S8E5 - Emily

S8 E5 - 5/22/2024
In this episode, Adeel Ahmad converses with Emily from Georgia, who recently discovered she has Misophonia – a condition leading to severe emotional reactions to everyday sounds. Emily, a first-time participant in such discussions, delves into her childhood experiences of triggers from common noises like her brothers chewing ice, to broader auditory and visual stimuli in public settings like movie theaters. She shares her journey of initially suppressing her feelings due to fear of being misunderstood, to gradually understanding that she is not alone in her condition. Effective coping mechanisms, like using headphones, removing herself from triggering environments, or directly communicating her sensitivities to those around her, have been crucial in managing her response to triggers. The importance of raising awareness and understanding Misophonia within society to foster empathy and support for those affected is underscored. Adeel and Emily also discuss the value of open dialogue about the condition, highlighting success stories from Emily's personal life where understanding and respect from others significantly eased her discomfort.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 8, Episode 5. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Emily in Georgia. Emily only recently learned about Misophonia, and then others share the experiences she's felt most of her life. This is the first time she's spoken with another Misophon about it. She recalls the earliest triggers she experienced as a child from her brothers and how she tried to suppress her reactions. We talk about common triggers like whistling and bouncing basketballs. Emily shares her strategies for dealing with triggers such as headphones or just leaving the situation. She emphasizes the need for awareness and understanding of misophonia in society and how it's helped her to open up and talk about her experiences. After the show, let me know what you think. You can always reach out by email at hello at misophoniapodcast.com or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast. By the way, of course, please head over and leave a quick review or rating wherever you listen to the show. It really helps drive us up in the algorithms and reach more misophones. A few of my usual announcements. Of course, thanks for the incredible ongoing support of our Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing, you can read all about the various levels at patreon.com slash misophonia podcast. This episode is also sponsored by the personal journaling app, Basil, that I developed. Basil provides AI-powered insights into your journal entries and guides you with new writing prompts daily based on those insights. You can even explore many different therapy approaches and modalities. It's available for iOS and Android. Check the show notes or go to hellobasal.com. All right. Now here's my conversation with Emily. Emily, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you here.

Emily [1:57]: Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

Adeel [2:00]: Yeah. Did you want to just start off by kind of letting us know kind of where you are, where you're located?

Emily [2:05]: So I am in my hometown of Ackworth, Georgia. It's a small town and I love it here. I have a great community. So I don't plan on leaving anytime soon.

Adeel [2:19]: Did you grow up there?

Emily [2:21]: Yes, I did. I'm close to all of my family and I live in the downtown area. So I'm still close to everyone. It's really nice.

Adeel [2:31]: Cool. Cool. Well, um, yeah, so, you know, we were just talking a little bit before and, um, You just found out about the podcast a couple weeks ago, and it sounds like just a couple years ago, you realized it had a name. I guess maybe, do you want to kind of rewind as to kind of how this started for you when you started to notice Misophonia?

Emily [2:53]: Yes, so it goes back as far as I can remember. I can remember being young, probably around eight or nine, and I understand that that's where it starts for a lot of people.

Adeel [3:04]: A lot of people, yeah.

Emily [3:06]: And I can remember the earliest trigger that I had. I ignored it. I tried to suppress it for several years. And then I think one day I snapped. And it was one of my brothers was just going to town on a cup of ice. And I just remember walking over, not saying a word and grabbing the cup. from them and pouring it down the sink and just walking out of the room. But I felt very vulnerable if anyone knew that I was bothered. So I tried to stay quiet about it. I didn't want to talk about it because I assumed that I was the only one who felt that way and that no one else would really understand why I react that way. and was it the uh ice chewing for a couple years you said that was bothering you yeah a couple of years and i just held it in because i thought they're gonna think i'm crazy and i also noticed that nobody else was bothered by it in the same way that i was So that was an early memory for me. And then it got to the point where, and even now to this day, if I hear someone with just a cup of ice, like if they shake it, that little bit of noise, it triggers because I know the next sound I'm going to hear. So that was an early one. Also, I can remember going to the movie theaters with my family. And that was extremely difficult and I couldn't understand why. And at that point it was the auditory and the visual all together. And being in a movie theater as a kid with your family, you can't really just get up and go. and wait in the lobby. I wish I could have, but I couldn't. And so that's when I kind of started to notice that, oh, it expands more than just a cup of ice.

Adeel [5:17]: Right. And did other family members start to bother you like at home? Was it starting to kind of expand to other, like the normal eating noises or other things?

Emily [5:30]: Oh yeah, it definitely was at home a lot. I can remember gum smacking or when people kind of crack it. the fingernails biting fingernails um messing with fingernails that little noise it makes and that also to the point that even if i saw someone kind of move their fingers a certain way yeah the visual of that i couldn't stand because my brain was anticipating the sound i was about to hear And it feels absolutely insane.

Adeel [6:08]: Yeah. How were you reacting? Like you can't, you know, dumping fingernails down the sink. Were you just kind of lashing out at all or leaving the room?

Emily [6:21]: Most of the time, I will leave the room. I have found that that is the best solution.

Adeel [6:28]: Yeah.

