Shela - Navigating Misophonia in Online Meetings and Work

S2 E6 - 6/3/2020
This episode features Shayla from California, who manages a team of stylists for Stitch Fix and has been working remotely for the past three years. Shayla discusses the benefits and challenges of online meetings, emphasizing the control it provides over her environment which helps in managing her misophonia. She shares insights from her experience with different therapists, noting those who were open to learning about misophonia facilitated significant progress. Shayla also talks about the coping mechanisms she utilizes, including mindfulness and reframing memories. An interesting aspect of the conversation includes Shayla's use of Pinterest to educate her mother about misophonia and her effort to advocate for herself both in personal and professional settings. Adeel and Shayla delve into the topic of disclosing misophonia at work, where Shayla has recently opened up about her condition to her peers, leading to a positive outcome and connecting with someone experiencing similar issues. The episode wraps up with an encouragement for misophonia sufferers to share their experiences and coping strategies with each other.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is episode 6 of season 2. My name is Adeel Aman, and I have Misophonia. On this episode, I talk to Shayla from California. Shayla's got a lot of video meetings at work, so we talk a lot about the pros and cons of online meetings and work from home, which a lot of us are dealing with right now. She's also worked with a lot of different therapists and shares some insights on what has worked and what hasn't. She talks about how she advocates for herself around the people that care about her and how she's working towards being able to advocate for herself more widely. You'll also hear how she uses a Pinterest board to educate her mom about misophonia. I want to make sure I acknowledge up front that the world and its most visible right now in the U.S. is going through a very tumultuous time right now with regard to race and injustice. I know we as misophones are always thinking about making the world better sonically, but there are even larger issues that have once again come to light. So I encourage everyone to look around for organizations to support and neighbors to be an ally for wherever you live. I'll put some links to some national orgs here in the show notes. All right. Now, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Shayla. Well, I want to say welcome, Shayla, to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Shela [1:28]: Thank you. Yeah, I'm really excited to be here and to talk with you today.

Adeel [1:32]: Cool. Yeah. So, you know, you've heard a few episodes, so I kind of like to find out. Actually, I don't know much about you at all. So what kind of where are you located?

Shela [1:42]: I live in Northern California. I'm in a small town called Roanert Park. It's right next to Santa Rosa. And we're in Sonoma County.

Adeel [1:50]: Gotcha. Yeah. I used to love San Francisco for a long time. So I just moved away from here because I'm familiar with Roanert Park area. Great. Yeah. So, yeah. So what do you do for a living? Sounds like you had some meetings earlier.

Shela [2:05]: Yes, I work for Stitch Fix. We send personalized boxes of clothing to our clients. We use a mix of art and science to really determine their style and pieces that they may like. But we really focus on the personalization aspect by using stylists. So I manage a team of stylists for Stitch Fix. And I've actually been working remotely for the last three years. So and partly due to misophonia, to be honest.

Adeel [2:35]: Oh, very cool. Yeah, I want to dig into that. Yeah, I'm in tech, so I'm very familiar with Stitch Fix. That's awesome. Really cool company. So, you know, a lot of us are working from home, but I work from home. I've always worked from, well, for the last few years. Tell me about, yeah, tell me about your work from home. How did that start and how did that relate to Misophonia?

Shela [2:55]: Yeah. Well, before I was at Stitch Fix, I was in retail. And then I went back to school. I had what I like to call a college part one and a college part two, which I think also kind of had a little bit to do with misophonia. And I'm happy to talk about that, too. But I finished up school here in Rohnert Park at Sonoma State. and just realized that I honestly kind of wanted my weekends back and my holidays back with my family and found Stitch Fix, became a stylist myself. And when I heard that there was an opportunity to grow with the company and that it would mean working from home, I was intrigued with it because it was something new and it was a way for me to use my degree and to do something different but also because I felt like I could have a little bit more control of my environment and to hopefully, you know, lessen my triggers and to just feel more in control. I think that's been a main thing with me and like working through my misophonia is when I don't feel like I have control, that's when I notice it kind of takes over. And when I do have control, I'm able to kind of work through situations a little bit differently.

