Maisy - Navigating Life and Creativity with Misophonia

S2 E12 - 7/15/2020
Maisy, a guest on the podcast, discussed her life with misophonia, focusing on her creative processes, the impact of quarantine, and living arrangements tailored to managing triggers. She highlighted the importance of building personal spaces, establishing routines, and crafting a comfortable living environment to mitigate triggers. Maisy also shared strategies for managing mealtime triggers and emphasized the need for open communication and validation among those living with misophonia. Her message underscored that adapting one's lifestyle can create a sense of normalcy and comfort despite the challenges posed by misophonia.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 2, Episode 12. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week, I'm talking to Maisie, an art history student who took a few years off before starting college, in no small part due to Misophonia. We talk about healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms, interesting sleeping arrangements, and other ways to live with a partner. Macy's a big fan of the podcast and says it has really helped to listen to all the past guests. So thank you again to everyone who's come on. Still have lots of recorded interviews that I'll be rolling out over the next few months. And then I'll start recording season three in the fall. So stay tuned for interview slots. This week I want to give a miso list shout out to Chloe Worthington's Society6 face masks and more. Chloe is actually the genius behind the Misophonia memes Instagram account that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. She's created a line of face masks for COVID life and are available at her Society6 page. Link in the show notes or at Remember, if you're at a business owned that's owned by Misophone or employs Misophones, please let me know. You can go to, and click the add button. And this is a great way for us to all support each other. All right, here's my conversation with Maisie. Maisie, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Maisy [1:31]: Hi. Yes, thank you.

Adeel [1:34]: So, yeah, as a listener, you know that I like to find out kind of where folks are located.

Maisy [1:39]: Well, currently right now I'm in Rock Hill, South Carolina. I moved here about a year ago to transfer to Winthrop University.

Adeel [1:47]: Gotcha. Cool. And you're a student there?

Maisy [1:49]: I am. I'm studying art history.

Adeel [1:52]: Gotcha. Yes. Okay. So... And I'll post in the show notes a couple of your Instagram accounts, if that's okay. Yeah, that's totally fine. A lot of great art done by Misophones, so I'm sure people would love to see it.

Maisy [2:06]: Yeah.

Adeel [2:06]: So, okay, so you're at the university there. Maybe what's it like, you know, being a student? I've talked to a bunch of students. How is it at your school?

Maisy [2:19]: Yes. Well, so that was the thing. I'm kind of a late start getting to college because I took a bunch of years off of high school after high school. So getting back into college was very much stressful, like going to classes, being around a lot of people. And that's kind of. when the misophonia started to really get heightened and I had to address it for sure.

Adeel [2:40]: Gotcha. So it's the, uh, the usual eating and various sounds enclosed in a tiny room.

Maisy [2:46]: Oh, absolutely. Like those big lecture halls. That's where it really got me. It was actually in a psychology class that I finally broke and, uh, had to go to my professor and say, look, like I know you allow eating in here, but I can't do it. I can't come to class.

Adeel [3:03]: And what did they say?

Maisy [3:06]: she she she sympathized with me and she said i know i get it i have a friend who hasn't i think that's the first time i'd ever talked to somebody who yeah wasn't like a friend or a family member that kind of sympathized with me and she recommended going to the counseling services through the school because it was free and i finally started going to therapy and talking about it

Adeel [3:31]: Gotcha. Okay.

Maisy [3:32]: And then did that teacher kind of make any accommodations, like let you... She definitely was like, you know, I mean, the class size was, I don't know, 40 to 50 people. So she's like, you know, I can't really make that... you know, tell everyone to not bring in food or anything like that. But if you need to leave, like, just give me the look and head out. And I'm not going to be.

Adeel [3:54]: We know how to do the look.

Maisy [3:55]: So, yeah, exactly. So I definitely had that that freedom and relief of, OK, I can leave and not feel, you know, too awful about it, like have to come back and explain myself.

