Very recently, I realized how afraid/anxious I am of certain things:
- Making mistakes
- Getting yelled at
And it wasn’t until yesterday (November 5, 2018) that I am allowing those things to hold me back from progressing in life. Hilariously enough, it hasn’t been my misophonia. Not really. Yes, it’s hindering and I can’t do certain things–at all or not for long/very often–but I find myself focusing on other things that have been hindering me.
For instance, driving. I am avoiding learning how like the plague. I don’t want to hurt anyone, or God forbid kill anyone, or experience someone else hurting me (or whoever else that might be in the car with me). It makes me terribly anxious, and I don’t want other people that might be teaching me getting mad at me for not doing something correctly.
Whew. Just writing that makes me anxious.
And lastly, I don’t want to drive because I don’t know how I’ll react to hearing a trigger sound in the car. Will I jerk the wheel? Will I drive more recklessly to get to my destination faster so I can escape? So, misophonia does play a part in this, but not so much in the other things. Misophonia is ever present, but I’ve experienced it at a lesser degree in most areas of my life.
I joined a group at my local church, and I won’t bore you with the details, but basically we dissect certain scripture readings and apply them to our own life. We also look at certain passages we don’t understand and figure out what it means. But we were talking about faith, and I don’t remember what led me to think of my driving anxiety, but I thought about it and someone said, “Take a leap of faith.”
A leap of faith. Huh.
I started remembering all the times I went to a social gathering or other event despite my brain telling me not to because I might get triggered. Those were leaps of faith. Huge ones. It’s because of those that I think I’m better able to manage my misophonia. I say manage because I’ve stopped trying to fight it, because that’s a losing battle. I still get frustrated of course. I still have my really bad days where the only thing I’m feeling is rage, anger and wanting to hide in a soundproof hole for eternity. But after those moments, I dust myself off (after some recovery) and get back out there.
And with the driving, that’s what I need to do. Take a leap of faith. And no matter how many times I get anxious, or if someone’s teaching me and they make me more anxious by doing something that sets me off, I dust myself off and try again. I should learn from that experience and the next time I get in the car, try something that would cause me less stress/anxiety. Maybe get a new teacher. Someone that is empowering and won’t get mad at me for making mistakes. Someone that will tell me what I did wrong and how to fix them without getting mad. Someone that understands I have misophonia and can try to be as accommodating as possible.
If I don’t take that leap of faith, I’ll be denying myself so many job opportunities. As a criminal justice major, there are a lot of jobs in that field that require me to drive. Even if I didn’t have my degree, many other jobs require that I have a driver’s license. I’ve looked at many jobs I’m qualified for and become disheartened when I see I need to drive. You get my point. It’s incredibly frustrating for me, and as afraid as I am, I need to overcome it. Manage it. Just like I do with my misophonia everyday.
There are a lot of other things I won’t be able to do if I can’t drive, as well as things I will be able to do once I can: If I can’t drive, I won’t be able to go anywhere on my own. I won’t be able to leave a potentially anxiety-inducing event whenever I want. But if I can, I won’t have to bother anyone to give me a ride. I could also drive alone. I could set my own “car rules”, like no eating in the car and no radio.
There are good things about driving. I am capable of it. I just need to focus on the good things and just…take that leap.