Sadie - Navigating Misophonia in Showbiz

S5 E10 - 12/2/2021
In this episode, the guest, Sadie, discusses her experiences as a model, actress, and student living with misophonia in New York City. Sadie shares that balancing her professional life with misophonia is challenging, especially in environments filled with potential triggers such as audition rooms or sets where there's often eating and noise. She reveals that it's her first time speaking about misophonia outside of her family circle. To cope, Sadie has developed strategies like feigning phone calls to escape uncomfortable situations, always carrying headphones, and teaching herself to suffer in silence if necessary. Despite the struggles and the need to maintain a professional demeanor to avoid being labeled as difficult, Sadie finds refuge in her work, which has forced her to learn how to manage her reactions better than when she was younger. She candidly discusses the personal growth and self-acceptance developed through navigating the challenges misophonia brings to her career and personal life.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 10. My name is Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week, my conversation is with Sadie. Sadie is a model, actress, and student, and introvert based in New York City. Really interesting to hear her coping tips while working in places that are much more, you'd say, subjective and collaborative than your typical cubicle job or work-from-home job. This is also Sadie's first time talking about Miso with anyone outside family. So please, you know, if you'd like to show some support, you can follow her on Instagram at MillerAndSadie, and I'll have links in the show notes. And our Instagram, by the way, is MissiphoniaPodcast. Speaking of support, I hope all my American-based listeners survived the Thanksgiving break. We're kind of in the holiday hurricane with Christmas coming up. So for some of us, there are lots of challenges with... family and eating and lots of people around and eating and traveling and eating. So I wish everyone the best. And just remember that you can always throw on some headphones and listen to a new episode every week. And there's some really amazing ones coming up. And speaking of amazing episodes, here is my conversation with Sadie. Sadie, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Sadie [1:23]: Thank you for having me, actually.

Adeel [1:25]: Yeah. So you're, so I kind of see in the video a little bit. So you're not, you're not home. Whereabouts are you kind of usually, usually based?

Sadie [1:32]: Well, I actually go back and forth between New York City and Indiana and sometimes Chicago, depending, and Cincinnati as well. So just kind of in between that little triangle, if you will.

Adeel [1:43]: Little triangle, Midwest, Northeast triangle. Cool.

Sadie [1:45]: Yeah.

Adeel [1:46]: And then you want to tell people kind of, you know, what you, what you usually do?

Sadie [1:50]: Well, I am an actress, model, and student right now. I started college Around actually the day that they announced that COVID, you know, they shut down all the flights and everything. And I was home for a bit for a job. And then they canceled all the flights. So I figured that day, since I wasn't going to the airport, they were enrolling, you know, online classes. So I just kind of drove over to my community college and decided to sign up. And luckily it worked out. So, yeah, so far so good.

Adeel [2:23]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. took a couple gap years in between high school and college so yeah no that's that's good yeah yeah yeah no that's good and then uh and so you're in new york city doing actress modeling uh how i don't think i've ever i think i've had actresses on but i'm curious just in those fields uh we might as well start with like what's the misophonia situation because you're i mean there's obviously a lot of auditioning you have to um you know you got to perform and but you know there's random people around just kind of setting up and and probably eating on set and whatnot um and so

Sadie [3:05]: you know and you have to like you know you have to your demeanor can't really you can't start throwing death glares all the time right no no because it's you you know and if you act a little you know funky or rude or stingy people don't want to be around that and typically i've noticed throughout the years they're hiring you not just for you but for your personality and now these days of course now like the social media followers like throw are thrown in and all that jazz which i don't really understand but you know you always have to keep a pleasant face and you know be helpful and you know kind of match your personality to others but still be yourself at the same time which has been really hard to navigate throughout the years but you know i i feel like I've kind of just learned just to be more so myself. And if I am in a situation where they start to break for lunch or like the makeup artist is smacking on gum, you know, that kind of thing, then I just kind of learned that my go-to excuse is to be like, oh, I have to call my mom or, oh, you know, I have to check out on a flight or, oh, you know, just, oh, I have to call my agent about this, that, and I leave the room for a bit and take, if I'm, you know, if it is during lunch hour, I'll take whatever it is that I'm eating or just like a little something and just kind of... Cool off a little bit. That's horrible, but sometimes I fake a phone call just to, you know, get out of the room for a minute.

