getting better.

Adeel [21:39]: Yeah. I mean, that's, that's come up in some, right. That's coming up some new interviews that have not been released yet, but just talking about how, you know, we're in a year into the pandemic and early on. it seemed a little bit like okay we can maybe make the best of it we can be away from most people who trigger us but then as the year kind of dragged on it's now we're finding out it's almost becoming a little bit claustrophobic if you're not really able to kind of leave the house as you know as freely as as before so Yeah, I think we're all feeling that.

H [22:12]: Yes.

Adeel [22:13]: Sounds like you might have some personal experiences with that.

H [22:20]: I do. And I'll preface talking about the pandemic and COVID. My heart goes out to so many people and so much difficulty and people being sick and passing away and families dealing with that along with all the economic stuff and I'm really lucky. Both my husband and I and our families are really lucky. We have not, none of us have been sick. We live in a really small community, a pretty small community. So most people here, we don't know anybody who's been sick or who has passed away. So super grateful and lucky. And again, and my heart goes out. And sometimes I think, you know, here I am dealing with this misophonia situation. stuff. And there's so many other things going on in the world, but that I do really want to say that. I mean, Misophonia is just a part of my life and yeah, I don't want to apologize for it, but. Anyway, with that, with all of that.

Adeel [23:26]: Yeah, I mean, that's totally fair. I mean, I think we all, everyone listening realizes that. And that's interesting. I mean, we could talk about this later, but that kind of, I mean, it's not like we're not sensitive. It's not like we don't realize that it's not, doesn't seem maybe to others as important as other things. But it all comes down to that kind of shame and guilt that we sometimes feel. Yes. which is a whole other dimension. But yeah, please continue with what you were saying.

H [23:56]: Yeah, it truly does. And like I said, and I'm already going to put you in the same category, we do tend to be very highly intelligent, sensitive, creative people. I mean, if we are alphabetizing our toys and things, there's something pretty cool about us, right?

Adeel [24:13]: Hell yeah.

H [24:14]: So, So Chip is my husband. He started working from home in last March. And at the very beginning, you know, it was fun. He's really lucky he was able to work from home. He's able to, you know, his job allowed him to do that. And he actually started working harder, even more things with the economy were affecting his job. And so, you know, last March, April or so, it was kind of fun. He was excited. He could work from home. He was excited to be home. He, you know, what's for dinner, what's for lunch. And it wasn't like, again, going back to what I just said, it's not all fun and games, but it was a different scenario that we sort of enjoyed spending that time together at the beginning. And then... Oh, and I was also super busy. So when the pandemic started, I mentioned earlier that my sister passed away. I had done some, over the years, I've done some fundraising and I decided to take the opportunity to do a fundraiser and run a challenge, an individual challenge. A lot of people were doing that during the pandemic. So it was a... a challenge that you could do and track yourself over a month. It was called the Climb Your Mountain Challenge. But no matter what, I was super busy with that and focused on it and spent about, I don't know, three, four months working on that. And then I was illustrating a book. So I was pretty busy with that and staying busy. So that took me kind of through to the about November. So that was, we both were busy throughout the year and all at the same time, he's home, I'm home. I started feeling the weight of the world. I was, you know, like many worried about people, you know, our whole lives were changing, wearing the masks and all that. And I think that just kind of started weighing on me as a, as a person. The thing I was doing for my sister was pretty intense because it was for my sister and it's for raising money for brain cancer research. So I was pretty emotional through that process. Then I was reading a book, I mean, illustrating a book and I was really into it, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist. So I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to do that and I'd never really done what I was doing. So I was, so things were kind of building up throughout the year then it's the holidays and oh my gosh and then probably just all the stuff in politics just a lot for me and by so what happened with all of that in during I would say probably about three quarters of the way through the year maybe in the fall I started noises started getting added for me And the first one, which is still going on, it's an added noise. I'm so sensitive about talking about the actual noises because I think when you talk about a noise, it triggers other people who are listening. Does that make sense? yeah yeah a little bit you can you can mention it and obviously now okay and then this is you're obviously just consider this a trigger warning if anyone's yeah okay so trigger warning i got about 50 trigger warnings now so but the the main one that's been added is a clanking on a bowl so silverware to a bowl yeah and um Yeah. Then it just, even mentioning it right now, my heart starts to race a little bit, really big one for me. And, and we have a house that's sort of an open, it's not an open floor plan, but it's an old house. So I could hear, you know, my husband using the, the, the bowl and the, it just, the kitchen and the noises in the kitchen, the kitchen became kind of this black hole of noise for me. And I've I don't know if you can hear my voice. I really do get worked up thinking about it. It just it became so big. And then. Wow. Yeah, this is still pretty new for me, all of these added noises. Like I said, I'm I'm working through it. So this happened in January. So I'm still working through it. But then regular walking noises got added. More chewing noises got added. So our eating Meals together started triggering me. Doors opening and closing. Sorry, I'm giving you all the trigger warning stuff.

