Soledad - Turning Misophonia into a Growth Opportunity

S5 E22 - 5/2/2022
This episode features Soledad, a Kundalini Yoga instructor from the outskirts of Milan, Italy, who discusses her journey with misophonia. Soledad reveals that she initially turned to Kundalini Yoga not for misophonia but to deal with family-induced stress and anxiety. Nevertheless, she noticed significant improvements in her misophonia symptoms over time, particularly in her ability to control reactions to triggers. She highlights that, whereas she still experiences triggers, her responses are much less severe than before. Soledad also stresses the importance of not acquiring new triggers, which she considers a considerable advantage of her yoga practice. Additionally, she talks about her prior career as a flight attendant, her academic background in political science, and her life in Italy with its cultural and geographical nuances. Soledad emphasizes the therapeutic aspect of Kundalini Yoga in managing misophonia, especially how it incorporates elements like sound, movement, and breath focus in various exercises and meditations tailored to different triggers. Throughout the conversation, Soledad underlines the importance of hope, positive thinking, and viewing misophonia as an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. She advises on coping mechanisms such as using earplugs, listening to music, and staying outdoors to avoid trigger-filled environments like waiting rooms.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 22. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Soledad, or Sole, who lives out near Milan in Italy. Sole is an instructor of Kundalini Yoga, and we talk about how that affects her Misophonia reactions. She actually uses it to help people in Italy cope with Misophonia. We talk about a lot more than that, though. It's always fascinating to hear people all around the world talk about experiences that resemble our own childhood memories and ways of thinking about and coping with misophonia. Soleil has some really wise and thoughtful things to say about how it feels, how others make us feel, and how we make others feel. I have a link to her website in the show notes. It's in Italian, but you can use your browser to translate it for you if you like. Feel free to join the conversation. Remember, you can shoot me an email at hello at or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Missiphonia Podcast. Sometimes I also check the Twitter account at Missiphonia Show. You can also actually message from within the Missiphonia Podcast app. Yes, there is one, and I will get your messages there. Thanks for the incredible ongoing support from our Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing, you can read all about it at slash misophonia podcast. And one of the best ways to actually help get the word out is just leave a quick review or rating wherever you listen to this show. It helps feed the algorithms that elevate this podcast. All right. I really enjoyed listening back to this one during editing. Here's my conversation with Soledad. Soledad, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Soledad [1:45]: Thank you, Adeel. Thank you very much. Nice to meet you.

Adeel [1:49]: Yeah, nice to meet you too. So you want to let us know kind of where in the world you are roughly?

Soledad [1:57]: Okay, right now I am in the outskirts of Milan. I live in Italy. I say outskirts of Milan just to have an idea exactly where I'm located. I'm closest to Switzerland, but yes, I'm still in Italy. I actually, I am Argentinian. I grew up and I was born and I grew up in Argentina. uh but i have some italian roots so that's why i am very connected with italy

Adeel [2:31]: Oh, okay, great. And yeah, outside of Milan, you said you've been listening to the podcast by the beach over there. I should start asking people to kind of send in pictures of where they listen to the podcast.

Soledad [2:42]: Oh, yes. I have some pictures, actually, because while I was listening to your podcast, I was actually in Rome because I have a second house there. And of course, always in the outskirts of Rome, not by the beach side. but close to the beach. And I always was walking and listen to your podcast. So sometimes I stopped and have some pictures. And then I continue walking and listen to your podcast. So I have some pictures, actually.

Adeel [3:16]: Oh, yeah. If you want to send them to, yeah, slight tangent. But yeah, if you want to send them to me, I'll be happy. I can even post it today. And I'll try to ask other people to send theirs. I always like to see where people are. Because, you know, Mr. Point is everywhere. um and yeah tell me maybe a little bit well it sounds like you do some interesting things uh out there you want to tell me kind of who um tell us kind of what what you're what you do for for work or um yeah just okay for a living

Soledad [3:44]: Just yeah. Oh, well, I'm actually I'm an ex flight attendant. I was a flight attendant. I worked as a flight attendant like for 15 years. Yes, that was my job. It was great. Actually, it's a great job for a misophonic actually. I wouldn't think so.

Adeel [4:04]: But yeah, I'd love to hear about that later. Yeah.

Soledad [4:07]: Yeah, actually it is, trust me. Okay. And yes, and then because of family reasons and because life, I stopped flying. I was not into flying anymore. And I had my bachelor degree in political science, actually international political sciences. And then I started practicing Kundalini yoga and then I become...

Adeel [4:34]: an instructor of kundalini yoga so right now if i have to say what do i do for living okay i am a kundalini yoga teacher yeah okay wow interesting yeah it's a very interesting interesting journey there um yes and so i mean the the obvious question might be kind of like uh you know yoga relaxation obviously is um kind of uh great for misophonia and calming us down. Stress is a big exacerbator. Was kind of that, you know, arriving at this part of your journey any way related to trying to deal with misophonia?