Emily [6:29]: Because if I can just remove myself from it, instead of snapping on someone. Now, there were moments, you know, with my own mother, who I absolutely adore, where I would snap on her because I was like, stop doing that, please. And at this point, she to be honest um because it was several years ago she kind of laughed at it a little bit it would kind of poke fun and i don't think that we fully understood that this is actually a condition that i can't control and i'm not trying to be rude so i have learned that over the years, even with my brothers and my eyes, they're very respectful now. And I found that that really helps is just to have a conversation with someone to say, Hey, I have sensitivities and what you're doing is really bothering me. I'm so sorry. And it's helped a lot. I work in an office and we have cubicles and, um, Somebody was clicking their pin the other day. And I knew that they didn't know they were doing it. There is just like a subconscious thing. And I just sent them a message. Hey, I have sensitivities. And you doing that with a pin is really distracting me. And immediately they said, I am so sorry. I'll stop. And I said, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. So that's something I found is that knowing that it's a condition that other people struggle with, that it's best to be open and talk about it. And people respect that and I've learned that they respond well to it. Um, so that's been a big help for me.

Adeel [8:21]: Yeah. It sounds like you've been communicating it in a very reasonable way. And that kind of covers a lot of the basis, just kind of framing it as a sensitivity and also just saying, uh, kind of apologizing realizing that it's you know the other person is not doing anything wrong we realize it's a problem with us um because i think if it's not framed the right way it usually gets interpreted as we are blaming them for something or telling them we're doing something wrong oh sorry telling them they're doing something wrong which doesn't which never goes well

Emily [8:56]: No, it doesn't. So I've tried to be very careful in how I approach it, just to say, hey, and people I'm close to and I feel comfortable being vulnerable with, I will talk to them and say, hey, this is a condition called misophonia. I myself am learning a lot about it right now, but it's eye-opening for me to learn that a condition that I've had the majority of my life is a real thing and other people struggle with it. I've had some pretty good reception from that. I talked to my grandma, who I'm very, very close to, and she had no idea, but she was so understanding. I talked to a coworker. The way that they just looked at me, made eye contact, and I felt very heard, I felt very seen, and I felt that it was okay to talk about and to let someone know because then they kind of know how to treat me. And in turn, they said, you know, it's funny, Emily. I've noticed you at work, and they've observed me to see the certain things that trigger me.

Adeel [10:14]: Yeah.

Emily [10:16]: And like, for example, there's we're sitting in a training class and there was someone's computer just kept beeping. No one else heard it. But I just said, hey, can we please figure out where the beeping's coming from and make it stop? And that, or they were doing a presentation and the entire screen was highlighted unnecessarily. So again, I raised my hand and just said, hey. Can we unhighlight the screen?

Adeel [10:48]: Yeah, a bit of visual.

Emily [10:50]: It is visual because I think for me personally, I have a little bit of an OCD as well. So that combined with the misophonia, it makes for a complicated view on things sometimes.

Adeel [11:09]: Have you ever seen a professional try to go in to see a therapist or anything about misophonia or one of the kind of overlapping comorbidities that we often have?

Emily [11:21]: I have not, because like I said, I am just now learning a lot about this. I found out the name a couple of years ago, but I didn't realize... How did you find out about it? I can't even remember what it was. It may have just been... Something I saw online about being triggered easily because it wasn't something I ever thought I should research. I just figured I'm an irritable person and I get annoyed at everything because I can remember being young and a family member saying to me, you're choosing to be annoyed. and in my head i thought no i'm not i'm definitely not choosing this i promise i would not choose this for myself and in fact if it's there's one thing that i could change about myself it would be this this would be the one thing because it it impacts more areas of your life than you realize school work even the gym church i i usually have to sit in the very front row and because It's even if I get so distracted and as soon as I see someone chewing gum or tapping their pen or moving their foot a certain way, that's it. I can't even focus at that point. My entire brain goes to whatever is going on over there while I'm still trying to ignore it. So it feels crazy.

Adeel [12:51]: Yeah, you get hijacked.

Emily [12:55]: Yes, absolutely. So being in big group settings where I know I can't just get up and leave is really hard for me. And I do my best to stay strong, try to cope with it if I can. But, you know, some days are really okay and some days are not great at all when it comes to that.

Adeel [13:20]: What makes things kind of a not okay day? Because you know how stress exacerbates it for us or like lack of sleep. Do you notice some patterns there?

Emily [13:30]: I think it just depends on where I'm at. If I'm trying to focus at work, the other day I was at work and I wanted to focus and And the person behind me was going through all these videos on their phone without headphones. Oh no. Oh no. You know.

Adeel [13:52]: Yeah.

Emily [13:53]: And it was just like video after video after video. And I looked over at a coworker and I said, I knew what the sound was, but I said, is there like a TV on or something? Because... I hear something hoping, like in my head, hoping that that person would maybe take the hint because I wasn't ready to confront the person about it. So that makes it hard when I'm in an environment where I need to focus. You know, and then there's that one distraction that really I can feel like my temperature rising when that happens because I either have to cope with it somehow or I have to confront the situation, which let's be honest, that's not always comfortable to do because you feel very vulnerable doing that. And some people might not understand that feeling that way. And that's the fear is that someone won't understand.

Adeel [14:56]: Yeah, we have to make that calculation every time. It gets kind of exhausting. Right. We often just say, let's just leave the situation or not confront.

Emily [15:04]: Let's just go home.

Adeel [15:06]: Yes. Exactly. So what school and friends, like, when did you bring it up there?

Emily [15:14]: So I've not been in school for a long time, but I do remember focus was extremely hard for me. And just the smallest things would distract me. So I was not very motivated by school. I just wanted to work and kind of do my own thing and not have to do something that's required. Because I think with misophonia, if you have an option, you're more comfortable in that situation. You know, things that are optional and not mandatory, if that makes sense. So, because then it's, I have the freedom to just up and walk away if I want to. And like I said earlier, that's been the best solution that I've come up with. Also headphones, of course. The day I bought Apple little earbuds.