Adeel [4:32]: Hey, you got to do what you got to do. People are taking notes right now, trust me. Everyone's going to be using that excuse. Yeah, that's great. You got to do what you got to do to recover. We know how the amplitudes of our triggers can be so crazy that we need to take some time off to just kind of... get back and be productive and i guess in your yeah in your industry there's you know there's that whole diva label and we're you know we're super nice people but you don't want to you don't want to get thrown into that bucket because that could really affect your career and it doesn't it's not even accurate so you know

Sadie [5:06]: No, and it's a little frustrating because it's nothing personal against the people that are in the room. You know, it's never, ever personal. It's just the way our brains work. You know, it's just the way our brain functions, and that's what I have to tell myself. And I try not to be weird about it either because as a kid, you know, I didn't really know how to navigate triggers or noises, and I would react and... you know, kids don't really know how to act around them, you know, anyways, you know, they're not really, they're kids. And so being a kid surrounded by noises, I didn't do that great. But for some reason on set, I always seemed to collect myself probably because I had that hanging over my head that if I acted the way I usually did, then I wouldn't be hired ever again. So it always was my calm place. It was always my normal little Haven. And so I think, But if I did not have modeling, I would not really know how to.

Adeel [6:03]: Oh, so that's really interesting. So you kind of use it to your advantage. You kind of try to think of it as your little refuge, I guess. Yeah, OK. That's great, because that can kind of just help propel you in your work. Just use that. Use that. Yeah, people using their work as a refuge. I mean, that's great. But you said that if you act how you normally act, like how do you normally act then?

Sadie [6:36]: Well, I act a lot better than when I did when I was younger. I'll tell you that.

Adeel [6:39]: Okay. Yeah, we'll get to that. Yeah, we'll get to that. Sure.

Sadie [6:42]: But for the most part now these days, I just – I don't – I don't do what I did as a kid. I usually just kind of suffer in silence, which sounds horrible. Sorry, guys. But I keep headphones with me at all times. I have like four pairs of wireless earbuds, two of me. I have two of them with me at all times. Of course, if I'm on the subway or walking in the street, I only have one in. just in case, you know.

Adeel [7:11]: Oh, yeah, of course.

Sadie [7:12]: Got to have one in and one out.

Adeel [7:14]: For safety. Yeah, yeah, that's a good tip.

Sadie [7:17]: So, but when it comes down to it, you know, earbuds are great. I discovered that earplugs aren't really my thing because I can still, it seems like as if my ears search for noises, unfortunately. So earplugs aren't really my go-to. It's more so earbuds. And it's nice to have noise earplugs cancel out all the other noise. You know, if I'm listening to podcasts, sometimes it depends on the podcast, which is something I brought up to you as well, that your podcast is so nice because you cancel out, you know, all the swallows and triggers and I appreciate that.

Adeel [7:53]: I try to, yeah.

Sadie [7:54]: Much. So much. I cannot exaggerate that enough. But yeah, I think that with earbuds are nice. And when I was younger, I used to make tally marks, which sounds a little odd. But if I were in a room with somebody, I would... You know, if they were chewing gum or sniffing, especially with sniffing, I would make a tally mark for each time that they did it. And then when I would leave the room, I would look at all the tally marks and I'd count them all up and typically show them to my mom and be like, oh my gosh, did you see how many times so-and-so sniffed? But I don't do that anymore. I just kind of keep to myself.

Adeel [8:35]: What did your mom say? Did you hold that up as kind of like proof as to like, you know, look at what's happening to me. Like, you know, 263 times an hour or whatever it was.

Sadie [8:47]: And it's amazing how many times somebody can sniff or pop their gum in an hour. Let me tell you that. But usually she would just roll her eyes at it. But it felt good to have some sort of evidence. And even though I know it wasn't helping me very much, it was just nice just to put it down in physical form.

Adeel [9:06]: I don't want to plug, well, I will slight plug it for the Mr. Funny Podcast app. I do have like a journal where you can kind of like enter, you know, when you've been triggered, kind of whether it was like red or green or whatever. So in the hopes that, you know, maybe not for your mom, but people can take it to their employer or a therapist to try to like prove that, you know, because people are, I'm hearing about people getting fired sometimes for, you know, the way they were acting in Estonia. So, and then going to court. So this, you know, I think, you know, things, even your tally, your tally sheet could maybe be used in the court of law one day, not yours in particular, but I think these things are useful to, we need to sometimes document this stuff because people don't believe it. And we'll, you know, sometimes roll eyes. Did your mom, family eventually kind of figure out that, hey, this is real, maybe we should take this seriously?

Sadie [9:57]: Yeah, it took them a few years for them to get used to it. I had my first episode that I can remember when I was around eight or seven, and usually at the supper table was when it would really come out. And it took my family a good while, especially my dad, because I would get on my dad the most. His side of the family, they tend to chew, and they have their own way of eating, and my family has their own way of eating. I would get on him the most about it. And I could tell that that really annoyed him to death and with my other siblings as well. And, you know, I feel so bad about it now that I look back on it, but I couldn't help it. But it took him a good while just to get used to how I would react, which wasn't the best way because I was seven or eight at the time. And, you know, I didn't know how to react to things.