Adeel [4:09]: got it yeah so yeah i've heard that uh before that the need to have control um and does that help you even if you are getting triggers the fact that you have some control would kind of maybe hopefully blunts some of the um reaction

Shela [4:24]: I think it helps my mindset a little bit more. And so, like, to be honest with you, most times when I'm on meetings, I'll have my AirPods in and I'll be listening to a white noise because I still live in an apartment and sometimes, you know, I can hear the music from my neighbors, you know, the bass coming through the walls or something like that, which generally usually does trigger me. So I've found ways to make it work. But I think like having the control of a controlled environment or an environment that I chose to be in to do my work kind of lessens things and doesn't make it maybe seem as bad like it's happening to me where I used to feel that way and still sometimes do in other situations.

Adeel [5:09]: Got it. Okay. So day to day at Stitch Fix, so you were in retail and your first step was to become a stylist at Stitch Fix, right? And I believe that's, is that happening over Skype with your clients?

Shela [5:25]: So it's all online, and we actually don't, as stylists, we don't have interaction currently with our clients. And so there's no Skype, there's no interaction really at all with our clients.

Adeel [5:38]: Okay, I was thinking of a different startup or something. Gotcha, okay.

Shela [5:40]: Yeah, a few do that, but we don't right now. But as a manager, I have multiple meetings a day. I do meet in video calls with the people who report to me. And so I'm in constant meetings. But most of our work is done through email.

Adeel [5:59]: And so you chose a job at Stitch Fix because of the opportunity to be remote and not be in an office, I guess?

Shela [6:09]: Yeah, it definitely was, it fit for me and for, you know, everything that I'm working through. I love the company and I love what I do, but definitely a silver lining was that I would get to work from home.

Adeel [6:23]: And, you know, I've heard, I've had conversations with folks who are like, I mean, just recently, how going to the office obviously can have its triggers, but at least you have probably a place you can walk outside, there are probably rooms you can run to. But sometimes being in those video calls, you have a great solution of pumping white noise into your ears. But people have said, you know, it's also like you have the entire office in your ear. If you're on a video, a Zoom call, you hear what everybody's doing. They might be eating. Do you find challenges too? Or is it kind of like order of magnitude better than having to be in an office for you?

Shela [7:04]: You know, it's funny. Actually, the call that I was on right before this, we had a lunch meeting with our larger regional team and it was like a bring your lunch to the call kind of meeting. And I didn't, me personally, I didn't get triggered at all because we all are on video calls all the time. And so we know to mute ourselves unless we're talking or, you know, kind of how the cadence or I guess the etiquette of, You know, being on video calls really works because we do it day in and day out. And I actually had a thought like, oh, if we were in person, this would be a different story for me. But since we are online, it wasn't as bad. I do get visual triggers, like the visuals of someone eating sometimes triggers me. But it didn't today. It's kind of like hit or miss for me. It didn't today, but I was thinking about the differences between being in person versus online in terms of a lunch meeting.

Adeel [8:05]: yeah right yeah yeah i guess you you can't mute um people eating in person um unless you have really noise cancelling but that was the visuals too so then yeah let's let's let's let's uh let's go back then to kind of early uh early life for shayla um when oh you know how early was it when uh were you when you first started uh reacting to sounds

Shela [8:27]: I think the first thing that I remember was probably around when I was five or six or so. And it started with being able to hear the TV when I was trying to go to sleep at night as a kid. I remember there would be nights where I would just... My chest would feel so tight and I didn't know how to communicate that. And like looking back, I understand what those are now. But being a five year old, I didn't really know how to communicate that I was having some anxiety or, you know, whatever to my parents. And so I would just run out to the living room and. eyes bawling full of tears and like throw myself into their laps just crying because i was so frustrated um and so that's the first time that i really remember hearing or like putting sound to some like discomfort or frustration or anger And it didn't happen that often. As I got older, actually, my mom would start to buy me these tapes that had like nature sounds on it or, you know, soothing music to try to help me fall asleep easier. And falling asleep is still something very difficult for me, as I'm sure it might be for... a lot of people with misophonia as well but that's kind of where it started and then it transitioned into more of the typical like mouth sounds like gum is a very difficult one for me and I experienced some trouble with that in school especially and then just eating in general I struggle with that and My family knows that I don't like to go to certain restaurants because it's quiet. I don't go to the movies because I can't be next to someone eating popcorn or chewing gum in the movie. And so I've had to make some I don't want to call them sacrifices, but I had to make some changes in my life because I simply just couldn't be in these situations because of these little triggers around the way. And so it really started to grow for me in... um college i would say and it's kind of gotten just exponentially like worse since then i've been getting more and more triggers and thinking differently about situations since then but really in my mid-20s is when i feel like i kind of hit the peak and really had to make a lot of changes to my life based on you know these triggers and misophonia in general