Soledad [5:14]: Actually, I didn't start practicing yoga because of misophonia. I started practicing kundalini yoga because I was dealing with a very complicated situation in my family. And I was really going mad, even more crazy than I really was. And now I laugh, but it was very, very dark times back there. And I really need something to work with my anxiety and my anger. I was really, really angry. Actually, because of misophonia, I think we are all very angry deep inside, and we keep this anger really buried within ourselves. And then, I guess, it comes out. Of course, this was a different situation. It was really difficult to deal with. I started going for psychological meetings. Sorry, I know it's not the right term. Like a therapist? Yeah, exactly. I went for a therapist because I really didn't know how to deal with my anxiety, basically. Because at the end of the day, it was a very... uh high levels of extreme anxiety that it was really driving me crazy and uh i don't know it it all happens um i i didn't have any control of what happened next i i met i guess i met the right people and i eventually found myself practicing kundalini yoga and i started practicing kundalini yoga and then i Eventually, I started noticing that without looking for changing something of my misophonia, which at the time I didn't even know it had a name, I started feeling some changes. I started feeling differences. I started feeling different. So it was the beginning of my journey with the yoga, I have to say. Of course, my high level of anxiety decreased noticeably. And I start dealing with my complicated situations in different ways. It is, of course, it didn't happen from morning to evening. It took a while.

Adeel [7:42]: It was a process. Yeah. So it helped your, you know, that's great to hear that it helped your other anxiety. Did you notice it start to also kind of affect your misophonia maybe and kind of like how you're able to kind of recover from triggers?

Soledad [7:58]: absolutely yeah that was one of this is this this happens eventually not immediately but i i started noticing that i didn't react as bad as i reacted before i had very very bad responses, I have to say. I had some times in the past that I really reacted, of course, when I was alone, because I was conscious that I was going out mad, but I really need to break something or really punch doors or throw something in the air if I have some strong trigger. And thanks to the practice of Kundalini Yoga, I didn't have that feeling anymore. I felt the trigger because I still feel it. Let's be honest, I'm not cured of course, but it's a different way of dealing with it. I have all the different, I'm very conscious. and my instinct that before was really out of control uh it's controlled is i can rationalize and i can control my my reactions when i have a trigger and also uh i have to say i didn't gain any new triggers so this is something which is actually great because i heard um it's very common uh when you when you grow up, eventually you start gaining new triggers. And this is, I guess, something very common. And in my case, thanks God, I have to say I didn't gain any new triggers. They are all the same and actually some triggers are softer than before. They don't have that strong impact on myself as I used to be, of course. It depends of my day, because some days you know how it is. Sometimes when we are stressed or we are in some... You know, so it depends. But we can say that overall I have a very new control on my triggers. So I still get triggered. I still get triggered. It's not like I don't know. I still have my beautiful waxed earplugs. That's the way they are. Yes. They're part of myself. They're part of my body.

Adeel [10:30]: Yeah, for many of us, our earbuds and headphones are just another limb or organ. Do you want to describe Kundalini Yoga a little bit? Because obviously a lot of us know yoga, but we might not know anything beyond like downward dog.

Soledad [10:44]: Yeah, actually, you know, I hear a lot about meditation and yoga. And I honestly, now that I have the experience and actually I become actually also an instructor of Kundalini yoga. It's very different from what we usually think because sometimes yoga meditation, it is thought as something like, okay, yes, for stress, to deal with the stress, to relax, but it is, trust me, it is really way more than that because it actually, it's... Actually now scientists are calling meditation in general, neuro training, because actually it's a training that you do. Kundalini yoga in itself is a very complete form of yoga. It has been taught at the end of the seventies in the west, because before it was kept secret for traditional and custom things back in India. And the master who brought these teachings into the West, which his name was Yogi Bhajan, he started teaching this particular yoga. And he said that it was going to be really, really helpful for these times, actually, for this Aquarius time, which is usually called after 2012, which switch different era. Okay, I don't want to get very technical in that, but actually what we are living now is sort of understood by the old masters that were going to happen. And in fact, when all this pandemic started, I was like, sort of, oh, this is what I write in the Kundalini yoga instructor manual. Yes, it was quite interesting. And it's really a very practical, pragmatical way of practicing yoga because it's not just because you need to concentrate or focus. You just need to follow the guidelines and you just have You don't have to believe in something particular. You don't have to believe in something. You just have to act and you have to practice. That's it. And Kundalini Yoga, how can I say? it really impact my attention is that it works in a specific ways, like it works on particular states of emotion. It works on particular, it works a lot on the brain, on the DNA. It's really, really interesting. In fact, I was really interested in how Kundalini Yoga worked from a scientific perspective. And I started looking for explanation. Of course, science is not able to explain everything. but for the past say 50 years there are a lot of scientists who are researching uh properly the effects of yoga in general and meditation in general but also in kundalini yoga and they are able to explain some of the effects uh about pragmatical effects on in our brains the changes that we have in our in our brains when we practice regularly of course kundalini yoga and this is what i was starting to compare what was the part of the brains involved in misophonia and how kundalini yoga worked And I start, of course, I'm not, I'm not a physician. I'm not a scientist. As I said before, I have just a major or degree in political science. Thank you. I try because I like to, I like to get informed. I like to research also. And I said, okay, so this could work. And some of the of the exercises meditations i proved it on myself because i start practicing like for 40 consecutive days or 90 consecutive days and in fact they have an impact on myself and they really have uh They make the difference. And you don't need, you don't have to think that Kundalini Yoga, especially Kundalini Yoga is something like it will relax. Yeah, of course it will work on your parasympathetic nervous system and it will chill you out. It will chill, it will cool you down. But the effect, it's really more profound, honestly.

