I was invited to go to several upcoming events. There will be triggers at all of them. One of these events is inside a restaurant with a large group of people – luckily chewing is not a trigger for me, but even still, I think I would say yes to this invitation. After several years of avoiding my life and allowing Misophonia to keep me from what I enjoy, I have finally decided that it’s not worth it to live my life in fear. So, after much deliberation I have made the decision that being anxious about the what if is not going to help me live a fulfilling life. Instead of being scared, it’s important to be prepared.
Know there will be triggers but that they’re not fatal
Even though Misophonia is over-whelming and exhausting, it’s not going to kill you. The pain you are feeling is going to end. Eventually you will be back home in your bed. It is not forever.
Bring your headphones, earplugs, and sunglasses (if these help your visual triggers) and know that you have them with you. Give yourself permission to use them. Don’t try to ‘play through the pain’, it’s okay to help yourself!
Take breaks if you must
Go to the restroom. Take a walk-break (like a smoke break with no smoking). Walking away from the situation helps you to reset your sensory system. When you come back it can be easier to handle the triggers.
Don’t over-do it
Try to plan social events so that you’re not doing too many at once. Went to the movies Friday night? It’s probably not wise to wake up Saturday morning to go to a breakfast brunch when you’re still taxed from the night before. Say no to some engagements so that you can enjoy the ones you go to more.
Go with people who understand
Going to social events with people who understand Misophonia can be much easier than having to explain to a new acquaintance why you look so miserable. Try not to feel guilty for ‘spoiling the fun’ by going out with friends and family who want the best for you – and who are happy to enjoy the good moments as they come. Sometimes friends and family are better at identifying ways to calm you down when you’re lost in fight/flight/freeze.
While Misophonia is hard to live with, that does not mean that you have to say no to everything that you once enjoyed. While staying at home, headphones on, is certainly trigger-free, it’s not necessarily the best way to live your life. By preparing in advance and knowing that yes, there might be triggers, but you’re going to be okay, you can start to find ways to have fun and enjoy new activities.Looking for more information on misophonia? Consider attending our workshops at Misophoniaeducation.com