Adeel [11:02]: Okay, so you got to college, at least, and then it really started to flourish. Did it start to affect, like, grades or whatnot? Yeah, I...

Shela [11:14]: I had a number of reasons. Like I said, I had college part one and college part two. Yes. College part one, I stopped going to school for a number of reasons. But really, when I look back, I couldn't be in class because of the gum chewing. I would just not go to class because I could not handle gum. you know another gum truer that day i would not do well on exams because you know the person next to me would be tapping their foot and i would be able to see it out of my peripherals and that would um you know set me off too and so i just speed through my exam or just not finish it and just walk out and so i didn't know how to cope through those and eventually you know my grades didn't Well, they reflected that and they weren't good. And so I stopped going. And I really think it has to do a lot with that.

Adeel [12:06]: Were you able to tell anybody, like professors or your friends even in college? Or did you just kind of keep it to yourself like a lot of us do?

Shela [12:17]: Yeah. Mostly I kept it to myself. I was seeing a therapist at the time and she wasn't – It's not that she wasn't supportive, but she just didn't quite believe me. And so it kind of made me think that, you know, I was the one that was fabricating all of this or making it a big deal when it's really not. And, you know, just like kind of internalizing it. And so I never spoke to my professors about it. I didn't tell my friends about it. I had roommates at the time and I told them...

Adeel [12:52]: a little bit about what i was experiencing um but not a lot i'm curious why um you know some people do and then they get obviously they're afraid of the reactions because they'll they'll get weird reactions like um people starting to make fun of it starting to imitate it was there a reason why maybe you didn't mention it to anybody

Shela [13:14]: I think I was afraid of the reaction. I also, you know, I think honestly, too, I thought that it was just something wrong with me that I had to work through. And I felt really guilty asking people to chew differently or to breathe differently. Like breathing is another one of my triggers. And it felt really weird to me to ask people to change the way that they were doing things just because I didn't like them. Since then, I have found a wonderful therapist that has done a lot of research and has helped me a lot. And now I can vocalize these things. But back then, it was a real struggle for me and something that I wish I had talked about but didn't at the time.

Adeel [14:02]: Yeah, I definitely want to hear about how that's going with that therapist. But yeah, just to stay around that age, I'm curious on how your relationship with your family was. Did you tell them and did it affect, it sounds like your mom was supportive at one time, at least. But yeah, I'm just curious, did it maybe rupture any relationships there or make things difficult?

Shela [14:27]: yeah um my mom is actually my biggest trigger which is hard um because i love my mom and i love being around her but she is my biggest trigger and um they've known that i've had you know this sensitivity to sound or um you know aversion to some sounds since I was maybe like 13 or 14 when I started vocalizing this to them. And my parents are very open and very supportive. And so they'd understand or they would, you know, try to do their best to chew quietly every once in a while. But they didn't really start to make any adjustments or like inquiries about it until like four or five years. years ago when I I was living at home at the time in between college part one college part two and I actually made a Pinterest board for my mom and I it was a private board and it was a place where I could pin articles about misophonia or how i would feel whenever i was like triggered um so that i could express it to her because i found out the largest roadblock that we had is she didn't understand like the physiological response that i would have to her eating or um to like being able to hear her snore or things like that she just couldn't understand the impact that it had on me and so that was how i i showed it to her And we still use that board. I still use it to like pin things to and to communicate how I felt. But after that, I've found that she's really open to it. And, you know, at Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving or, you know, we had Easter a little bit ago. We play music in the background now and it's normal now. where that was not you know a thing growing up dinner time was quiet we had no tv on in the background no music but now we know that we have music on so that like i can feel a little bit more comfortable and i've also been able to vocalize to them that like you may see me put my airpods in my ears at dinner but i'm just putting on white noise but i still want to participate in the conversation and i still want to be part of the family So it's taken a few years for me to be able to express myself and how all of this plays out for me. But they've done a great job at doing their best to understand and asking me about it along the way, too.