Adeel [16:02]: Oh, interesting. Do you do any virtual teaching in case anybody listening is interested? Or is it something you have to do in person?

Soledad [16:13]: Well, I do virtual teaching. Now I created a website, but it is only in Italian because I saw that in Italy we have very little places to prefer to when it comes to misophonia. Unfortunately, we don't have that much uh that much of those those resources uh as you have in english language so i decided to create it only in italian so i created a website uh which is called misophonia consapevole which means conscious misophonia which is i think the name says something about it no it's like you are being conscious of misophonia and you try to find ways to deal with it It's no longer just to rant about misophonia or how bad is this situation.

Adeel [17:13]: It's a very similar goal to this podcast. I'd love to hear rants too, but it's more about being conscious. looking backwards and looking deeper and looking to the future. That's great. I'll definitely link to your website for sure. Thank you. And have you found other, I'm curious, like how is Italy for misophonia awareness?

Soledad [17:42]: There is another website who informs about all Misophonia world, let's say. But there are some Facebook groups, of course. But there is a small association, but I don't know how... to what extent they are being active. Yeah, but I research a lot, but there is not that much actually. And people, I usually try to, I created also a Facebook group, also with the same name, Misafonia Constapevole. and a little by little people is uh coming there are another yeah there are another facebook group of misophonia in italy but there is not that much involvement um i don't know it's not the same as i saw in facebook groups from another countries because i also uh sign up to other misophonia groups from other countries and there is a very really little information i'm trying in fact with my website i also i'm trying to spread awareness i have created also some uh guide guides to inform also physicians because even as we know doctors are not aware of their existence unfortunately right And Italy is even worse than in the States or in England.

Adeel [19:25]: That's going to be pretty bad if it's even worse than here, right?

Soledad [19:28]: Yes, yes. It's really worse, really, really worse.

Adeel [19:31]: How is Italy for like general mental health awareness, like being able to like talk about this stuff or even like... You know, we'll probably get into like, you know, if you've mentioned misappointing to others, people take it seriously. Or, you know, how do they take care? How do they think about mental health stuff like this? Especially unknown stuff. Not just doctors, but in general.

Soledad [19:57]: in general yes well it depends i think it's the same as in in everywhere in the world actually uh it's like uh you can find people who are ah okay yeah i heard that i have a friend who had that or yes they had the same reaction they are maybe curious about it but it depends some people is like because i i also read posts from other misophones, as you say, misophones in Italy, and they had the same issues as everyone in the world, that people doesn't believe them or they believe that they are just spoiled or nervous or stressed or, you know, same old story.

Adeel [20:40]: yeah gotcha okay well i i'm yeah then maybe do you want to uh how did uh do you remember like your earliest days of misophonia like what were your first you know triggers and and how did that all get get started yeah what um you can still hear me yeah oh okay okay because i have my earphones okay well yes i don't know if i i touched them i did a strange noise

Soledad [21:10]: Okay, well, actually, my oldest memories is I was really young. I think I was around 11 years old, but I cannot say for sure. And it all started with my father eating on the table. He was really passionate about eating and speaking while he was chewing his food.

Adeel [21:37]: Well, Italian food is really good and Italian, you know, families are very chatty.