Adeel [4:06]: And that sometimes I think I feel like helps just knowing that you have that thing to lean on.

Maisy [4:13]: Absolutely. Yeah.

Adeel [4:14]: Helped you get through it by timeboxing and whatnot. Okay, so you did say in an email that it's been kind of 20 years in the making. Do you want to kind of maybe take us back to the early days of your misophonia?

Maisy [4:30]: Yeah, and I think it's pretty familiar for everybody who has misophonia. It tends to start pretty early in life. So I have memories of being like six or seven and being really triggered at, the dinner table I have an older brother who would drive me nuts on purpose or just kind of no that's just him he still kind of is that way so the the closer um you are yeah the closer not is in like distance closer as in like emotionally connected I think even to this day like my my mom is like my best friend I love her so much but she is my biggest trigger like I cannot even you know, be in the kitchen with her with the anticipation of maybe her eating something or drinking something. And does she realize that and kind of... Yes, she is probably my biggest supporter other than my partner that I live with right now. She totally gets it. There's been definitely a lot of times where it's like, okay, I'm going to have my chips now. And I'll be like, all right, I'm going to go do something else.

Adeel [5:38]: Gotcha. Okay. And then was she your first trigger back in the day or was that your brother?

Maisy [5:43]: I would say my brother for sure.

Adeel [5:46]: Okay. What about your dad? Yeah, I hear a lot about dads.

Maisy [5:49]: My dad for sure. Yeah. And that's the thing is like, I think my parents didn't really become a trigger for me until maybe my teen years when I started to really notice and never been a fan of the dinner table at all.

Adeel [6:05]: Yeah. Overrated.

Maisy [6:06]: Still do not like it at all. Do not like the idea of it.

Adeel [6:09]: So what do you do in that situation?

Maisy [6:11]: So, yes, throughout the last couple of years since I started therapy at my school, I've been a little bit more open about it. Like, hey, you know, it's Thanksgiving. You know that I got this thing. I'm probably just going to be in the kitchen or just wondering around like. I might sit down for a little bit and kind of grit my teeth, but for the most part, I'm pretty much allowed to kind of, we're a little non-traditional family anyway, so it's totally understandable.

Adeel [6:44]: Okay, yeah, that's, yeah, I hear people do that, like sit down for a little bit, move around, maybe help with dishes or spend a lot of time in the bathroom.

Maisy [6:52]: Absolutely, I'm that person, yeah, kind of finishing up and be like, all right, can I get your plate? Can I go, you know, clean up?

Adeel [6:59]: Yeah. Okay. So, all right. So, yeah, growing up, you had that, you know, the family experience. How did that, you know, did it start with a just kind of family? Did it start to affect elementary school, high school?

Maisy [7:15]: You know, looking back on it now, I do think I was affected. I just had no idea what it was. It seemed to be like I had a really, really hard time with school all throughout my life. Like I, you know, going to elementary school, being dropped off, I would just be crying. But we didn't really know, you know, why am I so upset? Why am I so like have so much anxiety about going to this place? So I don't think I really realized that until after I graduated high school and found the word misophonia and kind of connected with it and was able to look back retrospectively and

Adeel [7:54]: Did you remember?

Maisy [7:54]: Kind of make those connections.

Adeel [7:55]: Yeah, did you remember any specific memories that led you to that?

Maisy [7:59]: I don't remember any specific memories, but even to this day when I think about a cafeteria, I cringe.

Adeel [8:07]: Gotcha, yeah. There's some Pavlovian thing that's built up.

Maisy [8:11]: I'm sure there was a lot of it. I just mentally could not make the connection.

Adeel [8:17]: Do you think that was part of the decision to kind of like take some gap years after high school?

Maisy [8:22]: Absolutely. Because I even actually technically dropped out of high school, I think middle of my junior year. But they had just started doing online school. So I actually got my diploma online from an academy. But yeah, I had really, really intense anxiety. And by the time I got to high school, I just couldn't deal with it. I would go into class and have panic attacks. I think a lot of that was just built up. Misophonia plus other things like just depression and anxiety and all of that.