Adeel [17:01]: Yeah, that's very cool. And that physiological response that you get, is it similar to what you had when you were five years old, hearing the TV, or has that changed?

Shela [17:12]: It's changed a little bit. My first response now is to get really hot and really sweaty, and then to kind of feel that tightness in my chest that I would feel initially as a little girl hearing the TV. But ultimately, you know, whether one or the other comes first, they both are the first thing to come and they both are the consistent thing each time to this day.

Adeel [17:37]: Gotcha. Okay. Well, yeah, let's go to, yeah, so you got out of college and things start to get quite a bit worse, right? I think you were saying timeline wise. Okay. Yeah. Were you, so yeah, I guess you, well, I guess you had part one and part two of college. So after part one, you went back home and you're probably getting triggered a lot there. Is that around when you started to see that therapist who's been helping you now or was that later?

Shela [18:06]: It's slightly after. I started, so I came back home and got myself back into college actually, but was experiencing a lot of triggers just because I was living at home with, you know, people that trigger me consistently and also going back to school. This is also the time I was making the transition from retail to Stitch Fix, which I think really was my saving grace. Because if we go back to that control aspect, I felt like leaving retail and moving into a job where I could control when I worked, I could control the environment in where I worked. It was one area that I could control, and even having that, it made the others a little bit more bearable. Even if I was being triggered in class, or even if I was being triggered when I was at home, I knew that I was moving in the right direction to continue to be able to give myself that control. And then a few years later, I started, or I guess a year or so into college part two, I started with my new therapist, and that's when things really started to improve.

Adeel [19:17]: Okay. Yeah. So let's, let's hear about, um, some of the, um, so was it, did you have to educate that therapist or did he or she already know about misophonia in advance?

Shela [19:26]: She knew about it. She had never treated anyone or spoken with anyone who had it. But she already was familiar about it. And I remember, you know, telling her about some of the things that I was working through and some of the things I was frustrated. I remember saying, like, you know, I've done some research. I've never been diagnosed by anyone because no one's heard of it. But I think I have this thing called misophonia. And she immediately, like, lit up. It was like, oh, I know about that. And it was really uplifting for me to hear because it was the first time where I wasn't immediately shot down that it was, you know, an anxiety thing or it was just maybe like depression surfacing in a different kind of way. I really. I felt heard. And then she did a lot of research too, which I really appreciated to understand like how she could help me more. And she set me up with a few different people who I continued to talk to. Like I went to an audiologist, which I had always been curious to go to one before to kind of see what my hearing was like. I always had this theory that my hearing was a little bit better than others because of my misophonia. Turns out it's not. It's normal. But, you know, she was curious too. And so we went and did that. And then I did a few other types of therapies that she recommended. And, you know, I don't think this is ever going to go away. I don't think I'm ever... going to be like completely cured of misophonia but it gave me some coping mechanisms that I'm very thankful for and her just being open to doing the research and to you know just not just believing me in general that felt good.

Adeel [21:09]: Yeah, and so, and how had you heard about it? Obviously, you heard about it before you saw this therapist. Was it the usual, like, seeing some articles on, you know, Times or something or Googling around?

Shela [21:24]: Yeah, exactly. You know, at this point, I think I discovered, you know, that there was a name for this in my like early to mid 20s or so. And I just was Googling things and or, you know, like Facebook groups I was looking into and seeing what was out there. And then once I saw the name Misophonia, then I continued to just Google it from there. And yeah. you know, pretty much like self-diagnosed myself at that point, but it was helpful for her to say like, yes, I think this is what, what you have and what you're working through too.

Adeel [22:02]: Got it. And so, yeah, what are, what are some of the maybe coping mechanisms that, that she helped introduce for you?