Soledad [21:42]: Actually, you have to contextualize this back in Argentina because it all started back in Argentina. Yeah, and you imagine it was all back in the 80s. So no internet, no information, misophonia, no clue about it. No one knew about nothing. So I was really clueless also because I was hearing my father chewing and I was really desperate. And then it started with my father, but then also my mother started really triggering me. And I had also the problem with the pronunciation, with the S word, you know, whatever. Now I don't have that anymore, you know. So that's a good thing, you know, the pronunciation with the S. It was really killing me. And it was really, really, I have to say it was really hard because I didn't know what's going on. You know, it's something really, something that's really... as young as you can be when you are 11 years old, and something that really makes you freak out. And I was the only one, and my parents were really clueless. They were looked at me like, say like, okay, Sole, but I don't know. You are so nervous. Why is that? I didn't know how to explain. And I remember the funny thing is like, I was developing unconsciously the coping skills that are now widely known, which are mimicking. I was a furious mimicker because I really needed, yes, still nowadays, sometimes I have to hold myself because I have, sometimes I have the instinct to mimic, especially my husband. But I can cope with that now with the mimic because I understood that actually it doesn't make things better. But when I was young, I was really, you couldn't see me because I was really desperate mimicking. And I was eating on the table. I had a very small, I lived in a very small house. the kitchen was so tiny that we didn't even have a table in the kitchen. So we just eat in the living room. And my mother at some point of time, she was fed up and she was eaten standing in the kitchen and I was eating alone in the living room.

Adeel [24:20]: Oh, she was fed up with your reaction?

Soledad [24:23]: yes yeah because yeah it was too much it was too much she didn't know what else she could do because sometimes i was actually carrying the things in the kitchen and then i brought the table on the table and with one hand i was covering one ear and with the other i have the Yes, I hold the fork and start eating as fast as I could, you know, and I put, of course, the TV on. Yeah, I was a totally, yeah, it was a really stressful situation. And I was only child also. So my parents were like, okay, what's wrong with you? They couldn't even understand that. They try, I guess, to some extent to understand to help me, but I understand them back in time. They have no instruments to know or to search or in some way to understand.

Adeel [25:24]: Yeah, and if the doctors don't know what it is, then that's kind of your only way to get information. There's no internet, like you said. And, you know, friends and family aren't going to know about it. So you're kind of totally in the dark. So they just didn't know what to do. It's not like they were kind of antagonizing or, you know, just they weren't like mocking you or anything or making you feel bad.

Soledad [25:49]: No, no, no, no, no, no. No, they were actually, I think they were scared of me. No, but no, no, no, they were not antagonizing me. Sometimes they were fed up, which now I can understand.

Adeel [26:06]: So you didn't have any siblings, but how were you doing at school?

Soledad [26:12]: Well, I have to say that I was a really, really lucky girl because when I was young, my triggers were mainly my parents. So I managed to have a really normal social life. It was really strange that something in my social life triggered me. The only thing I had the serious issues was like getting on the bus. If someone, of course, we know if someone is chewing gum. Sorry, I just mentioned that. And that was a problem. So back in the time, I didn't have this access to the... You know, the headsets and the... Right.

Adeel [27:02]: Walkmans and earbuds and headphones.

Soledad [27:04]: Yeah, no, no, we didn't have that. We have the cassette, you remember? Oh, yeah, yeah. Okay.

Adeel [27:10]: Cassette Walkman, Sony Walkman, of course. Yeah, those things are expensive now.

Soledad [27:15]: oh yeah they're vintage so anyway you know vintage but at the time it was really expensive for us at least for me back in argentina it was not even more expensive but yeah yeah so it was very difficult to have the one of those so that was one of my problems actually when i had to travel on the bus but still it was not really a serious issue and uh honestly uh I don't remember honestly being triggered by someone outside my house environment, to be honest.

Adeel [27:55]: Okay. Well, that's good. Yeah. And then as you got older, when did things start to kind of like at some point really kind of proliferate?

Soledad [28:08]: Well, actually, I start noticing that, especially, for example, with my closest friends. If we have some, for example, with my friend from my whole life. We had a vacation, we went together for a vacation and we were sharing the room and she was at the time using brackets and we weren't sleeping and she was doing some strange noise with her brackets. and i was really going mad and uh okay and that was the first time i think i was 16 or 17 years old and i think that was the first time that someone outside my my parents uh triggered me and then uh your braces like on her teeth yes yes okay yeah yeah yeah Sorry, I think I pronounced them wrong. And yes, and then I noticed that later on, when I lived with older friends, especially for example, when I was older, like 25, 26 years old, and I lived with a dearest friend, also she had a dry mouth. And she was really, because dry mouth is one of my worst triggers. And she was really triggering me and I explained to her, but at that time I didn't know about misophonia. I just knew that that sound really freaked me out. And I explained to her and she was really, really compassionate. I have to say I was really, really lucky with my friends. And she was trying to avoid or if, I said something, she would drink water immediately because she said, she noticed that I was really, really uncomfortable with the, to say uncomfortable, not to say. And then eventually, as I said, My job experience as a flight attendant really helped me because, you know, you are in an environment which is already noisy. You have the engines in the aircraft and you also work with different people, so you don't work all the time with the same people. So you change colleagues the whole time. So you don't have actually the, I don't know, at least in my experience, I don't know, maybe there is another flight attendant who suffers from misophonia and has a different experience from myself. But in my case, I have to say, I didn't even remember that I had that weird thing while I was flying. I didn't have any trigger at all, even with passengers eating. I didn't have any. The problem was every time I came back home because I also, when I was 25 years, I left Argentina and I went to live in Qatar in Middle East. And I, yeah, I started, I had a flight experience also there because before I used to fly also in Argentina. And then I went to live there. and uh and i also different different uh how can i say different context also different colleagues with different customs because we have uh when i flew there we were like 60 different nationalities so you know how it is how it goes we have all different ways of eating yep But still, I didn't have any issues with that. Honestly, it was every time I came back to Argentina at home, I was like, here we go again with these mouth noises because that was my thing. Mouth noises.