Adeel [8:56]: Were you seeing therapists for some of that stuff?

Maisy [9:00]: I had not seen a therapist until I started college. That was my first time.

Adeel [9:04]: And that was just like recent college? Recently.

Maisy [9:08]: I mean, I think about a year and a half ago I started therapy. But I would say it's still there, 100%. I still recognize it.

Adeel [9:17]: Gotcha. So you said after high school is when you learned that it had a name. How did you find out what it was?

Maisy [9:25]: Yeah. So when I graduated high school, I was like 19. I decided to move in with my boyfriend at the time. We lived together for about a year. And I remember that's when like triggers all the time. And he was actually in school, so he had to stay up late, work on the computer. And I just remember all the sounds. And eating was very difficult. And there was no name for it. There was no way to really express it to the point where he would understand it. So we got frustrated with each other a lot and ended up breaking up. And I think about a couple months after that, he sent me an article with that name, misophonia. And he was like, this is you. And I remember reading it thinking like, wow, okay. But also it was so early on, like, it's like, people still don't know what it is that, you know, it took a while to really, really connect with it and, and accept that like, okay, this is something legitimate.

Adeel [10:24]: Was it a bit of a kind of relief when you got that?

Maisy [10:26]: Absolutely. A relief in a way of like, whenever I would have bad days specifically with like a lot of triggers and, feeling like really isolated, I could go online and maybe search about it, read about it and kind of be cathartic in that way.

Adeel [10:44]: Yeah. Okay. So you start to kind of read about it to kind of try to help treat it. Yeah. So what did you start to do next to kind of get over it? So after you learn more about it, did you learn about coping mechanisms and stuff and start to implement things?

Maisy [11:03]: yeah and i think i'm still you know to this day struggling to to um really kind of get away from self-medication and try to do some other coping mechanisms um as far as i have really had success with is just kind of being open with my partner who is very understanding. Like, just even before on this call, he comes up to me and says, you know, I'm about to go brush my teeth. I'm like, thank you. Put in my headphones. Like, just kind of like, you know, being open about it and trying not to let it build up. I do have parts of my life where I've gotten addicted to earbuds for sure, earplugs. I try to do those kinds of things.

Adeel [11:54]: yeah so that um i mean uh um um do you do you write a little bit based on that but that that that is one thing that uh you know i will search for i will be on the verge of buying like airpods every once in a while and then i'll be like damn if i can't see myself taking these out and how that would be terrible um and so you know it just being able to have lots of earbuds but I think I'll get as far as just kind of having them within arm's reach. But the idea of just kind of keeping them in my ear, which is what some of these things are designed to do, just seems like too much of an addiction.

Maisy [12:34]: Oh, yeah. And I do like, I fantasize sometimes. I'm like, oh, I just wish there was some kind of like ear, like hidden ear bug or ear bud that I could put in my ear and just tap it and then it'll be silenced. and then like untap it. So it's just like unnoticeable, but you know, helpful.

Adeel [12:54]: Yeah. So, okay. So you, um, we were talking about, um, yeah, you put your headphones on, um, when, when you're, when your partner was brushing his teeth. Um, and so you, so earbuds, okay. So earbuds have been one way that you've, um, you've kind of, uh, been hooked on them in the past. Yeah. Anything else that you've, uh, that you've self-medicated with?

Maisy [13:18]: So I will say when I wrote that first original email to you, I did want to kind of put a warning of like, you know, recognizing that a lot of my coping mechanisms are super unhealthy. Definitely in my teen years when it started to really get heightened because I was just around so many people and going to school and my family. And I really turned to drinking a lot, especially like during dinner. Um, even to this day, like after turning 21, like if I go to a restaurant, I'm going to get a drink because it does like soften that blow. And so that's something I've always really turned to. And even Thanksgiving, you know, I've been, you know, discussing it with my family of like how to kind of get around it. But I know in the past, like I'll just get there and I'll start having some wine and like, it'll just, you know, by the time it's dinner time, I'm kind of like, all right, I'm ready to pass out.