Adeel [16:11]: My life changed.

Emily [16:13]: AirPods, yes. My life changed because I was also working in an office then. And once I plugged those in and just turned on some classical music while I made phone calls, it made all the difference because I couldn't hear anyone else around me. And I didn't care. It was magical. So that was a big help for me. um when it comes to like friends i can remember before i knew i had misophonia or that it had a name I just knew that I was annoyed by a lot of things. I can remember I had this friend who was a wonderful friend, but have mercy. This friend would do the most annoying things, could not eat with their mouth closed, was a very, very loud eater. We worked together, so anytime they came into the break room, I would leave. I wanted to hang out with my friend, but I would leave because I knew it was about to happen. And it was very difficult to be around. We're no longer friends now, but there's a part of me that's kind of okay with that because I know that if we were still friends, I would be very triggered.

Adeel [17:31]: Did something happen when you related to him? Was the friendship ended or just kind of like drifted off?

Emily [17:39]: It just drifted off. Yeah, it happens, you know, going, you know, adulting, going from 20s to 30s. So it hasn't had a big impact on my current friendships. And I've learned how to kind of open up a little bit more as I'm learning more about the condition to talk to people. Like, I've... I've talked to a couple family members one at a time. And I actually spoke with my dad recently and I said, hey, and I had not talked to him about this at all. And so I told him, I texted him, I said, hey, guess what I'm doing on Thursday? And he said, he's like, I have no idea. I said, I'm interviewing with this Misophonia podcast. and he said something funny um he asked me a question and he what did he say he said suppose for a moment that a large group of misophoniacs got together would they get along or would they drive each other crazy and i was like that's an excellent question but my response was that i thought that they would get along because i believe that people who have the condition have a respect for others who suffer from it that's very true yeah and that we would treat each other with respect and be sensitive to one another and i don't know anyone else who has it So that's why your podcast and conventions and I guess there's even support groups sound amazing because I want to be educated. And I understand just from the age range that you have on the podcast, you have young people, you have people who are elderly who have struggled with this their entire life. So I try to prepare myself for having this my entire life. And the more I can learn to cope with it and manage it, the better off I'll be. Because I don't want to push anyone away because of it.

Adeel [19:55]: right yeah right we've had people of all of all ages and uh um the about yeah miss phones getting together yeah it's surprising that um people are surprised at their conventions because you know when it's in person there's a bunch of us together the amazing thing is like you said there is this kind of like a intrinsic respect that we have for each other and i've told a lot of people where there's this kind of like um almost like spiritual feeling where we kind of feel like we've walked in each other's shoes for most of our lives because we've had so many similar experiences that we almost don't have to like say too much even you know Um, but then, and then there's also the fact that, yeah, we just kind of look out for each, uh, look out for the sound. Now there are still some people, if they have a, if they have a cough and that's your trigger, then, you know, we kind of like step aside a little bit, but overall it's, uh, yeah, no, it's, it's great. Um, and, uh, and yeah, you're right. There's support groups. And when I have coffee with, with other misophones, it's like, I don't even think about it. and if they make a trigger it's like um doesn't really bother me and i partly it's probably the same reason like usually your own kids if you have children won't bother you because the whatever that fear circuit is in the brain it doesn't go off because it doesn't assign a threat to that person um so whatever the root cause of misophonia is i do believe it's somewhat related to um fear and danger your body actually warning you wanting to help you but doing it in a way that you know is not obviously um helpful for the for the for the time for the for the triggers that we that are triggering us um yeah well long answer to your dad's question your dad's question about misophones getting together and yeah and like you said as you uh about age you it yeah you will probably have but we've there's no cure and so um yeah we tend to have misophonia for our lifetimes and um bad news is it seems like people pick up triggers or it seems like it gets a little bit quote unquote worse but you will have more you know as you know as you become an adult you have more control over your life and you're able to kind of like take care of yourself, leave, or just kind of manage your space a bit better. So that is a good thing.

Emily [22:19]: Absolutely. What you said about as you get older, it gets worse. I have learned that. I've definitely caught on to that because at first it was just... I noticed it was just auditory, but it's expanded to visual as well because the two are connected. And that's been really hard because, you know, you can't really, it's hard to block out both. It's really hard.

Adeel [22:49]: Right, right. Well, that's why I say it's probably hardest to block sound. And that's why I think sound becomes the first trigger is because you can kind of close your eyes, but it's like sound can't fully close your ears. So, yeah, I think whatever the underlying condition is, I think it's multisensory and hearing just happens to be the hardest to block.

Emily [23:19]: Yeah, I've even thought if I had to be deaf or blind, I would choose to be deaf so I don't have to hear all the noises.

Adeel [23:28]: Right.

Emily [23:30]: And even that sounds crazy, but I've always thought about that. I'm like, well, I'm going to choose one or the other. Isn't that crazy?

Adeel [23:35]: I mean, I understand.

Emily [23:36]: I don't want to hear. Yes.

Adeel [23:39]: Anyone listening understands that crazy thought because we've definitely had that. But others would definitely think, what an insane thing to think about.

Emily [23:49]: I like, I want to keep all my senses. No, I get rid of that one.

Adeel [23:53]: Yeah. I mean, we've missed out on music, which is kind of a key aspect of life, but, uh, but yeah, it is.