Adeel [32:13]: Right. Yeah. Now that I think about it, on a plane, I mean... yeah it's so loud that you're not going to hear people eating generally um i mean even in the mississippi the the podcast app i have a whole background sound you can repeat of uh 737 because it's yeah it's just noisy but visual triggers i was wondering if maybe you know looking at your passengers if you were uh triggered visually at all by watching their peanuts

Soledad [32:40]: Yeah. But I didn't have visual triggers at that time. The visual triggers actually came later. When I saw someone bringing maybe their fingers to the mouth, that was not really appreciated. But it depends. In my case, it always depends on the relationship you have with me. Nowadays if I see someone, a stranger one, who brings their fingers to their mouth, I'm not happy, but I'm not triggered. But I'm not happy, okay? But I'm not triggered. If I see my mother bringing her fingers to her mouth, that's a really serious problem, serious issues, and you have to stop doing that immediately. You know how it is.

Adeel [33:34]: Yes, yes, yes.

Soledad [33:35]: So I think they are now also researching, I guess, these differences, because I think it's very common, because not all the people triggers are the same way.

Adeel [33:48]: so i guess that's very odd yeah exactly yeah and sometimes it's animals will do something that doesn't trigger somebody or kids um interesting then um okay so yeah so you're a flight attendant you're not getting treated then you'd come home and you'd get triggered um i guess you well why did you find out then it was a you know, it was a real condition.

Soledad [34:11]: Oh my God, I can tell you. No, it's 2016. Oh, beautiful year. Oh, not too long ago. Yes, because I have this dear friend of mine, Maria. She came once. I said, like, Sole! Look at this article. It was a Spanish article, actually. It describes what you explained to me, what you have, and say like, oh my God, yes, it's me. I'm not the only one. This was, you know, the typical, I was almost about to cry because, you know, when you find out that you are not the only crazy freak who has this thing, it's like, oh my God. Oh my God, this is me, I'm in second nature, I can't believe it. I was so happy, strangely happy, of course, you know how this is, strange happiness. Yeah, I was really, really, really happy to know, especially that there are more people that they have the same suffering, that I was not the only one who was... who had this weird thing and I could explain also myself because you know there was like I think we all have this thing like this sort of conflict with ourself because you have something that you cannot even explain to yourself because it's not rational it's not normal you don't see other people or at least back in time you don't see other people you don't hear other people you know it's like a headache People have headache, you know, everyone has a headache sometimes. But this one, no, no, you don't hear because even people, maybe they don't even say that they have it because they are embarrassed also to say because we, at some point, we all find it a little bit irrational. I don't know. So there are a lot of emotions there also. I think this is misophonia is something like... it really makes life even difficult for us because, okay, there is a condition, we have these symptoms, but on top of that, there is all these emotions that we feel strange, we feel alienated, isolated, or I don't know, we cannot explain. You say, okay, no, okay, I have this diagnosed, I have this. No, we don't, or at least until, we don't find out that it is a condition. So I think this creates a self-conflict with ourselves and non-acceptance or I don't know. There is, I think, a lot of psychological things going on that is not created. They're not part of misophonia symptoms, but it creates it because maybe because of society or because we don't have the the right instruments to find out as normal pathologists you know you have normal conditions you go to the doctor you get the diagnosis okay you can do this or you can do that etc etc it doesn't happen with misophonia and i think this really is uh really devastating for for us yeah you're right there's a lot of layers like it's not well understood so it just makes it easier to dismiss

Adeel [37:32]: Plus it's too similar to a normal person who's quickly trying to understand it. They just compare it to people who are annoyed by sounds and that's just basic annoyance. So they don't really understand the crazy fantasies.

Soledad [37:55]: Yes. Yeah. That also, you know, it really, you know, I don't know, because maybe it's really also difficult to speak, to speak it out loud. And honestly, you know, the thoughts that we really get in our minds are really cruel, are really criminal. Oh, my God. I'm not a criminal. I'm not a criminal.