Adeel [14:17]: Yeah, is there a point where it gets, it definitely takes the edge off? Is there a point where it kind of takes you into maybe a more ranty, kind of edgy kind of mode? Or does it just kind of go into passing out and then you're kind of done for the night?

Maisy [14:34]: I think, yeah, it's just a combination.

Adeel [14:36]: Because there's some alcohols like, you know, whiskey that can turn people into very kind of ranty, fighting.

Maisy [14:42]: Are angry, yeah.

Adeel [14:43]: Yeah, so.

Maisy [14:44]: I know what you mean. I would say it's it's just I exhaust myself. Is that what I do with that? Because it's it's the anticipation. It's the actual event. And then it's on top of that self-medicating and just really trying to wear myself out. Feels like jumpy, jittery anxiety. So I think alcohol has definitely become a friend in that.

Adeel [15:07]: Yeah. So you said you started using it before college. Obviously, before you knew what misophonia was. So you were just kind of generally using it for the things you were feeling, I guess. Oh, yeah. Yeah, whatever it was. Okay. Gotcha. And so did that evolve over time, like more or less? Or have you learned, is it still, you know, it's still, I don't know, alcohol can obviously get into destructive ways, but is it still kind of helpful? What's your relationship with it now?

Maisy [15:45]: I think it's, I wouldn't say it's a better relationship, but it's a more aware relationship. which I guess in some aspects that is, that's good. The first thing is to kind of like admit it and take it head on. And it's something I'm still talking about in therapy. And there's some days where I'm just like, I don't want to talk about this. And some days where I like, we need to address this. And that's how it kind of feels like the misophonia too, is like some days are good. Some days I feel like, oh, it's not that bad. Like this, nobody wants to hear me gripe about this. And then other days I'm like, no, this is real. I've got to kind of tackle it. So it really just depends on my energy levels. If I'm having a bad day, yeah, I'm probably going to drink a lot. If I'm having a good day, I feel like, yeah, okay, I don't need anything.

Adeel [16:33]: I can distract myself. Yeah. Have you noticed any patterns on those good, bad misophonia days? We know stress is probably the number one pattern.

Maisy [16:48]: I think a lot of it has to do with being out of control, for sure. So anytime there's like, I have to be somewhere, like either in a classroom or at a family gathering, it starts to get a little more heightened, that sense of how can I escape if I need to. Because like misophonia is like the fight or flight thing. And for so long, like I had been fighting it, but I think I've gotten more into just trying to run away from it. I know in therapy, there's been a lot of suggestions of, you know, learning how to relax your muscles or, you know, talk about my therapist, like eating chips and trying to do that kind of thing. Like try to get me to a heightened state. really heightened place and then bring me back down. But to me, that just sounds like a nightmare. Yes.

Adeel [17:47]: Yes.

Maisy [17:47]: Yes. It sounds like such a nightmare. Um, so I just try to take it, take it. Um, really the best advice I can give is like, take it moment by moment. You don't anticipate too much, but if you do anticipate, just start thinking about the ways like you can maybe get around it or, or deal with it. I know everybody's different. So, you know, you got to find your own thing. Yeah.

Adeel [18:13]: There's been a couple of times when I've just kind of tried to tell my brain silently that whatever's happening is not. meant to hurt you, you know? Yeah. And then it actually has, if you can just go inside yourself and think that, I think, I mean, I need to do that more because I usually don't remember to do that, but there might be something there. Okay, so yeah, other than the alcohol, anything else that maybe your therapist has kind of pointed you towards?

Maisy [18:42]: So I will say this is pretty crazy because, so for so long, I... of course, aware of therapy, but never felt like I needed it or felt justified to be there, I suppose.