Adeel [10:51]: Like screaming, throwing, marching, banging.

Sadie [10:56]: Yeah. Banging. Every single time I would hear something, you know, like a chewing or if my brother would swallow really loud, I would bang the table, which sounds horrible, you know, now that I look back on it. But at the time, you know.

Adeel [11:12]: You don't know what to do. Yeah. I think everybody's thinking the same way. Yeah.

Sadie [11:18]: I would leave the room and I would go into the dining room or into our living room and just eat by myself or Sometimes my family would just give up and just leave the table and just leave me sitting there, which didn't happen, you know, often at all. Just very, very rarely when I was having a particularly bad day. But a lot of banging on the table or a lot of, I would snap my fingers as well. And eventually I learned to turn that into tally marks. And then I just kind of sat on my hands.

Adeel [11:48]: Yeah. Did you, and it was your dad kind of your first trigger? That didn't sound like that side of the family.

Sadie [11:54]: Yeah, and I remember hearing on your podcast you saying that typically it's the dad, if I'm correct, that usually sparks misophonia in a lot of people.

Adeel [12:04]: Yeah, right. I don't know if typically it might be too strong a word, but it's definitely common, yeah. In fact, just in the last 24 hours, I've talked to two or three people for the podcast, and it's been the dad. So that comes up a lot, but it's also often... I mean, it's like, if you look at the probability, yeah, I would say parents are definitely the highest. And then, you know, there are some people where it's not a factor, but yeah, it seems to be the parents are tended more often than not are the first. And if it's one of the parents, it's usually the dad. So, but it's not hard or fast. I think, I mean, I think that was the case for me. So, do you know around that time, was there like anything Um, out of the ordinary happening at home, stressful, um, maybe changing jobs or cities or, or other problems at home. I don't know.

Sadie [13:00]: No problems at home. The first episode that I remember, I was in my second grade classroom and we're having a pizza party. And I'm pretty sure for a lot of people that it sounds like a great time for me, pizza parties and, you know, classroom birthdays were just nightmares because I, um, As a kid, before preschool or anything, I was very social. I would go up to anybody, anytime, and just chat away. I had no problem with strangers. I just loved to talk and interact with other kids. Then I started school. I'm not really one to go into depression or anxiety or anything like that because I'm very private about that sort of thing. I don't want to be offensive or you know to people that have some serious cases of it but i had a little bit of undiagnosed but pretty strong social anxiety and i still do i'm a hardcore introvert um but in second grade i was having some trouble with other kids in my class um particularly you know with a few girls and that typical elementary school thing and so at this pizza party this kid next to me you know god love him but he was just going to town on this pizza slice and i just broke down and that's when i had and you know that first realization that you know when it came down to chewing or sniffing or coughing or clicking or anything yeah i was a goner so and that was before so that was really first before kind of your you're you're noticing your dad and stuff like you remember that yeah i would say later on that night when i came home that's when i started to notice it yeah and i've heard that it's kind of been kind of a switch in some situations like that that's the best way i can describe it it was like a big switch and you know i haven't really been able to shift my mind back to where i was before school but

Adeel [15:09]: yeah it stayed that that way yeah and so you said it took a few years you know your parents to uh to kind of come around to it in the meantime were were um other things outside of the house also triggering you like you're you know you're in school was was school becoming also a problem as well in general yeah it was for sure i i was always kind of the oddball in my class anyway um

Sadie [15:34]: but this did not help. It really made me stand out. And I remember specifically this one time in around the fourth grade, I believe, a kid sitting across from me, across the desk, he had this sniffing problem, and it just drove me nuts. And I begged my teacher to let me bring in earplugs. She let me bring in earplugs. It did not really help. But on the outside, with class, with other kids, it definitely had... it took a toll for sure, especially when it came down to like birthday parties and sleepovers. I just couldn't, I couldn't deal sometimes.

Adeel [16:12]: So you had friends that you were having sleepovers with and stuff. So it's not like you were totally blocked, blocked off, but then, so you'd be, yeah, I mean, you'd have friends, but then there would be situations kind of like with us, we are out in the world now and you know, we have friends, but it's just like, something happens we need to recover um so you were you're experiencing that then like um a little bit of oddball with friends but uh then you'd get triggered like basic kid stuff yeah yeah and would you say anything at that point like when i guess um so you never said anything did your uh what'd your parents start to do when they start to realize that it was a thing they start to look look it up or find a therapist or anything or

Sadie [16:59]: Well, I did do therapy for a while when I was younger, mostly for the classmate thing with girls. I always had a tough time making friends with other girls. I went to a very small school during elementary school and switched over middle school, luckily, to a public school. But before then, I just had a few social anxiety, which I hate to say because it's such a label in my mind, personally. I just went to therapy just to deal with a few things. Luckily, she did help a little bit. We would talk about it for sure, but I don't remember any coping. This was way back in the early 2000s, so it wasn't really a label yet. It wasn't given the word misophonia. It was just seen as somebody who was just annoying or something.