Adeel [38:21]: Yes, you're not criminal to think about things, only to act at them. So as far as I know, we're very good at bottling it all up. But you're right, the thoughts can get kind of, kind of crazy. And so when you, that's great. So when Maria gave you the article, did you then, obviously you researched, I'm sure you researched it as much as you could. Did you then share it with your family?

Soledad [38:44]: Yeah. You know, the first thing I did was to write a letter to my parents because at that time I was already living in Italy. So I didn't have my parents, my parents are still living in Argentina. So I wrote a letter and I printed some explanation about the Misophonia. I went to search for Misophonia also in Spanish, which I found information also in Spanish language. So I created this nice envelope and when I went back to Argentina to visit them, I gave them this letter. without explanation and asking them for forgiveness and now we know that I have this it was not something like it didn't have this condition doesn't doesn't have anything to do with my feelings for them and I really wanted to make that clear because I think misophonia unfortunately the way we react We make people think that we really hate them because at the moment when we are triggered, I think we convert. We become something like a monster or something like that. At least my mother said, oh, you look like a monster when you look at me. When you give me that glare, you look like a monster. you know and yes it's really bad because it's like no i still love you but i'm sorry i i cannot do anything but imagine in the past you don't have the resources to explain why is that happening so when i found out about misophonia the one of the first thing i did was to write to my parents and i i think it will i i don't know i felt like the nicest thing to do was to write them and to write a letter and to make them know that i really loved them that they were the best parents in the world and that i i really sorry for all the all the all the moments we saw me some moments but it was not in my control it was some part of my brain that was reacting so they sort of understood My mother, maybe she understood, but, you know, from understanding to accepting, there is a different... Yeah, she couldn't quite, right.

Adeel [41:17]: It took maybe a little bit of work, or maybe it's still taking some work to get to... It's still taking, yes. Is it because of all the remembering, I'm sure, all the moments and all the baggage?

Soledad [41:28]: Yeah. I guess that we also have to ask misophones. I learned this lesson. We also have to understand that other people, despite they are our parents or friends or strange people, they have their own issues. So we cannot expect people to understand us immediately or that they can deal with it like if nothing or okay like if they are all psychologists because they have their own issues they have their own problems maybe their problem my mother didn't have a my mother has a very complicated early years of her life so she had of course some some child issues which maybe it's difficult for her not to feel hurt by whatever reaction of people, not only by myself. So I learned that I also have to be compassionate. I don't have to ask for compassion for myself, but I also need to be compassionate to other people. And I have to... I have to accept that not everyone will accept or will come to terms with this thing or will accept these things or will understand what's really going on in my brain. Not everyone is able to understand that and I have to accept that and I have to move on. okay so this study i think it's something very important for everyone for every misophonic people you know uh you don't you don't have to expect everyone understands it and because not because they are bad, or they don't want, or they, I don't know. They are just, they have, we have our own limitations because we all have limitations. There are people that they have their limitations by themselves. So we have to be, we have to accept also that. and we move on we don't have we cannot uh get obsessed okay no they have to understand because no you have to move on and do the best you can to live a happy life uh it depends on yourself so know for example in my case with my mother sometimes especially when i go back to argentina now it's been like two years i don't go to argentina because of the pandemic but every time i go there it's an issue because maybe when i make the point that maybe she's little she's figuring me and she really doesn't take it that well and she makes uh the things because it's like oh come on you don't see me you barely see me and when you see me i trigger you it doesn't have nothing to do that we don't see uh we don't we don't we don't see each other frequently It's a trigger. I cannot see you maybe for five years. When I see you again and you do that, you trigger me. It's my brain. It's not myself. But I need your help, your collaboration, just to avoid that. But it's difficult. It's difficult. And every time I go to Argentina, sometimes it's demanding and it's complicated. But I understand. I understand.

Adeel [45:11]: Well, at least you wrote the letter, and that's a huge step, I think, on your part. And I'm sure they appreciate that as well, that you took the time to write that. And on paper, too, not just in an email.

Soledad [45:25]: Yeah, I wanted to do it on paper, because I think it's something that stays different than an email.

Adeel [45:37]: And maybe moving on to your own family life in Italy, how has that been at home? I don't know if you have kids or not, but how has it been on your home turf?

Soledad [45:54]: All right. Well, my husband, eventually, he started triggering me also.

Adeel [46:02]: Not at the beginning, but it came up. No. Okay.