Adeel [18:57]: Oh, okay. Even with everything you were going through. Yeah.

Maisy [19:00]: I mean, it just had become so normal that I was like, man, if I go to therapy, they're not going to understand. They're going to try to do something else. I don't know what they're going to do with me. But finally, when that one professor said, hey, go, go talk to them. It was amazing because the therapist I had, and I love him so much. I miss him. He was at my old school. He was like, you know, I was reading your notes before coming in and you said misophonia. And he goes, it's really strange because I have misophonia. So this whole new world kind of opened up for me. um just became super elated that like oh my god i just met somebody an adult like who has it too and also is now my therapist and that really really helped me um he just knew what to say we would just kind of talk about it in a casual way which felt very very good Um, I think those are the, those are the best moments in therapy is when you're just, um, you're justified in being there. You're, you know, I forget the word I'm trying to think.

Adeel [20:13]: Feel validated or.

Maisy [20:14]: Validation. Yes. Validation. That's it. feeling validated and, and that this is something that affects your life daily in a negative way. And I have to kind of remember that. And those are the best times in therapy, I think is when I, when I get that validation of, yeah, you know, you, you belong here, you know, you, you have legitimate issues.

Adeel [20:37]: Gotcha. Okay. And, uh, and speaking of the, um, I guess, uh, you know, the triggers that you have, we won't go into the detail. I'm curious, um,

Maisy [20:46]: Oh, so many. Sometimes I list them.

Adeel [20:49]: Yeah. What's the basic categories? Let's keep it kind of general there.

Maisy [20:55]: Yeah. And that's what they've done in therapy, too. It's like, hey, let's just list them. Of course, we've got the eating, all those range of sounds. Brushing teeth is a big one.

Adeel [21:07]: That's a daily one.

Maisy [21:08]: Yeah. I won't let my mom wear flip-flops. I can't stand it.

Adeel [21:15]: Interesting.

Maisy [21:16]: Clipping nails, tapping on the keyboard, like especially the older keyboards. Those are really clunky.

Adeel [21:22]: And what about visual triggers? That's something that, you know, you hear about a lot. Visual.

Maisy [21:28]: Yeah. With my mom, it's really big visual triggers. Like I can't stand when she puts on lipstick or drinks through a straw. I don't even know if she knows that if I've ever told her, but... Those definitely, I think, with my mom are the biggest.

Adeel [21:40]: Did you notice that early on, too, the visuals? Or was that something that kind of piled on later? I think so, yeah.

Maisy [21:46]: Okay. I think that happened around the same time that I just started to get triggered by her eating in a room with me. And it seems so strange. I don't know if I said that, but it seems like the closer I become with someone, like emotionally, the worse it gets.

Adeel [22:03]: It's so ironic because it's... I know.

Maisy [22:06]: Yeah. The more you love someone, it's like the more you can't stand to see them like do daily things that they have to do.

Adeel [22:14]: So, yeah, that's really interesting. One thing I want to dive into, though, is it seems like those people that you've told, maybe it's a function of that, but it turns out they're pretty supportive. I'm curious how that kind of conversation went early on. Like, how did you tell them, whether it's your partner or your mom, and what their reaction was?

Maisy [22:35]: Yeah, and I'll start off by saying that, yes, they are supportive, but in reality, like, it can be pretty bad like feelings get hurt you know fights can start but i think the i can't remember having a conversation with my mom uh i think she just noticed i think just her being around like obviously i'm super uncomfortable and that just became a routine with us maybe my mid-teen years like okay I'm not going to, you know, eat around her. She even has jokingly said, which is like kind of dark, but like you gave me an eating disorder and yeah, we can make jokes and laugh about it, which does help. But there's some days where I think about that and I'm like, Oh my God, like I'm, I'm, I'm impeding on their lives now. Like I'm making, I'm making them feel bad. So I think that, that, that comes with, opening it up to people about it and yes they understand and of course they want to you know work with me on it but also like the reality of is it that we are just you know all humans we get our feelings heard about it and you know they see my face and there's like this level of disgust that's being registered by them and And they hate to be the source of that, even though I tried to explain, like, you're not the source. It's the misophonia. I mean, it's not you. It's not me. It's the misophonia. And now that I have that word, I think it's easier to talk about it and kind of have that conversation. But it's still rough. Like, you don't want to ever make anybody feel like that they're the bad one or they're the problem.