Adeel [17:55]: So you were going for social anxiety stuff not related to misophonia, but then it would kind of come up in the conversation.

Sadie [18:02]: Right. Yeah. And of course, you know, we thought it would tie into me being, you know, shy and introverted and that sort of thing. But really, it was just a completely different thing all by itself.

Adeel [18:15]: Okay, okay. And then later on, after elementary school, you're in high school. Things are getting more serious. School's getting more serious and whatnot. You're probably meeting more friends. um how did that progress and people are getting more they get a little bolder with eating in class now now your two years gap year started make a lot more sense uh but um but yeah how yeah how are things but we also tend to kind of like the our triggers kind of start to proliferate where you start to get more and more things that you were sensitive to yeah well i

Sadie [18:56]: During middle school and high school, that's when things started to really role modeling wise with me. I did a lot of traveling as a kid with my parents and my siblings and you know, we would be off in like Miami or New York or Chicago or LA for a few weeks on end. And that was kind of nice because it took me away from all of those triggers and all of those noises, but also took me away from friends as well. So when I came back home, I just came back home. I didn't really go to any parties, you know, now that I look back and I'm like, oh gosh. But it was nice because when I would be on set, you know, the misophonia thing for the most part, until lunchtime or break time, or when somebody would bring out the gum or the coffee. It just kind of went away. And luckily, the main triggers that I dealt with were my family's. But in the school cafeteria, I only had a few friends that I would sit with, so it didn't really... bother me as much because I was used to the way they ate but when my siblings would have their friends over especially during you know if we were to go on family vacation and they were to bring their friends that always made things a little bit more tough and I remember just you know if they would bring out like chips and salsa or something I'd be like oh well I'm gonna go for a walk or I'm gonna go on a run around you know the you know hotel whatever and just kind of exclude myself in those situations and luckily you know i always seem to find an excuse to leave but sometimes when i couldn't find an excuse i just had to keep my mouth shut and every once in a while I could feel myself wanting to snap or wanting to make a time mark or, but you know, I can't spoil my, you know, my vacation. So I would just kind of have to keep quiet. And then when they left the room, I would just be like, Oh, you know, I can't deal, you know, kind of take a big breath.

Adeel [20:58]: You would never like start to put on earbuds or whatever while you're

Sadie [21:03]: No, my parents were very anti-technology when I was growing up. But only in recent years, if I'm in the car with my family and we're pulling over and getting something. For example, I was with my parents the other day and we're in the car and We did something for my birthday, and we pulled over for ice cream, and then as we're leaving, my dad starts to go for the ice cream. Luckily, I had a few podcasts downloaded on my phone, so I just popped in one earbud and just kind of slightly tucked my finger in my ear and just kind of listened to their conversation and kind of listened to my podcast at the same time just to keep sane.

Adeel [21:53]: right yeah no that's that's good to keep keep it a little bit of a balance but yeah but don't feel like you're completely um isolated from what's happening in the car did your family members like your your siblings ever kind of tease you about it like start to mock it and you know use it against you

Sadie [22:12]: I'm from a very big family, and I'm the middle kid. I was nicknamed Baby Sadie as a little kid. If that can summarize my relationship with my siblings for you. But they definitely poked fun at it sometimes. And it's understandable because they didn't really understand it. We were young. We were kids. Luckily, now they're starting to understand it a bit more and more. And I've noticed even with a few of my siblings, they're starting to pick up the same feelings towards people chewing and sniffing. Not as strong, but they're starting to just kind of understand it a little bit more.

Adeel [22:55]: interesting oh understand it or do you feel like maybe they they might be exhibiting symptoms of something that maybe a little bit of yeah but mostly just understanding gotcha well that's good uh yeah uh do you um well do you so do you guys talk about it by name like this funny amongst your family or is it just something that you kind of like try not to shine a spotlight on

Sadie [23:20]: yeah well um it's kind of we've never given it a name until recently which i would say about two or three years ago i just googled it just to see you know um if there had been any sort of update on okay what we have and it gave me the name of misophonia and i remember screenshotting it and sending it to my entire family and i just kept on repeating like oh it's misophonia and then i would i was like am i pronouncing that correctly is it misophonia or miss so funny you know just playing around with it oh that's fine yeah um so it was so nice to put a label on it but it was always kind of like the big elephant in the room but we never hadn't we always just called it sadie's thing but they've learned to cope with it, and so have I. So they've been troopers.