Soledad [46:06]: Yeah. Eventually, he started triggering me. So at the beginning, he didn't trigger me. He didn't trigger me at all. I can say like for... for the first five, six years we were together. Yeah, it was beautiful paradise. I was so happy. And then eventually I say like, oh no, he's triggering me also. No. How did it start? I think it was, I think it all started, he smoked. And when he was smoking, you know, there was this weird sound and it was like, oh, what are you doing? You know, it was like that. But I, at the time, I also smoked. So I was doing the same noise, if you want to say. But, you know, of course, done by him, it was a trigger. And it was also difficult for me to explain to him because at that time, I didn't have any idea about this condition. So I tried to understand. I tried to make him understand. but it was not that simple. And then when also in 2016, I ran to him, I said like, listen, listen to this, you have to really listen. And he was like, oh, okay. And from that time, he really got really supported. He really, really supports me. Sometimes it's difficult for him and I totally understand because it's difficult sometimes to be around me because maybe he's like, okay, you're doing that noise. Maybe you should drink some water. But now I also learned the ways to express myself. in in the kindest way i can because i i think this another thing that the practice of kundalini yoga allowed me is like to not be that instinct do not react instinctively or reactively.

Adeel [48:16]: Or reactively, not so, like maybe take some time to think about it. Exactly.

Soledad [48:23]: Yes. And I managed, I think to the best of my possibilities, of course, to experiment and like, okay, maybe you can drink some water, you know, maybe just to ask it in a nice way, like, you know, I have this crazy thing, you know, I also, you know, make fun of myself. Very important. Yeah, I don't know. I try ways and he usually, he is really, really support, he really supports me and he understands. Sometimes he's fed up and I totally understand he's fed up because, but I have to say, most of the time I'm wearing my ear, my wax earplugs, which are great because they are very soft and they don't hurt the ear. So I managed not to be triggered that much, honestly. Yeah, tell me.

Adeel [49:20]: Well, I was going to ask about your earplugs. Is there a certain brand that makes those wax earplugs, or did you get them made custom?

Soledad [49:30]: No, no, no. I buy them here in Italy, actually in the drugstore. They are widely, yeah, they're widely sold. I don't have the brand here.

Adeel [49:45]: I've seen the foam ones, yeah, but the wax ones, yeah.

Soledad [49:49]: No, foam, they don't work for me. It's the same as if I don't wear anything. I hear a lot of people using foam and I say like, oh my God, you really managed to block.

Adeel [50:04]: Well, they probably don't have anything compared to, yeah. Other than not having anything. I mean, it blocks something, but it's, yeah, it's tough to make it work. I know some people who have very unique kind of ways to put them in your ears to maximize the ceiling, but I don't think everybody does that.

Soledad [50:25]: No, no, yes, because I tried with the foam, but for me it doesn't work at all. It's the same as if I am not wearing any. And then I found these wax. I also find them some sort of wax back in the UK, sometime back, but they are not that soft, so they are not that comfortable. But these ones that I think they are produced, they are made in Italy. They are very great, actually. Yeah, yeah. In fact, most of Italian misophones were these ones.

Adeel [51:09]: Ah, okay, okay. Do you know the brand name? Is it an Italian name?

Soledad [51:14]: Okay, let me see, because I guess I have them back here. Okay, yes, I have this in the box. Oh, the name is And actually, they're made in Switzerland. Box earplugs for noise protection.

Adeel [51:31]: Well, maybe send a picture. If you send a picture of your location or whatever, or your beach walk or something, send a picture of the earplugs and we can share it to people too.

Soledad [51:44]: Absolutely.

Adeel [51:46]: Yeah, interesting. Okay, yeah, that's a good coping mechanism. Yeah, it's good to hear about good earplugs because a lot of people end up just putting music in assuming that earplugs are not that good. So it's good to hear about the good ones because sometimes you don't want music always in your ear.

Soledad [52:03]: no it's too much even with the you know the earpods are of course okay they're nice but after a few hours it's like you you're in pain because yeah i don't know from in my case they are really uncomfortable but i i keep saying the best of course we give immediate coping instruments such as music or avoidance also, you know, because in my case, for example, when I enter a room where I, for example, for me, one of my biggest challenges is the waiting room because waiting room, yeah, it's usually very silent. And you can hear the tightness movements or, you know, noises. So I always stay outside. I usually get this, oh, please, ma'am, come, have a seat. No, I'm fine standing out there. So I always, I'm like that. now with the pandemic it's nice because waiting rooms are over but i think they will come back sometime but at least here in italy you know there is no longer no more waiting rooms you know because you have to wait outside which for me is great because I don't like to be seated. Of course, if I have to sit, I have also, I always have my wax earplugs or my music, and this is the way to go. But I always keep saying, since I started practicing yoga and Kundalini yoga, the best way to do, I think for now, until we don't get something more concrete from science, the practice of meditation and In my case, I will say not yoga, but Kundalini yoga.

Adeel [53:53]: Kundalini yoga, okay. I'm going to have to look into that more, yeah.