Adeel [24:20]: And what about strangers going on in daily life, like people you meet at school or outside? Do you tell people about it? No, I haven't.

Maisy [24:34]: Yeah, I haven't. Especially like... Thinking now when I'm around those people, it's at school, it's in classes. There has not been one case where I've told another classmate. There's been a couple times where I've had to walk out of a classroom or just walk away from people, which tends to be okay. And like I said, it seems to get kind of more intense the closer I am with someone. So some of these strangers that I don't really know or see very often, I can kind of deal with. about friends like you know who are not not loved ones per se but i do have a memory of you know being in high school and i had a friend over and we were best friends and sitting on the couch at the end of the night we're watching tv and i just remember her just munching on a bag of chips and having that rage and but but also feeling like i can't say anything to this person like they're not doing anything So I think for a long time, I probably just seemed kind of standoffish. I think a lot. Probably made it a little hard to make friends or get closer to people.

Adeel [25:44]: What kind of jobs have you had? Let's go there.

Maisy [25:52]: And this is also one of the most ironic things that I also have gotten from my therapist is like, why do you work in restaurants? I've been a server for so long and worked in customer service. And I think there's something to be said about having that white noise or that kind of background noise. Like when you're in your restaurant, there's lots of people talking, there's things going on, music playing. There have been times like with coworkers or a table where I've just had to walk away. But for the most part, no, I stay pretty busy. I stay pretty focused and it doesn't seem to bother me there.

Adeel [26:27]: Yeah, I guess you're moving around a lot. And of course, you can immediately bring the check. Yeah, yeah. Move along. Yeah, interesting. But yeah, there's obviously we don't have to get into all the possible sounds that happen in an environment like that. And, you know, after, I mean, so you're doing art, you're studying art history and you're

Maisy [26:50]: in school have you thought about like um where you want this to go like what kind of job you want in the future that might be amenable to this you know i'm still not really sure i'm just i just really love studying this subject um i found my confidence in school as has really gone up over the past you know few semesters and And I'm writing a lot. I'm researching a lot. And I could maybe see a career in that. And that's very much like I could do that from home or do that in a quiet office. I mean, I do love working with people, too. And I think like I can I can pursue. pretty much any career that I really want to. It's just those little in-between things where someone's like, hey, you want to have lunch today? Or you're in a meeting with people and somebody's brought their breakfast in. It's those things that I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with.

Adeel [27:44]: Yeah, I've told people you cannot eat during like, you know, Zoom calls. And that's something that I think is one of those things that's relatively can be normalized across all humans. So that should be doable. But yeah, it often does take somebody speaking up about that.

Maisy [28:05]: Yeah, I've already thought like because everyone's on the Zoom call now that if that were to happen, I was just like, hey, can you mute your mic? And that seems very like, yeah, you know, sometimes people just need to mute their mic. Maybe there's some feedback. I don't really have to go in to explain why. I think that's the hardest part is like you anticipate people being like, well, why?

Adeel [28:26]: Why?

Maisy [28:26]: You know, why are you so upset? Why can't I do what I want to do? Another freedom of eating or whatever.

Adeel [28:33]: Right. It can be a little painful when they unmute in mid-chew, but we won't do that. Cool. Okay. Yeah. And so other than your therapist, have you met other people with misophonia?

Maisy [28:48]: Nope. I have not. I think you're probably like the second one.

Adeel [28:52]: Yeah. I've heard a bunch of interviews of interviewees have said that, that this is kind of a first or second time.