Emily [23:59]: And that helps too. Loud music, loud music, just drown everything out. White noise. Um, ever since I was a baby, my parents always put on like a sound machine, white noise. So to this day, I can't sleep without it. At first, growing up, I thought, I can't sleep without the white noise because my parents turned me on to it. But really, it has to do with the misophonia. Sleeping over at people's houses, not fun. I can remember a friend I would stay with and... She would always put me in their guest room, and there was a clock on the wall. And every time I stayed, and I stayed there a lot, every time I stayed, I would shove that clock in the closet so I didn't have to hear it every time. And that was before I knew that there was a name for it. I just knew that the clock would bother me. I don't own a clock. I think it would be really cool to be able to have a clock, but I can't have a clock because it... Not a ticking one, yeah.

Adeel [25:06]: Definitely not a ticking one.

Emily [25:08]: A digital one, okay, but not the ticking ones.

Adeel [25:14]: Yeah, I kept having to... I was taking piano lessons in a small room once, which had a ticking clock, and every time I went in there, I had to smother it in a winter jacket because I could not keep time with that and a metronome.

Emily [25:29]: No, it's like your whole brain goes to the clock. And that's all you can hear. That's all you can focus on. And you don't want to. Right. So you just want to kill the clock.

Adeel [25:40]: Yep. Back in the day, like you said, uh, yeah, you had white noise and stuff. Do you, do you remember anything? Um, uh, it was, you know, how, how's, how's, how's life for you growing up? Was it relatively like stable and, um, any kind of, I don't know, were there any kind of adversities that you remember? Any kind of like, um, difficulties growing up or challenges that kind of were kind of happening around the time of maybe your misophonia began?

Emily [26:10]: I grew up in a wonderful home my parents high school sweethearts they're still together I have three older brothers and we're all very close in age so you know we we all grew up together and we're all still close um But there was no, I wouldn't say there was any conflict in our home. Everyone got along. It was just a normal sibling, you know, arguing that happened daily because we had to live together. But I would say the first was the ice. I have twin brothers and they would just love to do it. I don't really remember my other brother who's between our ages. I don't ever remember him triggering me at all. We got along really well. So it's been interesting to see that there's some people that just don't trigger me at all. But then there's other people that... could breathe wrong and I'm annoyed.

Adeel [27:19]: Gotcha.

Emily [27:20]: So that's been a hard one for me to understand.

Adeel [27:22]: Yeah. Yeah. For a lot, a lot of us. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's very often, right. Very often the people closest to us, it's interesting that, especially if you have like a few, three brothers and. all kind of run around the same age and then some can trigger but some can not at all. Interesting that you have twin brothers. Would one of them trigger you and the other one wouldn't doing the same thing?

Emily [27:51]: No, they both would trigger me the same. Okay, so true twins.

Adeel [27:55]: That's the sign of a true twin.

Emily [27:57]: They are true twins. But as we've gotten older, they... they are very respectful now. They're very kind. They, if we're at a family function and one of them is doing something I don't like, I just make one look at them and they know, and they just, they look at me and they say, sorry.

Adeel [28:20]: Yes, I do.

Emily [28:21]: And, um, so as kids, it's kind of, we want to annoy each other, you know, like that's just what we do as kids. But as adults, um, You know, we learned that we love each other. We're friends. We don't want to upset each other. So I was very thankful as we got older that it shifted to like, yes, you guys are still going to do things that annoy me. But at least we have an understanding now where we're respectful of each other. And so for that, I'm very thankful. But even, you know, I dated someone for, you know, four plus years. And thinking back, he never triggered me.

Adeel [29:05]: Like, there was never... Even after four years. That's quite a long time. Usually after a few months, something comes up.

Emily [29:15]: Right. And he knows. He's very aware. We're still friends. And he's very aware of my condition here. And he's even tried to do things to annoy me. And I don't even notice. And I don't know how your brain makes a difference there. Like I said, that's been a confusing bit for me. But even when he eats... I feel like I could watch this band eat all day and it wouldn't bother me, which is strange because a complete stranger, you know, the cafe doing their food, I want to leave. So that's been a weird part of it where there are some people that they, they can't do anything to bother me, but then other people just breathe wrong and it's over.

Adeel [30:04]: Yeah, that's an interesting data point because, you know, the prevailing thought is that the closer you get to someone, eventually they'll start to trigger you. Or it just tends to be people close to you as opposed to, obviously strangers can. But it's interesting that you have people that you'll know for years and they won't trigger you. And they're, you know, obviously you're very close to them.

Emily [30:27]: Right, it is very strange. I mean, he would annoy me in other ways.

Adeel [30:31]: Of course, he's a man.

Emily [30:32]: Yeah, he's a man. So he would annoy me in other ways. And it was more just we were spending too much time together. We need to breathe. But it wasn't a trigger. So that one's interesting to me because I'm like, is it because I loved you so much that you just didn't bother me? But no, because I love my family. Yeah. Like, what is it that, you know, makes you kind of, I don't get to pick and choose who annoys me or who doesn't. Right. But for whatever reason, there's certain people that just don't bother me. But other things is, you know, being in an office, just from listening to the podcast, I know other people have struggled with cubicles. Someone was whistling the other day. That's a big one for me. I hate whistling. We do not need to whistle while we work. We really don't because it just makes me want to glare at the person and rip their vocal cords out.

Adeel [31:35]: Right. I just had this conversation with the last interview that hasn't published yet. So yes, that's a common trend this season, apparently. The whistling haters. Is that a common one? Yeah, whistling. Yeah, I would say it's obviously like the chewing mouth sounds come up the most, gum smacking. But whistling does come up. It's not everybody whistles, so you might not notice it all the time. But obviously, if you have that as your trigger, you will notice it a lot. So I'd call it kind of like second tier. Yeah, that makes sense.