Adeel [29:11]: No, it's okay. I think mentoring is fine.

H [29:14]: Mentoring is probably fine. Maybe for me. Lots of house noises. He and I were both here. A lot of energy in the house and just house noises galore. Then I think that very first week So they were kind of being added over the year. The first week in January was the first time, and I just heard you talk with, it was either Julie or Julia about this. It was the very first time where my noises started bothering me. And that just sent me into a tailspin. It was three days of me sitting on the, I might get a little emotional here, like, on the floor in my bedroom, behind my bed with earphones on, sound machine, just trying to get through the night. You know, that was kind of, I would go and I would do something and then I would go right back to the bedroom. Or, yeah, truly my heart is racing. I just, I didn't know how to escape the noises in the house, the pandemic, and then the noises that I was starting to create. And it was scary. It was... It was a challenging, very specific three days and then about within a week of really being super overwhelmed and kind of hitting a bottom of not knowing that this, and being scared that this is gonna be the rest of my life, that I wasn't gonna be able to function normally ever again with noises. So yeah.

Adeel [30:58]: Wow. Okay.

H [30:59]: Pretty darn intense.

Adeel [31:01]: That is intense. Yeah. Yeah. Julie. Yeah. Julie, you're talking about the Julia podcast a couple of weeks ago, I think where she triggers herself to the point where she has problems sleeping and needs to be on extra support medication. Yeah. Yeah. Breathing. Yeah. But this seems like for you, it was just, just in general, like a lot of, a lot of sounds. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it was a crazy time. It's still a crazy time, but you mentioned earlier that a lot of things were kind of converging in the world, you know, insurrections and whatnot. And it's just like, I think all of us were... Yeah, it probably was that week. Yeah, yeah. So crazy. No, I mean, it's an interesting, I mean, I don't want to turn it into like a, make it sound like a metaphor, but it's, it is kind of like just trying to want or wanting to kind of like, you kind of, you seem like you're kind of resorting to kind of a, your childhood coping mechanism of trying to block out the rest of the world.

H [32:05]: It's just so funny when I just said that, when I was telling you out loud, I was like, Oh my gosh. I am sitting, you know, in the corner of my bedroom, but I happen to be upstairs in the bedroom here in this house with my hands over my ears and my earphones in and my sound machine and just not knowing what to do, just feeling so closed in. But, yeah, and there's, I also, I think Julia actually also said something about, yeah, I've, and many people, people in your podcast at some point i just gotta laugh about it because i can see myself now doing that and thank god i'm not there anymore humor is a good coping mechanism so yeah however i can help facilitate laughing at it yes fully support that Yeah. Yeah.

Adeel [32:54]: So I don't want to, I don't want to, I don't want to dive too. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I don't want, I don't want to, I don't want to belabor that because it's obviously makes that unless you want to, but I'm, no, no, we're good.