Adeel [24:11]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So what happens usually is, I guess, yeah, things happen at the home or whatever, and then after college, well, I guess you're in college. After college or during college for a lot of people, it kind of like, I don't know. dies down a little bit and then it kind of proliferates later like how has it been for you because you're also working now so it's kind of like you're out in the world that's kind of when things start to pick back up for people it seems uh these days like yeah how kind of how is it for you you're kind of on your own well um i living in new york has been okay you know because i'm constantly surrounded by people even when you're not alone

Sadie [24:55]: You know, even when you think you're alone, you're not alone. And I started working in a restaurant about, you know, this past summer in June, I would say. And I was a hostess. And recently everybody left the restaurant because the management wasn't that great. But it was just a little bit tough for me, you know, just dealing with a new crowd of people that would come in and sit down and, you know, eat the way that they wanted to eat. That was always a little bit tough. But for the most part, I've learned just to, you know, pick up good tactics, you know, dealing with it. And I think I've handled it pretty well.

Adeel [25:41]: I mean, there is probably a lot of background noise in general, right, in New York. Yeah. and so yeah definitely the streets are never quiet so it's not like you're in silence and hearing but you're taking a subway and stuff sometimes you're like in an enclosed environment and you just can't uh yeah and if you have visual triggers i mean subways can be rough i can imagine right so well first of all do you have like uh mesokinesia which is kind of the the visual trigger aspect of this

Sadie [26:08]: a little bit um yeah if i see somebody um for example my mom has this thing with her nails and so does my grandma they both tend to constantly pick up their nails like this um just constantly flicking their nails you know they have very good healthy strong nails but they're always picking at them and whenever i see it i have to you know reach over and be like nails down you know um saying people chew gum that sort of thing that's always bothered me typically i just keep very tunnel visioned and always make sure that my phone is charged and my earbuds are charged and when they're not charged oh boy yeah that's why you have so many of them right yeah i recommend keeping some something wired to you just just in case oh i have like six batteries with me at all times So, or a book, you know, I feel like if I have something to look and check out and just, I've learned to kind of focus on other sounds or other visuals and just kind of breathe through it and wait until the subway ride or what have you, you know, wherever I am is just over. You know, if I'm standing in line at the grocery store, anything.

Adeel [27:25]: Right, right, right, right. And so in New York, have you met other misophones?

Sadie [27:30]: no i have no okay i have not i haven't met anybody honestly i've only this is you're the very first person i've ever really talked to about it for the past since i was eight or seven besides my mom and besides my old therapist right right right yeah you know i mean you're not the only one is uh ever since i started this there's been lots of people have come on and just said uh

Adeel [27:56]: It's the first time I've uttered these words out loud beyond just Googling for it and reading about it. That's what this is for. There are Facebook groups and whatnot, but it ends up being a free-for-all of ranting. You don't really get to...

Sadie [28:15]: dive in and see how similar such our backgrounds can are at least in this regard you know no matter where we come from whatever it's kind of uh and that's something i really appreciated about your podcast just listening to other people talk about it and just being like oh thank god you know just it gave me some breathing space a little bit and i didn't even know that there was a convention for it which i think it sounds

Adeel [28:40]: amazing yeah it's been virtual last couple years but uh but the the in-person one it sounds like oh my gosh this could be a nightmare but they pick like uh they pick it's all like soft muffins and hard boiled eggs and you know for the food and then you can just kind of go wherever you want it's and then it's these conversations like the kind of the lounge conversations that are the best part of it and that's when you're like holy cow it's like you talk to somebody it's like i feel like i know like half of your life already because we've suffered the same way you know we've been in the same pizza parties and whatnot so yeah and it just it makes me feel like as if you know

Sadie [29:22]: like I can breathe a little bit more and that I'm just, it's not just me, you know, and I think it's just, it's so nice. And when I came across your podcast, I honestly texted my parents about it. I texted my grandparents about it. I was just like, it's not just me. There's an entire community out there. And I was just over the moon.

Adeel [29:44]: Yeah. Yeah. No, that's great. Yeah. I'm hearing that you're just helping people. So that's just great to hear that. um while we wait for you know research and better therapies to come out um so other than yeah i mean speaking of like other coping tips do you have any other like kind of go-to's um that are

Sadie [30:04]: don't know either your own or or even just the common ones um you kind of hit all the major ones yeah the go-to it's like the holy trinity which is like earbuds book and you know dividing yourself and leaving the room but um i would say i don't really if you're just starting to roll into misophonia and just starting to notice you're picking up on all the symptoms, instead of snapping or clapping or banging or anything like that, I do recommend the tally marks just because it gives you... Of course, I don't think it would be the best idea to constantly make eye contact with the person as you're making your tally marks or anything that's a little intense.