Soledad [53:57]: Yes, because it really helps. Of course, if you, for example, if you are triggered by the sound of breath, Kundalini yoga can be really difficult because it has, you know... Yoga is a lot about breathing, yeah. Yes. But at the same time, the nice thing about Kundalini Yoga is like it makes a lot of elements such as sound. When I say sound, I say like mantras. and when for example also movement of course it's sometimes it's repetitive movement um or maybe a position or a position with your with your hands uh the breath or the focus of your of your gaze of your eye focus and it you know it interconnects and coordinates all these elements to create a specific state. But at the same time, there are some exercises or meditations that they do not employ all these elements. Maybe they just employ mantra or they just employ sound or they just employ a static focalization or you have to stay in one position. There are really, really, really, you can find different, different, there is so many different meditations. It's not like always the same old meditation that you have to sit and, no. There are really, there are very different meditations. So this is one of the things I was trying to create also in my website. to offer some meditations depending of your trigger. Of course, we know that misophonia, the triggers may be infinite because we do not all have the same triggers. So it's very difficult to make happy, to everyone be happy with something because maybe it's all very articulated. But as far as I could see, you know, breath, or repetitive movement or sound are main triggers and for example in my case i am not i do not i'm not getting triggered by anything within the kundalini yoga practice so i have to say i'm very lucky but for example if you are triggered by breath you can totally avoid breathing exercises and just do another type of exercise it's just as movement or just vibrating a mantra and they are really if they have a lot of efficacy they they really work so it's not like you are not you have to do yeah not like you have to be around any breathing or whatever you can pick and choose something and it'll be effective exactly yes yes so this is the i think is nice uh and it has every uh unfortunately even millennial teachers maybe uh they are not that are informed about misophonia so if you go for it also maybe some other kundalini yoga teachers back in italy they know it because i spread the word a little bit i try to spread as much as i can but you know it takes time it's not immediate so i think with the help of science and also with the help of everyone like you with the podcast and other people with the association misophonia association i think we do all little you know we do our little job But I think then it will have an impact eventually. And I think misophonia will become more well-known. Yeah, we're moving forward.

Adeel [58:07]: Right, right, right. We're slowly moving forward. At some point, we've got to hit some critical mass where it'll be more mainstream. um maybe we just need a barack obama to admit he has miss phony or somebody famous and that'll do it yeah exactly yeah tell me No, no, no. Well, no, I mean, I was going to say, like, we've already, it's like an hour has flown by here.

Soledad [58:32]: Yeah.

Adeel [58:32]: But I wanted to, you know, give you a chance to, is there anything else you want to share with people, maybe even in Italian or Spanish for people listening? I know you've shared a lot. And, yeah, I want to be Googling a lot of stuff that you talked about, including Kundalini Yoga. I want to put your links in the notes. But, yeah, I mean, yeah, anything else you'd like to share?

Soledad [58:56]: Yeah, well, I just don't lose hope. You know, this is the main thing to say, don't lose hope. I think I heard, you know, in some of your podcast, I don't remember, of course, the name of the guest, but he says something really nice. It's like, you know, there is a way to cope with it. You know, it's not like we are alone in this. We can cope with this. And, you know, how can I say? We don't have to fall in the which is very normal in the ranting because ranting doesn't help positive thinking although it might be seen as something let's say stupid but it's not stupid at all positive thinking helps a lot because actually is the real exercise for the mind so you know especially when we have negative thoughts You know, I'm going a little bit outside of yoga because it is yoga, but it is also not yoga. We don't have to fall in the mind trap because unfortunately with misophonia, we fall in the mind trap. And we can deal with this. There is a way to deal with this. And this is an opportunity. This is what I was thinking about some guest you had. And he said, this is an opportunity to grow. This is an opportunity. Misophonia, as hard as it can be seen as an opportunity, in reality, it is an opportunity to grow, to evolve. Because maybe because of misophonia, we start looking at ourselves in a different way we we focus deeper in ourselves and you know taking down in that road we managed to see ourselves and uh to gain more knowledge of ourselves and maybe i don't know i see it like as an opportunity to grow although it's really hard although it's really painful, but it is still an opportunity. So be hopeful and we can do this. And yeah, this is what the main thing I wanted to, don't lose hope and don't fall in depression. It's useless, it's useless. You can manage, you are stronger than that.

Adeel [61:41]: No, that's great. That's a great positive, like to end on a positive note, because as you said, yeah, it was kind of hard for us to maintain positivity. And, you know, as you were speaking, it just struck me that. um you know yeah us kind of spreading the word is we're more likely to meet other people like us who have positive energy and so and what better way to get over or or deal with misophonia than to um hear positive words like yours who uh from someone who has misophonia so thank you for that um thank you and i'm sure many people appreciate it um yeah this is this is great uh soleil um thank you thanks for coming out Thank you, Soleil. Really inspiring conversation and great food for thought. 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 hit me up by email at hello at or go to the website, It's even easier just to send that message on Instagram, misophoniapodcast. You should follow there or on Facebook and on Twitter, we're Misophonia Show. You can support the show by visiting Patreon at slash misophoniapodcast. The music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.