Maisy [28:59]: Yeah. And also I kind of consider like I've listened to so many of your episodes and I'm really impressed by the wide variety of people that you have been able to talk with. And I kind of consider all those people I've now, you know, semi vicariously met that have misophonia. Do you think I feel a bigger group? I feel a little more like, OK, I could start maybe a club at school, maybe put up some posters and Say, hey, do you have misophonia? This is what it is. And maybe kind of meet more people in real life.

Adeel [29:33]: So by the time this airs, I will have aired actually the interview I did with the... the founder of the UCLA Misophonia Support Group. You should take a look. I don't know if you're familiar with the group there, but there's a group there that I think is kind of the first one in the country where some students just got together and started a Misophonia group. They've got an Instagram. I think we follow them on Instagram. But yeah, you should reach out. Maybe I can connect you guys and kind of get some tips because I've been trying to like... see that happen try to try to get that to happen across the country yeah no that'd be wonderful i'm i'm very and if you start that please let me know uh i'll you know as much as possible because i think yeah because i think um yeah getting getting that getting that community going in college will i think help people and when they get out to the workforce and just generally so yeah and there's still just so much like

Maisy [30:37]: And I'm so, so happy. I'm like three hours from Duke University and they've been on my radar for a couple of years of doing a lot of research. And I'm just super, super happy. Yeah, that that that is becoming more of a conversation. And I think the biggest thing that I'd want to do in a group is just kind of like, let's talk about it. I think that's been the biggest thing for me is like. I'm not really, you know, of course, I'm always open to do you have any coping mechanisms, you know, what works for you. But I think also just talking about it, just feeling like a real person, you know. feeling connected really, really helps.

Adeel [31:17]: Yeah, no, I totally agree. That's why I kind of like trying to get these to be pretty casual and free form. Yeah. Having been to a couple of the conventions, like where it's a couple of days, there's a bunch of talks, but I started going less and less to the talks and more and more into the lobby conversations. And that's kind of where the real power is, I think. Yeah, definitely. Because when you read about it online, it's just kind of these very, you know, cliche articles with clickbait pictures and kind of a, you know, a story that's meant to shock you about somebody's reaction. But yeah, it's just kind of like conversations like hearing about your art actually has the miso kind of those emotions kind of like infiltrated into your heart.

Maisy [32:05]: Honestly, I don't think it has. I mean, I've just always been a maker. I just make stuff. I can use pretty much any material. But I don't really think it's translated into it too much, or at least I'm unconscious of it. But yeah, I think if anything in my art, I deal with a lot of just building your own world. Like right now, I'm making a bunch of miniature rooms. which seems kind of funny.

Adeel [32:33]: I saw miniature rooms in Chicago Art Institute. I actually got a book on those. Yeah, tell me about that.

Maisy [32:43]: Yeah, so I don't know. Maybe it's just coming out of this time where we are all staying at home and kind of creating new rooms to go visit because, I mean, how many places in my house can I hang out at? So I think that always that idea and even being younger when I'm, you know, depressed or have anxiety or want to leave because of misophonia trigger is like having these escapes, uh, imagined places, I suppose.

Adeel [33:11]: Yeah. So, um, yeah. So, so during quarantine lockdown, Oh, how, how has your misophonia changed if it has at all?

Maisy [33:19]: Um, I'd say it's about the same. I think, um, I'm a big smoker too, but that's, but that's actually gone down. Um, since I've been at home. I think when I'm out in the world, I'm way more triggered. But since being home, I've had a strange relief of kind of security. Also, you know, every day changes. You don't know what's going to happen. But also, I'm kind of implementing that, like, just take every day at a time. And also, knowing that I'm going to be at home is, you know, a routine. And I think routines are really important, especially for misophonia as well. who might have that kind of control issue.

Adeel [34:00]: Yeah. Is your partner at home too with you?

Maisy [34:02]: Yes, he is. He's a high school teacher at the moment. So he's been dealing with.