Adeel [30:48]: Just give them the sheet of paper as you leave the room and tell them, don't do this again.

Sadie [30:52]: Just slide it across the table and don't even say anything. Just hope they figure it out themselves. No, it's just, it's a nice silent way just to kind of let out that tension in your brain. Because for me, it's always been not necessarily anger, but more so almost like a fly buzzing in your ear. And you just, it's almost like a full body fight or flight response. and it's almost painful in a sense in your brain and so the italian marks help um i would say hmm As long as, if you're in school, as long as you tell your teacher about it, if you're, like, in middle school, high school, as long as somebody is aware, like, of school counts or something, I feel like that definitely helps.

Adeel [31:38]: Did you do that in high school? I did. Did you try to get accommodations? Yeah, how did that go?

Sadie [31:42]: They would put me in a separate room for tests and things like that.

Adeel [31:45]: Yeah.

Sadie [31:46]: And they did, because, you know, kids are... when they take tests you know they get irritated or you know start tapping that pencil or what have you and so i would always be put in a separate room and i wouldn't tell anybody like hey everybody i'm gonna go to my separate room now i would just get up and go and luckily that worked out Very, very well. It's never been great at school anyway, but that definitely helped for sure. As long as somebody knows. And I recommend the fake phone call thing as well. That definitely helps. Or I just need to use the restroom. It can be very lonely sometimes, but, you know, sometimes it's your only saving grace. I've just given it to me personally. Everybody's different.

Adeel [32:34]: Yeah, no, that's great. A fake phone call. I had not thought of that. That's a good one. And you're in college. Do you go in person? You take some classes, right? Yeah.

Sadie [32:48]: um are you trying to get a like are you a full-time at a college wall so doing doing work and i've taken it mostly all online so far okay constantly you know i'll have to be like in new york you know north you know anywhere and so it's kind of nice just to have those classes online and then i don't have to deal with the classroom distractions or anything like that. And that can be a little bit lonely sometimes, too, because I want to have that college experience, but I much prefer the path that I'm taking just because that's always been the path I've wanted. So I'm doing general studies right now, and then I hope to transfer those college credits over to hopefully a New York school when the time comes. I've thought about fashion for a long time, but then I thought, no, that doesn't sound like something I would really want to have a degree in. I would much prefer doing something like English or architecture or architecture history, something like that. I think that would be more up my alley, so to speak.

Adeel [33:59]: Right. The reason why I asked, now there's a bit of an echo, I don't know, it's probably me. But yeah, the reason why I asked about college was because there have been, I know at UCLA, there was a past guest who had, who started like a misophonia support group and has been kind of slowly growing it. And it's the first time I'd heard of that. So it's something that I always kind of recommend to people in college. It's quite easy to do when you're in person to kind of like, you know. get a room or whatever and invite a bunch of people. But there might be a way to, you know, meet some more students because I'm sure there are a bunch who are suffering in silence and who don't even know it has a name and are just sitting there telling, telling things at the back of Psych 101 or whatever.

Sadie [34:44]: Yeah. Oh, that's really nice to hear, honestly, because growing up, I'm from a very small town. So for other kids, you know, I could tell that a few people saw my tally marks. I know that a couple of kids saw my tally marks and just didn't know what they were.

Adeel [35:00]: I'm sure you kind of made it a little bit obvious.

Sadie [35:03]: Get the point across. Yeah. Oh, just, I mean, you know, it's like 10 at the time, but it's nice to hear that people are actually somewhat banding together and making more of community out of it. I wish I had that growing up for sure.

Adeel [35:17]: Yeah. No, I'm kind of optimistic, even though we're not going to get a cure any time soon or a hugely revolutionary therapy. But yes, it's good to see that kids are hopefully more aware and are able to band together. Yeah, it's interesting. Maybe as we start to wrap up, you're talking about your future career goals. Are you thinking also, not just things you like, but probably in terms of what is the most MISO-friendly? You probably don't want to be in an open office environment.

Sadie [35:56]: I've been studying, I just started to study acting and I've noticed that with the misophonia that's starting to kick in a little bit because I deal a lot with like theater people and singers and when it comes down to people with that Broadway background or singing background, they use their voice a lot, they swallow a certain way.

Adeel [36:19]: Oh, okay.

Sadie [36:20]: And I never really thought about that until I started to take my first acting class at a studio in New York. And, you know, I just... Or, you know, if I would do a rehearsal group with a couple of friends, you know, I just never noticed it until I took my first class. And I just thought, can I handle this? Can I do this? Can I be surrounded by Broadway people and singers? But luckily so far, you know, I just kind of wait for them to take a sip out of their cup and then they continue on.