Shela [22:08]: A lot of it was around mindfulness and I never really thought that like meditating or practicing mindfulness would, you know, help me work through some of my triggers. But again, control, it gives me control of my thoughts. I also did this, I've did a few sessions with this therapist who, I forget what it's called, but we would do like memory recollection sessions. And we would try to go back to, you know, specific memories of my childhood to see, you know, did this like spark somewhere? Did this start somewhere? And how can we reframe my thoughts around, you know, something that may have contributed to that? And I liked that because it gave me a way we, I did, I was able to surface a few memories where, you Like there was gum chewing involved or there was, you know, like snoring. And it helped me reframe those memories, which has helped me reframe situations when I get triggered currently. But I also did get a little bit frustrated because it felt like they were searching for like... a specific instant, like, oh, we're going to pinpoint your misophonia back to this one second of your life. And I just don't think like that's entirely realistic, at least for me. I feel like it's always been part of me and always will be part of me. However, the ability to like reframe some of my memories has been really helpful.

Adeel [23:46]: Gotcha. Yeah, I've heard a similar critique from people who have tried to use hypnotists to try to go back to certain memories. They're always trying to pinpoint it to one or two things as some kind of breakthrough. But that's usually not the case.

Shela [24:02]: Yeah.

Adeel [24:03]: Those are interesting coping mechanisms. But do they help you right in the moment, like as you're kind of randomly getting triggered? Or is it kind of... something to help you come down from it um like a few minutes later or maybe later that day i would imagine if you're getting you know if you're hearing the gum there's that you get that visceral hot and sweaty reaction regardless of whether you were um gonna meditate or not um so that's that's still rough um do you find you're like basically living in headphones now like a lot of us

Shela [24:35]: Yes, definitely. And like the mindfulness and the, you know, being able to frame my mindset, it definitely is a coping mechanism for like coming down off of, you know, being triggered. And so it's something I can like say to myself in the moment, like, okay, it's okay. We'll work through this in a minute. You just got to get through this moment right now, or you just got to get through, you know, this next 20 minutes or whatever it is, and then we'll be able to feel better. But I, yeah, I have so many headphones and I have two pairs of AirPods and I'm constantly using them. I have heard from others on like online blogs and things like that. Like they think that they're uh you know hurting their ears because they have headphones and things in so much and these earbuds and there are definitely days where i feel like that too um like i mentioned earlier i wear airpods when i'm on a work meeting on my computer so that i can put um you know white noise on in the background and while i'm glad that i found that solution and i'm glad that i have that as an option it definitely it still kind of makes me mad that i have to do that each time sometimes i'm okay with it but sometimes i'm like i just wish i could open my laptop and you know, have a regular meeting without having to worry about, you know, my AirPods being in. But as far as other coping mechanisms for in the moment, I've heard you talk about this with others too, just like reminding myself that it will end eventually.

Adeel [26:06]: Time boxing, yeah.

Shela [26:08]: Yeah. Usually that works for like the first five, 10 minutes for me. And then when it, you know, hits that mark.

Adeel [26:15]: It is easier said than done. Yeah.

Shela [26:16]: Yeah. The first couple of times I say it, I believe it. And then after I get, you know, more in, it really frustrates me. I'm more of a flight person when it comes to like the fight or flight, especially when it comes to being triggered. I just have to get out of there. So if it is a situation that I can leave, I do. And that's always my first approach.

Adeel [26:37]: And have you ever gotten any negative people noticing that and giving you a hard time? Or has it kind of been fairly successful so far?

Shela [26:49]: I like to think I'm smooth with it, but I don't make a big scene. I don't know if I'm proud of this or if maybe I need to work through things a little differently, but I've never stormed off and I've never lost my cool at a dinner table or in a movie theater when I would go to the movies. I've always gotten myself through it.

Adeel [27:18]: You must have the glare, or do you not even have the glare?

Shela [27:20]: Yes. Oh, I do. I have the glare, yep. The glare is definitely one. I head snap, too. Like, when, you know, we hear the gum pop, sometimes I can't even control it. My head just, like, whips around to look at that person. So I guess maybe I have gotten a few funny looks because people notice that pretty quickly.