Emily [32:12]: Another one, I live alone. I have animals. Of course, they can't trigger me, but I live alone and there's a house next to me. An elderly lady lives there and her family comes to visit often. However, sometimes there's all the kids and there's a basketball goal. Oh, yeah. Yes, the bouncing of the basketball. Yeah. drives me up the wall especially if i'm trying to rest or take a nap um so usually in those situations i just have to turn the music all the way up and drown it out somehow or leave there's been times i've just left the house yeah i'll come back later i know they won't be there because i think knowing that there's going to be an end to the sounds helps right knowing okay this will be over in you know however long so that's been something that helps my brain too it's just knowing okay if there's going to be an end to it then we can we can be okay for a minute but not knowing and not having any control over it that's very tricky for me right right

Adeel [33:24]: um how about um you know a lot of people come on and uh yeah obviously like funerals and churches those kinds of functions are difficult because you're in a big echoey room um how do you how do you how do you deal with i guess you just kind of sit through it right you can't really do that much

Emily [33:43]: So with church, I usually sit in the front row. Right.

Adeel [33:49]: Okay, yeah.

Emily [33:51]: If I'm running late and the front row is taken, I struggle because I know I'm going to have to sit somewhere else next to someone who...

Adeel [34:00]: You just squeeze in on the pew.

Emily [34:03]: Right, yes. And so if I can sit in the front row, I'm literally looking straight at the pastor. I feel like there's no one else in the room. And another thing I've noticed about myself is that I've always, always been big on one-on-one time with people. I love to have someone all to myself. because there's limited distractions it's just me and that one person um so that's something that i've really appreciated and i never really considered that that might be related to the misophonia but it's always just been more comfortable for me if i just have someone one-on-one i don't want anyone else around just us

Adeel [34:49]: yeah do you always do you know it kind of raises the questions curious if you've heard the term like hsp like highly sensitive person um you know those are people who kind of feel things a lot more intensely can can read the room a lot more intensely so there's a lot of people in the room it's like a lot of um other brains that you're kind of like extra connected to i feel like emotionally and mentally um when you said like you like to be one-on-one i definitely do a lot too and i think it's partly because um sometimes i'm too exhausted to kind of like keep up with all the you know the temperature and the emotions of everybody in the room um do you think that that might be a factor too do you feel i don't know i don't know if you heard the term hsp are you i'm sure if you've heard enough of the podcast has come up but uh i'm curious if kind of i don't relate to that at all

Emily [35:44]: I've definitely... thought about like hypersensitivity to things because I feel like I hear everything I've always felt that that I can hear everything and if I walk into a room of people I can usually get a pretty good read on like right away if someone's going to trigger me or not just from their body language the way they move the way they talk the way they breathe the way They move their hands. I do pay attention to that. And there's certain people that we get along great. I know that person won't trigger me, especially if they know. especially if they know that about me. And then there's other people you can just kind of tell. Yeah. You know, and some of it goes back to manners. I've always said, you know, I believe in manners. I believe that you should have manners. You know, chew with your mouth closed. Be mindful of other people. And not everybody is that way. So the people who are not... just naturally mindful of others in the room. Right. Um, those are the ones that I know will, will trigger me and it's going to be very difficult to get along with that person. Um, so yeah, I definitely do pick up on.

Adeel [37:11]: Yeah. I'm curious. What was a, was manners like a big focus, um, growing up in your house?

Emily [37:18]: I mean, I wouldn't say it was a big focus, but I was definitely raised with etiquette, cleanliness, and we had rules. So I had a very structured home life. So it's just something that I believe that everyone should have, you know, if you're in public, if you're at home, you know, wherever, because it's just a reflection of who you are. So... And with having misophonia, the things that trigger me, I have always done my best to not do those things because I realize that there are other people who have it. And I don't want anyone to feel what I feel when I'm triggered. I wouldn't wish it on anyone because it's a fight or flight thing. you know, reaction that you get. And so that's something that I've just, I've tried to be mindful to not do those things. And it's a list. And if I do those things, you best believe I'm all by myself and I'm annoyed. I mean, I get annoyed with my own eating sometimes.

Adeel [38:33]: So you do self-trigger a little bit? Like, is it like just annoyed or do you actually like get into fight or flight during yourself?

Emily [38:41]: It's more just like, I know I have to eat, so let's just go ahead and get this over with.

Adeel [38:47]: All right, buddy. We just got to do this.

Emily [38:52]: We have to do this. I don't, yeah, there's just certain things that, you know, I think about things, you know, before I eat them or whatever, because I'm like, oh, it's going to be this way. I don't want to do that. So I am thankful that it has taught me to be mindful of others and how they feel, especially after realizing that I am not alone in this and that there are other people who have a difficult time with it. So I just want to treat other people with respect in that. Because, you know, not everyone's going to be comfortable talking about it. It took me a long time. It took me a very long time to talk about it. And even now, like, I still feel crazy for dealing with it. But knowing I'm not alone. And, you know, you are the first person that I've ever talked to who also has it. And that blows my mind. I'm 32 years old and I've never met anyone else who has it. And I just don't think that there's enough awareness about it. So that's where I'm very thankful for your podcast. I don't even know how I came across it. I may have just gotten on Spotify and typed in Misophonia and there you were. I was like, the Misophonia podcast. Crazy. And I know it's going to continue to help me. And I'm going to listen to every episode the best that I can. And I'm excited because, you know, it's opened my eyes to a lot.