Adeel [36:51]: Yeah.

Sadie [36:52]: you know so um do they kind of clear their throat to get things ready or just a lot of throat exercises probably right because they're like yeah okay yeah and you know it's taking more of a toll than modeling for sure um but i just tell myself you know it's only for a few seconds And then we move on. It has nothing to do with them. Let's just keep going and everything will be fine. But in terms of with misophonia kicking in career-wise, I can't ever escape it, no matter how hard I try, unfortunately. And that's just the reality of it. And I'd much rather do something that I'm happy doing that makes me happy instead of just sacrificing my happiness just to work by myself. I thought about architecture history just because I love old buildings and, you know, that sort of thing. And I love the history behind buildings and the art behind it. But what I really want to do is to continue acting and modeling as long as those industries will have me.

Adeel [38:04]: Gotcha. Yeah, no, that's really good. That's a good way to think about what you want to do in the future and how much you want Misophonia to affect it. Because yeah, you're right, it's not going to go away. So let's plan ahead for how we're going to manage that. Yeah, that's interesting. Have you, so you just started to take some acting classes? Have you gotten any, like, jobs yet in terms of, like, are you on the next tour of Hamilton yet?

Sadie [38:38]: No, no, I actually just kind of fell into acting accidentally about a few years ago, right before I moved to New York, and I'm just, I'm very, very, very green to it, like, super green. And I really enjoy it. Luckily, I've fallen into the hands of some really sweet and very talented people that have kind of guided me because I need all the guidance I can get when it comes down to this industry. But so far, so good. I started to do auditions recently this past year, and all of them have been, you know, by video and submitting online and that sort of thing. So I'm very eager to see what an in-person casting is like.

Adeel [39:28]: Yeah, gotcha. Well, at least while you're, I mean, while you're learning, while you're, while you're starting to do that, at least maybe you can get some modeling jobs with Christina, who is a past guest and you guys can just kind of make a nice, you know, do your jobs, be super quiet, obviously. And then you can kind of like, kind of commiserate on the misophonia stuff. Yeah. Cool. Well, yeah, I guess, yeah, maybe it's time to kind of wrap up. But is there anything else you kind of want to share with people who are listening?

Sadie [40:02]: Well, I'm guessing a lot of your listeners are people with misophonia or have somebody that they know with misophonia. And for you as well, it's so nice just to talk to somebody who's gone through it. And you're the first person, like I said, that also has it, that I've ever talked to. And it just kind of takes a big weight off my chest. And it's just I'm very thankful to know that there is something out there that people can turn to and just talk to about it. And I hope one day that there'll be more research on it. And, you know, thank God that they finally put a name to it. And I'm very grateful towards that. In fact, my mom came up to me the other day. She watches Longmire. Have you ever seen it?

Adeel [40:50]: I don't think so. Is that a show on like a Netflix kind of thing? Yeah. Yeah.

Sadie [40:53]: It's got like a sheriff out in Wyoming. And so she loved that show. And I guess one of the bad guys on an episode was freaking out. And he's like, you know, if you stop tapping, I have misophonia. It's a real thing. Look it up. And she came over and she played it for me. And I was like, oh my gosh. It was so nice to see it like out and on a Netflix show.

Adeel [41:17]: there's another netflix show that it's that yeah i got apparently got mentioned recently but uh i need to i need to check that out as well so it's starting to it's starting to appear in uh yeah in various places so well that's the other thing i'm hoping that um so i mean my focus honestly is like especially talking to people is like getting us misophones to talk more to each other about it because the more stories i hear the more i'm like we need to like we need to kind of take care of ourselves first i mean we need to do the awareness but i had no idea how like deep some of these problems are and uh how the i know how many people are affected by it but i think yeah like getting it out in the world um and having people just not look at us weird when we ask for you know a basic accommodation would be huge. Because as I'm sure you know, stress is a major factor, right? So if we can just be in a situation where, okay, we might be getting triggered, but we don't have to stress out about it getting worse, but we can just tell somebody to knock it off and they won't be offended by it. I think that would just generally make us less prone to being triggered in the first place. And that could be a virtuous cycle.

Sadie [42:28]: Right. Have you picked up any sort of, like, techniques or anything like that? Do you tend to have a lot of stress yourself? Or have you come up with very many coping things when it comes down to stress?