Adeel [27:41]: um but i i think that's probably i'd rather do that than um you know like verbalize what i was really thinking in my mind yeah because that could lead to its own uh downward spiral of who knows what um do you do you try uh mimicking good people you know people swear by you know um recreating the sand from your own like yourself to try to to try to cope yeah

Shela [28:08]: I have done that a few times. It doesn't make me feel good. I don't know if it really makes anyone feel good because to me, when I find myself in that kind of space, I'm at my limit. I am pushed almost as far as I can be pushed. And that's like my last... you know, thing before. And that's in situations where I can't get up and leave.

Adeel [28:35]: You can't leave. Yeah, you're trapped. You're kind of screwed.

Shela [28:38]: Yeah, exactly.

Adeel [28:39]: Mimicking is not going to make it any better, right, at that point.

Shela [28:44]: Exactly. And I just think it makes the other person, you know, feel bad too. And maybe they don't know. Well, you know, here's an interesting thought. I actually find myself mimicking or getting to that point when it's someone doing something that I've told them triggers me. And so maybe that's why I feel a little bit more... maybe that's kind of like my final go-to is because then I feel like it's a personal thing. Like, oh, they know that, you know, watching TV in the room next to me really loud at 1130 at night, like really triggers me, but they're still doing it and they're doing it personally to me. But I don't mimic, like I don't find the need to mimic anyone like in public or anyone that I like don't know. Really just those people who I know and I've talked to about it.

Adeel [29:30]: Yeah. So the people who talked about it, you said like back in college, you hadn't really told anybody. Is this now something that as you're older, something that you tell your friends, you tell maybe strangers too? I'm just curious how your process is and if and when you tell people.

Shela [29:47]: Yeah, I do tell my close friends. I live alone right now, but I had a roommate up until about a year ago and she knew about it. And that's really because we had to make some agreements together so that like I could live sanely as much as possible. She was really open to it. And so like she knows about it. She'll talk about it with me. I had a book that I had read about it and like she read it too to understand it more which was great. A bunch of my close friends now know about it and that's just from me having I think like more of the confidence to talk about it after you know working things through with my therapist and feeling comfortable sharing my story and feeling like valid too that if I do you know deserve to be comfortable in a situation with people that I know care about me. I don't tell strangers. That's something I'm currently working on is the ability to tell strangers. If I'm on a plane and they're chewing gum after we've gotten off liftoff, that's a huge thing for me is I really get nervous about who I'm sitting next to on a plane. And what I want to be able to do is to tell the person sitting next to me that it's bothering me. or to you know just vocalize that in some way but I did actually share with my work group a few months ago that this is something that I had and this is something that I worked through and that was my first time sharing it with people who you know weren't like my close friends, and it was in a large group setting. There was about 25 of us, and I shared about it.

Adeel [31:31]: Oh, really? So not just, okay. And these are all, they're probably not all your reports.

Shela [31:39]: no they're my peers so um yeah same level as me and i work closely and interact with them but just through you know mainly the computer we meet in person well now with covid we don't um but we meet in person and have in-person events quarterly and sometimes more than that and so um you know we have really great icebreakers and different things like that and in the spirit of being vulnerable i shared this and was really nervous about sharing it but It went over really well and someone actually came up to me afterwards and said like I experienced some similar things a little different than what you experienced but something similar and I really want to talk about it with you because I don't have anyone else that I can talk to about it. I'm still trying to figure it out. And so that's been really cool because I've been able to you know grow a work relationship but also just be there for someone who is also figuring out you know does she have misophonia or like what does that mean for her and like what is she experiencing too.

Adeel [32:36]: That's amazing. Yeah, my next question was going to be, as you've kind of grown more confident, and that's awesome that you've been getting more confident, have you bumped into other people who have misophonia? Yeah, and that's great that you've been able to talk to this person. Have you met anybody else at work or otherwise?

Shela [32:55]: No.

Adeel [32:57]: Not many of us have. A lot of the time, this is the only time somebody's talked to somebody who has misophonia.