Adeel [40:30]: Yeah. And there, there's, there's a, because I've had, I've had like almost 200 people now. And so there's so, there's a quite a, obviously there's like ton of stuff we have in common, but then there's a lot of, um, variation. And so you might find a lot of, yeah, as you explore, you might find some things that are like really creepily similar to what you've, uh, what you've gone through, but then also some that you'll, you'll be like, wow, I never thought that that could happen. And it could be, yeah, a productive warning or like a helpful warning for you in some way or, um, you know, to avoid certain things. Right, right. But we've also had, you know, have had a number, several people come on, you know, more people of faith and have talked about, you know, their faith and how it's related to misophonia. So just a wide variety of topics.

Emily [41:20]: So, yeah. I think it's a beautiful thing, what you're doing. I'm very thankful that I found it. And... You know, I'm like, why didn't I think about this? But it's, you're helping people.

Adeel [41:34]: Yeah, I consider it at this point like a, yeah, I consider it kind of like a living art installation. I just decided that I'm just going to keep cranking this out because there's not enough awareness. I'm going to keep cranking this out once a week. And until people look at this long list of people who've come on and realize that, you know, this is a real thing. So, yeah, you're part of the process.

Emily [41:59]: yeah and i'm happy to be here i've um i have several people who are close to me who have asked that i send them you know the episode once it's on spotify and i think it's going to be really helpful for my loved ones to hear this um you know because i'm talking with you as well and to kind of hear that there's a lot of people out there who have this it's not just me Because I guarantee they don't know anyone else who has it besides me. It's either people don't talk about it or there just are a limited amount of us. And I don't know which one it is.

Adeel [42:42]: I'm going to take a look. Yeah, I'm going to take a look back and somehow search through it, see if there's other people who have come on from... From Georgia, I'm sure there's, you know, we're everywhere. And so, you know, I'm sure if you look, you'll find a community somehow. And there's obviously places online like Reddit, Facebook and whatnot that you can find people anywhere in the world. So, you know, you don't have to go to a convention. And sometimes it's just helpful to have... people in your area. I'm blessed to have like some very, some great people around me. Some are even therapists who have misophonia and it's great to kind of just get together sometimes and talk about stuff or just know that people are around and they're kind of like, they can be kind of your, your phone, a friend or a lifeline.

Emily [43:28]: Yeah, absolutely. I look forward to diving into this more, educating myself more, and just hopefully connecting with more people who also have it so that I do kind of have someone who is more understanding. Because I do have people in my life who are. I opened up with one of my brothers recently. Not the twins, but the other one. And I talked to him.

Adeel [44:00]: The other guy who doesn't trigger you.

Emily [44:02]: Yeah, the one who doesn't trigger me. He is an angel. But I talked to him and he was just very understanding. Like I said, it's been very emotional for me. I cried when I heard your podcast because I was like, oh my goodness, this is... I mean, first, you have a big heart to do this because you know how sensitive it is. Like, it's not easy to talk about. It's not easy to dive into the details of it. But it's a real thing. And it's so... It's not talked about enough. So I hope that this does spread like wildfire. And I'll, of course, share it on... you know, social media and whatnot, which is a vulnerable thing to do. But I do believe that being able to tell people about it helps them to understand me and how to treat me and why I act the way that I do sometimes. So I'm very, very, very thankful for that, that it's not something that I feel that I have to be quiet about anymore or like ashamed of. I think it's just the way that God wired us and he doesn't make mistakes. And so I'm thankful that I'm this way. learning to deal with it is going to be very big for any of us who struggle with it. Because like you said, there's no cure for it, but there are ways to manage it and to deal with it and to make it better. You know, because I don't want to miss out on, you know, good things in life just because I'm worried about being triggered. So I want to go out and be able to live my life.

Adeel [45:53]: Right. I've heard the term misophonia grief be applied to that kind of like, um, the feeling of losing out on experiences, you know, especially with loved ones and whatnot. And so, uh, but I think, I think, but yeah, with more communication and understanding, um, you know, there might be, for example, like meal times, if that, if that's a big trigger for people, they, they try to, um, find other ways to engage and connect and bond with their family. And so, um, Yeah, I think just awareness kind of helps people work around this condition.

Emily [46:29]: It absolutely does. I can remember mealtimes I would like to get up before everyone else. I couldn't stay seated at the table the whole time. There's no way. But it gets better. Like I said, there's good days and there's days that are not that great. But having an awareness about it definitely helps your brain kind of process, you know, how, like, you know, if you're going to have that fight or flight reaction, but just to, you know, focus on what you can control. So.

Adeel [47:10]: Right. Yeah. Focus on what you can control. And also just, um, you know, if, if it is, if it is, if this is like a fear threat related, uh, miscalculation, just try to, uh, um, you know, I don't like, I know, I know we don't like to think about this funny all the time, but just if you're going into a situation, just kind of. self-soothe a little bit remind yourself care remind yourself that you're not in any danger um to try to kind of reassure yourself that you're in a safe environment safety i think is a feeling of safety i think is what gets lost quickly and and then we tend to spiral down so if you can kind of catch yourself early that seems to help me at least and from what i've heard a number of other people

Emily [47:55]: I agree with that. You definitely want to feel safe. Like you're not, you know, you're not going to be attacked with certain triggers. And you over time, you learn where those safe places are, and who those safe people are. At least for me, you know, I've kind of been able to differentiate the people who I know won't trigger me and then the many people who will.