H [33:06]: Let's go. I'm going to tell you exactly how I've come out of it.

Adeel [33:09]: Yeah. Let's do that before anybody else goes into that, into that, into their own.

H [33:15]: Yeah. And you know what, if, and, and I do like, I think in one of your things about asking questions, you know, the tools that you've used. I have just, I have great tools that I never knew were out there. And I'm about kind of 70, 80% back to what just the typical noises were for me before. So that's a great thing. I still have a couple of noises that are bothering me, but here I am, so it's three months later. I feel like I am on a better path in my life than I have been in so long. I feel educated, free, sort of more hopeful than I have in a long time, not only just about the misophonia, but about who I am. I really had to dig deep into how I'm going to get. I feel really lucky that that happened, believe it or not. How about that? So, because it just set me on a path to recovery. Yeah, I'm truly, I'm sitting here like I'm excited. You know, five minutes ago, my heart was racing telling you about all the triggers. And now, three months later, here I am. I'm actually excited about where I am in my life and very hopeful. So, The very first thing that happened was that, and I'm not sure I was, well, actually, I asked my husband for help. I'm like, I need help. I don't know what to do here. I need help. And that was a big thing for me to say, I don't, I really don't know what to do. I don't know how I'm going to. cope with this for the rest of my life. I don't know how I'm going to move on. And he picked up the phone and called a couple people and asked if they knew of a therapist I could talk to. So the very first thing I did is I got on the phone with a therapist. I talked to that therapist, I think, three times the first week. And how nice that we can do all this like teleconferencing or, you know, video Zoom stuff. I mean, there is something that has come out of the pandemic that you and I can sit here and talk. It's kind of neat. But that, so I had three sessions with him in one week. Then I set up an appointment with my doctor. I got, I did, and she didn't know about COVID. Oh, I started journaling like right away. Every day I started journaling.

Adeel [35:58]: Where did you get that idea from?

H [36:03]: So probably I have done journaling in the past. So I think whether it was Terry is the therapist that I started talking to. He focuses on cognitive behavior, cognitive behavior therapy. So right from the get go, the first things that we started talking about were how I could practically how I could what kind of practical things I could put into play in order to start moving away from getting out of my bedroom. And one of them was just, yeah, journaling, sound machines. other things I guess that's the only thing that's coming to my mind right now I guess just more openly talking with my husband about the certain noises but then when I I talked to I set up an appointment with my doctor and it was really I think the interesting thing that happened for me was that it was really hard when I called to get an appointment for my doctor the doctors are so busy right now and I couldn't get an appointment with her I wasn't going to be able to get an appointment with her for a month or so. And I kept calling there every day. I was so willing to put the energy into getting better that I kind of advocated for myself. Does that make sense? It's like, I've got to see a doctor. Please get me in. And I'm not like that. I kind of tend to... blow things off. I'll be fine. I'll be fine. But I knew at that point I really needed to talk to somebody. So when I finally got in, I guess that week I got in an appointment with her and she had not heard of misophonia and she was so awesome. She said, I'm going to look into it and we're going to have another appointment in three days. And so I was able to see her again right away. Yeah. And I'm, yeah, just, I think, one it was really nice that people that the therapist and she and my doctor were both available to me but i really advocated i made myself i advocated for myself does that make sense to to make sure that i was going to get some help and she she um i also i've heard you talk to other people about this she did recommend a medication for me um and whether people do medications or not and so i did start a particular medication right away and i'm hoping that that this particular medication is just going to be a crutch um and that's something i can move away from yeah and maybe it's not i'm not sure um But I do think that that's helped. And it's one of many things that's helped. So I've continued to talk to the therapist once a week for the last couple months. I've probably had five appointments with my doctor, follow-up appointments. And then the journaling every day. I've tried to do a meditation practice. And then two other things that I've done is I've done some acupuncture as well as EFT.