Shela [33:06]: Yeah. And that's another reason why I was looking forward to talking with you today is because, you know, you understand what I'm feeling and saying and everything. So, no, I haven't met anyone with it. And so just for, you know, this girl to share with me that she had any kind of, you know, noise sensitivity or anything like that was exciting for me to talk to her about.

Adeel [33:28]: Have you guys talked about maybe approaching Stitch Fix like HR or, you know, higher up to kind of like give you guys, I guess you don't need any more accommodations. You're kind of working from home. But it's always been kind of one of my, a thought that I've always had is to try to, you know, have everyone talk to their HRs and try to make, give Miss Winnie a little bit more visibility inside companies.

Shela [33:54]: Yeah. I have not talked to our HR or anything about it. We do travel a couple times a year for big conventions and to be together as a large leadership group. And that requires, of course, like flying and staying in hotels where we occasionally need to have a roommate as well, too. And those things are things that I get very, very anxious about and very worried about, you know, because of what I struggle with or because of my triggers. I have not brought it up. But I do think that the company that I work for now, Stitch Fix, would be open to hearing about it and would be willing to support myself or anyone else in the organization with accommodations as they can to make it as comfortable as they can for us.

Adeel [34:53]: Yeah, I find tech companies are a little bit more progressive in that regard.

Shela [34:58]: Yeah.

Adeel [34:58]: And some of them will actually hand out headphones as a perk, even if you don't have misophonia. Yeah. And do you have any siblings or any other family members who also maybe have? I've just been hearing just randomly recently people having misophonia and then later on finding out that their siblings also do.

Shela [35:19]: Yeah, so I have a younger brother. He's three and a half years younger than me, but he does not struggle with misophonia or does not have it. And no one in my family does either. So I'm kind of like the only one here.

Adeel [35:33]: It sounds like, yeah, you haven't talked to too many people with me. So is there anything, any other like insights you want to share with other people listening who are also kind of have been bottling this up for a while?

Shela [35:46]: Yeah. I think it's just really important to talk about it. And that's way easier said than done. Clearly, I'm still learning how to do that for myself.

Adeel [35:59]: I am still learning. I talk to somebody every day, obviously, on this podcast. It's nonstop.

Shela [36:04]: um but i think like you know having platforms like this is really important and hearing other people's experiences is really important i think the thing with miso is really hard because and i don't know if this is true for others but it's true for me um when i hear about other people's triggers sometimes i'm like oh huh that hasn't bothered me before but then it kind of becomes a trigger and so what has worked for me is to not focus so much on the triggers but like what we can do to help ourselves through those situations whether it's you know like boxing in the time like we were talking about earlier or letting yourself know that like it's gonna be okay in a few minutes when you can talk yourself down from it And more of, like, the coping mechanisms. I know there's, like, a lot of research that is being done to try to understand more of it. And I think, like, I hope that continues. And I hope that that, you know, surfaces some new things. But as a community, I think it's important just to continue to, like, be there for each other and to not judge people. for you know reacting the way that they do to their triggers or um you know like working through different situations i have felt this many many times while being triggered that like i wish i was deaf and i know i've heard that you know on your podcast and from others as well too and we've all been there and it sucks it's terrible um but there are a lot of good things that like our hearing does for us too. And I try to remind myself of that. It's a lot easier said than done. But sharing more of like the coping strategies and like what does work and what have you tried? Because those are the like really positive things that can help bring us together and like move us forward from all of this too.

Adeel [38:00]: That's great. Yeah. It's a great, great note to end on. Um, yeah, just share, share with each other, talk, talk about it more with, um, other sufferers and, um, um, hopefully new people too that, um, that may, may or may not have it. Um, well, yeah, sure. Thanks again. And, um, yeah, good luck, good luck with everything. And, um, yeah, thanks. Thanks for coming on the show.

Shela [38:23]: Thank you. So nice chatting with you today.

Adeel [38:26]: Thanks again, Shayla, and thanks everyone for listening. Let me know what you think on our Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast or on Twitter at Misophonia Show. Hit the five stars on iTunes if you like the show. It just takes a second. Music is by Moby. And until next week, stay safe, work for a better, fairer world, and wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [39:18]: Thank you.