Adeel [48:31]: Right. Well, that's good. That's good. You just get that you're learning and you're looking to looking to learn more. Um, I think that'll be great. And, uh, yeah, I'm sure as you, you know, as you, as you get older, you'll, you'll, you'll eventually meet people who are around you who have misophonia. So I think that'll be a, a great thing and you'll be able to teach them and they'll be able to teach you. And, uh, um, it's good to have that community.

Emily [48:54]: I look forward to that very much because, like I said, I haven't met anyone else who has it, which is part of why I thought maybe I was a little bit crazy or just an irritable person for feeling the way that I do. So it felt good to learn as much as I know and to take that to certain people who have known me my whole life to say, hey. Guess what? I'm not crazy. But this whole thing is crazy. So that's been really helpful, I think, in some of my relationships. And I'm very careful in how I talk about it. I try to have a very... gentle approach you know even if you're trying to talk to someone who is triggering you i think the best thing you can do is just be gentle be kind to that person they're not they didn't wake up thinking how am i going to annoy that person today they're just they're living their life as normal doing normal human things it's just something in our brains goes off when those things are happening that we really can't control. It's not like ADHD where you can just take some medicine and you're improved. It's you're on your own to figure out how you can cope with it and what the best things are for you because we're all going to be different. You know, we all have different triggers. We all have different coping mechanisms. I think some of them are similar. But learning how to manage it, I think, is the biggest thing because I don't think that we were put here to suffer over something that we really don't have any control over. So that's been the biggest thing for me, learning that this is not something that I chose. It's something that I don't have any control over, but I can at least help myself. I can't turn it off. Nobody can turn it off for me. But I can choose to be calm about it and careful in how I approach it. So that's been helpful for me. Yeah. you know, like I said, people are either very respectful or, you know, they could choose to not be. But in my experience so far, everyone's been very respectful of it and has taken me seriously, even though they might not understand what it feels like or, you know, what it's like. But because of the relationship that we have and the love that's there, I've had a lot of love and support in that. I'm very thankful for

Adeel [51:45]: That's a, yeah, those are, that's a great lesson. It seems like you're, you're well on your way of, of learning, um, positive things and dealing with misophonia. And yeah, I'll say like, I know it's hard, it's hard for everybody, but like trying to approach it with a restraint, we're trying to approach your, your triggers or the people that trigger you with restraint helps because if, because if you do snap and we all snap and we all. uh have gone to the edge um snapping because it raises the stress level so much can just it just spirals it right and you it just takes so much longer to recover and so i've posted on social media just the idea of conservation of energy if you can somehow convince yourself if i just bought if i i mean obviously bottling things up is not necessarily always great but if i just not snap think of how much easier it'll be to recover it's hard to think about but it's it's like it's it's easy to recover if you haven't snapped and i'm just trying to hold on to that idea because then i can be more productive later to to go do some artwork or you know do do something more productive and just help me get over the um the trigger so um i like that you're approaching it with trying to trying to approach people with some uh um you know some understanding and some some restraint there

Emily [53:00]: Yeah, I just try to have grace for myself and for others. So because if you, I think if you approach it wrong, like, you know, if you snap, you're not going to get a good reaction from that person. In fact, I might do it more because they're like, this person was just really rude to me. So I try to... you know, think about my reaction before I do it. And, you know, when I was a little girl and I took the cup of ice and threw it down the sink, that was my first snap moment. And I didn't feel good about it. I definitely did not feel good about it. There's a small bit of me that felt, ah. I don't have to be quiet about it right now. You know, like they know. But then I also felt very vulnerable because I'm like, they know. And that was a big fear for me was that people might use it against me. Oh, we know how to annoy her. So we're going to do it. We know what her triggers are. We're going to do it. That was a huge fear for me growing up, especially with brothers. to annoy each other for the, you know, several years. And so I definitely struggled with that. And now, you know, of course, as adults, there's the mutual respect. I don't want to bother them. They don't want to bother me. So, but yeah, I think it's big in how you approach people with it. Um, just to say, Hey, I have sensitivities, certain things that bother me. I'm really sorry. I don't want to be rude to you or, um, but I'm just going to politely ask, you know, you're, you're able to stop doing that. That would be awesome. Thank you. Versus just snapping on them. And, you know, I think it might be kind of hard for some people to understand why you're snapping as badly as you are. So, So I've been thankful for that.

Adeel [55:04]: Well, yeah, Emily, you know, we're heading up close to an hour here. It's been, yeah, it's been great. Hopefully it's been helpful for you to actually talk about it now out loud. I don't know. Yeah, this has kind of been your first opportunity. Anything else you wanted to kind of like share or ask or anything about this before we kind of wind down? Not to put you on the spot, but you know.

Emily [55:27]: whoa you can put me on the spot what is um for you i want to know from you what has been the biggest help for you with misophonia what's been like the biggest, like, ah, this really helps me.