Adeel [39:26]: eft um the tapping practice have you heard of that i think other people you have you heard of eft i probably have such a bad memory but uh yeah yeah tapping sounds tapping sounds i mean obviously i haven't heard it uh that often but can you maybe uh talk about that yes so um

H [39:50]: And I'm going to just preface by saying I don't think it's the end all be all for like for me. I've had to do all of these things together. But and I wish I could. It's kind of it's an energy based work. And there happens to be somebody here in the community that does tapping. And I think I read about it. So like I said, when this happened back in January, for me, I started doing all this research online. I found your podcast online. I found the articles in the New York Times. I found all the stuff about misophonia and the definitions of it and how it's been evolved and people are understanding more about it. And then I found some Facebook groups. And I think it was on one of the Facebook groups that somebody talked about tapping. And then I remembered, oh my gosh, I think there's this woman in my community that does tapping. So I called her. What she did, we had a Zoom meeting, and I've done tapping with her two times now. And I know she's done a lot of training. It's kind of like, well, actually, I don't know. I think she has like an accreditation. But she asked me a bunch of questions. She asked me questions like, what is the energy behind the noises for me? and nobody had really ever asked me that I knew that the, the energy behind the noises was negative. Like it's not a happy energy. Um, and she, so she asked me tons of really interesting questions that I'd never really thought of before relating to the noises. Um, she actually asked me to describe what it was like. And I said, because she doesn't, she doesn't have misophonia. So, um, just being able to talk to her and help her understand was a great way for me to communicate about it for the first time really ever. And I explained it and I don't know if you can relate to this. It was like the, the noises for me is like a bull horn in my ear. And for some reason it affects my right ear more than my left. I don't know why. I mean, it affects my overall everywhere, but mostly my right ear. It's like a bull horn. after the noise. Like, so a bull horn is blowing in my ear, but it's almost like it just doesn't go away. That, that energy that the bull horn makes. Does that make sense? So it, it's not, not all the noises are that loud. It's just the energy behind it is so overwhelming to me. So anyway, um, we went through each of the times that I've, met with her on Zoom she asked me all these questions and then we go through a tapping I don't know if it's considered a sequence but you start tapping with your middle finger on your forehead and you hit different points and the first time through you hit like your forehead then your nose then your chin and then like your chest and she said things like Um, you know, I'm frustrated. She did a, she had me repeat a bunch of things that were sort of the negative connotations of the noises for me. And then we went through the exact same thing and then repeated it, but with positive, like I'm hopeful that, um, I'm going to be understood. It was, it was just a really, it's a really cool energy oriented process. So I think it's called EFT and then the, the it's referred to as tapping the prep. I highly recommend people looking into it if it's available. And I'm happy to send you any information I can kind of dig up that maybe she can send and you can put it on your... I can send you some links.

Adeel [43:59]: Yeah, send me some stuff. I'll put some links in the show notes. Yeah, yeah.

H [44:04]: I feel like I am just... Oh, go ahead. I'm just rambling away.

Adeel [44:11]: No, no, I love hearing rambling. It's better than me hearing myself rambling. So, yes, it sounds like, wow, you really, yeah, you really advocated. That's very admirable. I mean, you obviously hit a low point, probably sounds like, to put it mildly. And you really kind of went for a, just looked for anything and everything to kind of help out. And you really hit a lot of checkboxes and more and beyond. I mean, that's very admirable. and sounds like it's it's making um making a difference i mean how would you say it's like in terms of your day-to-day are you um you're able to you're not running back into your room uh anymore i take it or i'm not maybe just my um yeah i just feel free again i

H [45:00]: feel like I can come back to who I was feel free and not even just again but for the first time like I said I feel like I understand misophonia more than I ever have I understand that there's people out in the world that deal with it just like I do and I feel hopeful that the things that I'm doing can help me yes I can walk around my entire house I've actually had dinner in the kitchen or in the dining room room with my husband and didn't have earplugs in for the first time I think last week and it no it's not just um since the pandemic so pre-pandemic we were eating together then pandemic and my what I call that episode in the beginning of January and now I'm sort of kind of coming back to myself okay