Adeel [42:40]: Yeah, when it comes down, I mean, it's kind of the basic stuff, like sleep is a big factor. being honestly like just having, I don't know, having like a steady job. It must be tough if you have like a more irregular income because it's like, I think when you're, you know, when you're stressing about money, that's a major stressor. That could be just make you tense. Going into like meals and thinking in advance, like reminding your brain that, okay, you know, a meal doesn't last more than usually 20, 30 minutes. you can kind of time box it that way and that can kind of like get you through. um that's another thing just having earbuds around and not necessarily like taking them out but just having them within arm's reach is you know uh just it's just kind of that crutch that you can kind of like your brain can now feel like okay i'm not gonna die in some somebody's not gonna come and attack me after they start chewing kind of thing you know that's because that's what our brains are telling us is like you're about to die so um yeah So those are kind of, yeah, those are, you know, little things to kind of reduce stress. But the other thing is, it's like, I also started to remind myself, if I act out, that's going to make this situation more stressful. So do you want it to get worse? Or do you want to just like... bottle it up i mean that's not necessarily a healthy thing either but it's just like um a lot of people come on and say like you know we want to say something to the person but it's like we've all been like uh dissed so many times that it's just like is it worth it you know and so we kind of so

Sadie [44:27]: And then they start to, you know, as soon as they like bring out, you know, whatever it is, like piece of gum or start to, you know, do whatever it is that triggers you. They're like, oh, sorry, I can't do that. You're in the, you know, and it comes to the point where it gets a little irritating. Pretty recently, I had a family member say, well, you're diseased. And so I can't deal with the fact that you're diseased. And that struck me pretty, you know, it struck a chord, for sure, because it's not a disease. It's just, you know, our brains are, you know, that's just the way it works for us. And, you know, sometimes I just think to myself, you know, if this person has such an issue with it, do I really want to be around that person anyway? You know, so in a strange way. when i try to put a spin on it and a positive spin on it i'm like well then it just goes to show me you know that person's character which um it sounds a little ridiculous but sometimes you just have to learn how to put a positive

Adeel [45:36]: spin all these yeah well we i mean we we we make friends with people for one reason or or another and we don't make friends with other people for one reason another and this is as valid as any other reason even even even though their family is just well i mean you don't have to shut them out but you can kind of in my mind i definitely say okay i'm recalibrating this relationship now like if that's going to be the interaction because as you know i mean interactions like that lead to all this um there's a lot of shame and guilt that kind of builds up right because we we bottle things up we get told all this stuff by family members and then we feel bad for making other people feel bad and it's just that's a cycle that is not really healthy but we've you know we've all kind of grown up with it

Sadie [46:23]: yeah but you know i feel my heart goes out to other people that deal with it too because it's it's just a lot it's a lot that weighs down on a person and it's not easy at all and so i'm very eager to see you know as time goes on just what people will discover about it and what people you know will start to if there will be a you know, a solution or something.

Adeel [46:51]: It'd be more like a, it's probably more like a therapy, right? These days, I guess CBT is kind of the, the therapy of choice.

Sadie [47:00]: I looked up some things about it and I don't want to say anything that might like, trigger anybody. Trust me, I don't. But I saw that there was some research they had when they first started to put everything together with misophonia. They put people in a room and put headphones on and then thought that they could get the misophonia out of a person by constantly playing their triggers in their ears and just being like, we'll do intense therapy. i just can't imagine that's my idea of pure torture right yeah like chinese what's it called like japanese or chinese torture like the water torture sort of thing to me that's true torture

Adeel [47:41]: yeah i know that's exposure theory that's like that's like um that's like medieval stuff but that's like it's it's as recent as like as some as some of it i think is still going on but that's like what all people could think of like five ten years ago these days it's more about kind of like rational like i think what you were you said at some point earlier just rationalizing like it's not um you know, here's the reason behind this sound. It's not here to hurt me kind of thing. These are the kinds of tools that if you go to a, you know, if you throw money down to a therapist, a CBT therapist, they'll obviously do it in a much more sophisticated way. But this kind of rationalizing and kind of thinking about your reframing your thoughts is kind of so far the best way. And you don't have to be exposed to any sounds in your headphones. Right. Well, cool. Yeah. Well, Zadie, how did the interview feel? Hopefully.

Sadie [48:43]: I feel like I ramble a little bit, but thank you for having me anyway.

Adeel [48:48]: Yeah, yeah. No, this is great. And yeah, I wish you the best in school, acting, modeling, all that stuff. And yeah, it was great to have you on.

Sadie [48:59]: I really appreciate it big time. Very grateful towards you. And I'm grateful for what you're doing. Trust me.

Adeel [49:05]: Thank you, Sadie. Super nice to talk to you. 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. You can contact me by email at hello at or go to the website, And, you know, it's even easier. Just send a message on Instagram at Misophonia Podcast or on Facebook, also at Misophonia Podcast. And on Twitter, it's a little different. It's Misophonia Show. You can support the show financially if you can by visiting our Patreon at slash misophonia podcast. Thank you. Music as always is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.