Adeel [55:47]: Yeah. I mean, I would say some, honestly, some of the things that you've learned is just optionality, being able to kind of like leave the room, have kind of an escape route and, you know, especially in situations where that's okay. Um, but also the, you know, I kind of knew that before though, before, you know, looking into misophonia, um, deeply and doing the podcast, but, uh, One of the things that's been most interesting to me is there's a lot of things I just learned about recently. And I'm 47 now. I just learned about the nervous system and dysregulation. All these things that I sure learned about growing up. But I think the reason why I didn't, I mean, I think a lot of my, you know, some of the ways I've reacted are because I didn't know about these things. I wasn't aware of how misophonia really affects my body. So I kind of now just being able to, like I said earlier, like, soothe myself or talk to myself before i sit down for dinner or go into a triggering situation and try to feel um try to tell myself that i'm safe not just not just about like specific sounds but like it's really that just it's this weird kind of uh um primitive fear that we have that i think is is what is um causing this rage inside of us it's it's kind of this um it's almost like we're kind of like you know in ancient times we're going to be you know attacked by a tiger or something it's that weird um really raw fear that we have so just trying to talk to myself and let myself know that everything's safe and you're okay um tends tends to help and i don't know if it's just because um it's almost like a meditation thing but uh it does help a little i don't i don't always remember to do that but um but yeah it's one of the things other than you know the usual like headphones and living a situation that's one thing that helps and um um yeah i don't know connecting it uh the other thing is just i happen to connect it my misophonia to growing up in an environment where sometimes i had a parent that would sometimes kind of like lose his temper right and so i used to really listen for that and i feel like some of my miss phone is is connected to that so having that awareness whether that's an actual connection or not does has kind of like helped me control myself basically that's awesome so um yeah so these these these discoveries have helped and and it's not just helped with the miss one it just kind of helped me overall and so i kind of like um i don't know i kind of thank the misophonia for for leading me down down this path of of self-discovery yeah i've i can relate to that because i feel like i've learned a lot about myself

Emily [58:45]: Through this, I'm just learning the way that I tick like anyone else would, you know, as they're getting to know me, they're learning how I tick. And, you know, I have that coworker who was noticing, you know, we just met, you know, we're in a training class and they noticed these little things about me because I opened up with them. And that's when they said, you know. they're a very observant person and they made all these observations and it is helpful to learn more about yourself and then you know other people learning about you to see how you tick because then you kind of know how to deal with certain situations as they come because like we talked about earlier The trigger, the triggers get worse as we get older has been our experience. And so learning more to figure out, okay, if I'm going to be in this situation at a dinner party, if I'm going to be around this particular person that I know will trigger me at some point. how to like mentally prepare yourself for that is huge. You know, to get yourself to a place where it's like, okay, I'm prepared to go into this. You know, I can handle it because we do not want to snap, right? We don't want to be those people that just snap because we're triggered.

Adeel [60:14]: Another thing I've thought about recently is it's good that you're learning all this stuff now because I've noticed as people get older, they talk less about personal stuff. And so I feel like I have less opportunity to kind of like... you know, have these deep conversations, especially with other men, um, you know, um, and so I don't know. It's, it's, so I feel like it's, if you can, yeah, the earliest, the earlier you can kind of think about this stuff and learn about yourself, uh, it'll pay dividends later because I think, uh, I don't know, people just bottle stuff up or they get busier or what. And I think it's to the detriment of many people.

Emily [60:56]: Yeah, absolutely. And I do not think that we should bottle it up. I think that we should talk about it. I think that there should be awareness about it and to have people in your life that You know, there's love and there's trust that you can be open and vulnerable with. I think that's huge. Not everyone has that. And we don't realize that, you know, and I'm thankful that I've been able to open up with people and I've received nothing but you know love and respect and return and that's been huge in being able to manage this condition um you know people who aren't going to make me feel crazy but just like okay that that makes sense but i also want the people who have known me my entire life to because if i didn't know if i've suffered from this my whole life and i didn't know that it was a condition or it had a name then they probably didn't either. And so being able to open up and talk to them in a very calm way helps them to know how to respond to me and how to treat me. So that's been a huge one for me. And for me, I'm just in the beginning of this. I'm just in the beginning of discovering what all of this means and how to properly handle it. Oh, this has been very, very helpful.

Adeel [62:25]: Yeah, yeah.

Emily [62:27]: I'm glad I found you.

Adeel [62:28]: No, it's been great talking. yeah no it's been great talking and uh and obviously you know you can reach out anytime to me or or if you if you hear somebody on the on the podcast that you want to connect with uh everyone who's come on has been very gracious and and wanting to connect with you know with with people yeah let me know and um you know i can definitely going to like i said dive into this more so that i can connect with um others and

Emily [62:58]: I'm glad that, you know, I've met you, you know, through this, through the phone, but I've met you and it's been very helpful for me. I mean, you know, it's, it has been emotional. I mean, it makes me want to cry and just like, like a happy release. you know, you, you didn't have to do this, but you, you realize that there was a lack of awareness and you made a podcast and you have a great voice, by the way, you have a good voice for this, like very like calm and soothing and like understanding. Um,

Adeel [63:34]: I've heard that it's kind of soothing. It is, yes. Thank you.

Emily [63:38]: Yes, you have a good voice for this. So I commend you for taking this on and doing this from your heart because you are helping people. It's helped me. And I've even told people about the podcast because I was so excited. I was like, y'all. There's a whole podcast about this and there's endless episodes. It'll take me forever to listen to. And every time I'm, yeah, I like to go for walks when I'm at work at the office and I will sit there or I'll be walking and just listening to your podcast. And it's been really, really awesome.

Adeel [64:19]: Thank you again, Emily. Great to have you in the community. 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 helloatmissiphoniapodcast.com or go to the website, missiphoniapodcast.com. It's even easier just to send a message on Instagram at Missiphonia Podcast. Follow there or Facebook and on X or Twitter. It is Missiphonia Show. Support the show by visiting the Patreon at patreon.com slash mrfootypodcast. The music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [65:29]: Let's pray. you