Adeel [45:53]: yeah pre-pandemic jennifer yeah that's a big step that's a big step it seems like i mean you took quite a journey there uh since last march so it's great to see you're coming back yes um well um so i know that we know we both have kind of a kind of a hard time limit but um uh i would like to yeah i would like to let you um ramble on anything else you want to share with the audience i mean you're relatively new listener to the podcast but you've really been binging um so you know you have a good idea of what who's who's listening um yeah anything else you'd like you'd like to share with people about you about your kind of uh experiences yeah well

H [46:39]: First of all, yeah, thank you for letting me ramble because I have heard, listened to many of your podcasts and you are a great interviewer and you let people share and then you have a wonderful way of reflecting back. And I really have enjoyed and I also appreciate that you do some of the, is it brown noise in your podcast?

Adeel [46:59]: Yeah, right. I did that on a whim when I started and I just like, let me just try it out and see what people think. And I hope that's helping.

H [47:07]: It is very helpful. So there are some things I can't listen to. So, yeah, I really appreciate it. the work you're doing I really really need that and I do feel like I kind of I'm I am in some sort of recovery right now from this a difficult time so I do feel like I kind of rambled on maybe a little too much but no no no I've been rambling in a positive way oh thank you well thank you um if there's one thing I can say is this um that I've there's been a thread in my life very prominent that I'm the crazy one. I'm the different one. I'm the weird one. I'm the one that's the, you know, we talked about this earlier about the control freak and whether I put all of those things on me, those labels on me, or I heard other people put those labels, I'm not sure, but I've always felt different. I felt like I had to be the one that had to retreat back to, I've always lived, Like I couldn't, oh, this is a great example. And when I was sharing houses or like with friends, I'm always the one, my friends knew I had to have my own room. Like I've always had to have my own space. Actually, when my husband and I moved into our house together, he let me move everything in first because he knows that I needed to find my own space. Actually, that was a very positive thing. Through my life, I've truly had this like, I'm the crazy one thread. And it wasn't until this January where I really hit a bottom with the misophonia and then coming out of it, I realized I'm not crazy. It's just something that, just misophonia that I have and it's okay. And yeah, we're not crazy. We're actually pretty darn fun.

Adeel [49:14]: I mean, like you said before, we're highly intelligent. Highly intelligent. That's the big lesson from this. That's my big takeaway. Creating, fun, know how to laugh.

H [49:24]: I really had to laugh at myself.

Adeel [49:26]: Well, we've had to. Yeah, exactly.

H [49:29]: Yeah. And if there's one thing that, one other thing, that one's the big one. We're not crazy. It just is what it is. And it's going to be okay. Keep taking care of yourself. And And believe that it's going to be okay because it will be. Even in your lowest moments of the crazy noises, we can all kind of work through this together. And I really mean that. There's one other little trick is that my husband kind of by, he would say, well, does that noise bother you? He would do something. Does that bother you? Or I would make a noise and he'd say, does that bother you? And that is not helpful because did you just giggle? Because the more he pointed noises out, the more they got added for me. And so I've had to lovingly suggest that he not do that anymore. Yeah, it's actually more helpful for me not to talk about the noises and just talk about, I just kind of live in a way that I'm in control and that I can put practical sort of

Adeel [50:39]: things into play yeah now that comes up a lot we don't want to be reminded of it uh we definitely don't want to we definitely don't want an example of it yeah no but we don't we'd rather just not think about it it's um Jennifer, thank you so much. You're awesome. Thank you. I'm glad you shared it. I think it reflects a lot of people. Most importantly, I'm glad you're coming out of it. I hope that continues.

H [51:10]: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thanks for the work you're doing.

Adeel [51:13]: Thank you again, Jennifer. Like I said earlier, I hope you're still recovering well and inspiring to see someone stop and advocate for themselves. 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 quiet.