It’s easy to talk about the negatives in life. For some reason, it’s harder to realize the good things, and look at life from a different perspective.
Misophonia and anxiety–and probably depression–has made it difficult. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder why I even try. I think about how I need to learn to drive, but different ways I could die while driving invade my mind. I wake up and force myself to get out of bed so as not to lay around all day. I sometimes sigh in frustration that I need to lug headphones everywhere I go to keep my misophonia in check. During my summer session at my community college, I decided I needed to get help, specifically for anxiety and depression.
I figured, “If I get my anxiety and depression in check, my misophonia will be a little more manageable.” I went to the school psychologist and had three sessions, and I received a lot of good pointers and things I could do to reduce my anxiety/depression. One of the things my psychologist said I could do was create an emergency bag or box. This is basically a box/bag that you keep in your room (or wherever you’re comfortable) filled with things you know will calm you down. In my case, I have a box with the following items:
- Pusheen with ice cream plush
- Pink roses (fake)
- Harry Potter book filled with concept art and little details about the books/movies.
- Two photo albums
- Tea packets
- A cat blanket given to me by my grandmother
- A prayer book
- Three notebook pages stapled together with positive affirmations and other coping techniques, like coloring and deep breathing.
I have put it to good use, and sometimes remember the other coping techniques that I wrote down so I don’t need to go to my box to be reminded. I tend to go straight to deep breathing and coloring if I feel myself becoming anxious, or feel a panic attack coming on. I also try to calm myself by thinking logically about why I’m anxious, and avoiding self-depreciating thoughts. Doing these things also helps my misophonia, especially after getting triggered.
It also helps in my relationship with my boyfriend. He has been more helpful. Oftentimes, he finds himself not knowing how to handle when I become anxious or panicky for seemingly no reason. Now that I have my box, he says, “Remember your box,” which is extremely helpful. It’s not all hunky dory after that, but it helps me calm down faster. And he still helps by making me laugh, helping me logic out my anxiousness, and just being generally sweet.
It wasn’t easy trying to find help. I’ve been putting it off for a few years. I tried one time, and it never led anywhere; plus, I didn’t like the person seeing me. I had a brief moment of courage when I signed up for an appointment at school, and it took even more courage to say “Yes” to a long term plan elsewhere after summer session was over. My main motivators were 1) I want to be the best girlfriend, and eventually wife, that I can be and I need to be mentally okay, and 2) I don’t want to end up like one of my family members, who was stubborn in getting help and dug themselves into a very large pit.
I want to be able to function like a relatively normal human being. Just like I’m able to manage my misophonia a little better, I want to manage my anxiety and depression better. It took a long time for me to be able to say things like, in terms of my misophonia, “Oh, I can go to that event and be ok, it won’t be too triggering I don’t think.” I want to say “Driving is not as bad as I made it out to be” and not be anxious about that anymore. As I type, I’m fighting off thoughts like, “That’s never going to happen”; “You’ll never be good enough”; “You will never feel happiness or joy, and you don’t deserve it”; and “No one cares”. They’re the same thoughts that ran through my head as I struggled trying to manage my misophonia. It’s going to be a long, hard battle, but so worth it in the end.
An emergency box has seriously helped me, so if that’s something you’re interested in, try it out! Remember, it can also be a bag, and it doesn’t have to be big if you’re concerned about space. Deep breathing is great at slowing your heart rate, and coloring is a great distraction from your mind and anything that may have triggered you that day. Reading is good too, because you dive into another world and escape from the real one for awhile. And remember: It’s okay to seek help.
Hope reading this has helped you!