Adeel [34:08]: That would not be an ideal job for a misophone. Let's put that out there.

Maisy [34:13]: Oh, yeah. Oh, but I will say my partner that I'm with, Zach, we've been together for four years now. We were three years long distance. But when we moved to Rock Hill, this is the first time we've lived in a house together. And one of the first things I said is we're having separate bedrooms.

Adeel [34:32]: Yeah. Okay.

Maisy [34:33]: And I, he was totally cool with it. He's fine. We've got this, we got perfect house. We have separate bedrooms. He's at the front of the house. I'm at the back of the house. We have our own offices in our room. So he's got his own, he does all of his stuff in his room. But I think that is like the most smartest thing for like a misophone or any kind of couple. It's just to have your separate spaces and,

Adeel [34:56]: Yeah, when I was young and cooler, you know, I thought, oh, open office loft. Like open concept loft. It's so hip and cool. I'm like, oh, my God, that would probably be a disaster. So now I have like, you know, three stories plus a basement. Yeah. That vertical height is big because if you get a nice thick floor, that helps a lot. Yeah. So that's interesting. Any other kind of like house architectural tips that you have?

Maisy [35:25]: Um, I, no, not really. I think just like, I'm so particular about all the items I have in the rooms I have. And this makes so much sense that I've been making these like little miniature room models, but I think just having your space really, really making it yours is very comforting and may will make you feel safer. Yep.

Adeel [35:43]: Lots of small rooms. I like that.

Maisy [35:47]: And also I think a lot of times the misophonia when you, when you know, being triggered by the people you love and it could hurt their feelings. I think, you know, for them to have an escape to, um, a lot of times when we love making food, especially being home. Now we make homemade meals every night and we enjoy and love doing that. But I feel a little more comforted now because, the anticipation of eating at a table is gone. We've established, I'm going to go to my bedroom or I'm going to go outside or, you know, we kind of eat separately but make food together. And I think that's like a compromise in some ways.

Adeel [36:26]: Yeah, that's really nice. That's really nice. Yeah, I know some people are having a terrible time during lockdown, but it's good to hear those. Yeah, there's some good and bad. Exactly. That's a good way to deal with mealtimes, I think.

Maisy [36:39]: Yeah.

Adeel [36:40]: Cool. Well, yeah, maybe we should start to kind of wind down, but I kind of, I know you've thought about this a lot since January. I'm curious, are there any other things you want to kind of tell people who are listening? And obviously this being kind of your first or second time talking about misophonia with a stranger. Yeah, I mean, anything you want to tell the audience?

Maisy [37:07]: I know I thought about this so much of like, what's my sign off? But I just really, really want to tell anybody who's struggling. Like, obviously, if you're listening to this podcast, you you feel like you want to learn more about it. Just talk to somebody with it or be open about your own experiences with it. I think it's really important to to feel validated and make each other feel validated.

Adeel [37:33]: Yeah, I will second that. A lot of us have gotten so good at bottling things up that we probably don't even realize how much of a relief it is to talk to somebody about it.

Maisy [37:45]: And also, nobody is normal. Nobody's normal. I mean, whatever you make your life, that's going to be normal for you, and that's okay. I think a lot of people feel like a freak or they can't live in the world, but they can. I'm doing it.

Adeel [38:01]: Yeah. Yeah. You know, many of us are making it happen and our guests are a testament to that too. So, um, yeah, well, uh, Maisie, thanks again for coming on. It's good to finally talk to you.

Maisy [38:12]: Thank you so much. Yes.

Adeel [38:14]: Thank you, Maisie. And thanks everyone for listening. You can email. hello at with your thoughts, or find us on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast. We're on Twitter too at Misophonia Show. Don't forget to check out the Misolist at, and music, as always, is by Moby. I hope you're having a great summer, or if you're catching up on this later in the year, as always, I wish you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [39:06]: Thank you.