This is the #62 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Ash (17) from the UK. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Ash, take it away…
Where are you from?
What do you do for a living?
I’m a student
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
I’m passionate about helping people, especially those who are very old/very young/vulnerable. I don’t have many hobbies apart from playing the piano.
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
I only realised at about 10, but my mum knew something was up since I was small.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
Age 10, when mum found an article in the news… But I didn’t accept that’s what I had until I was about 12.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
I definitely have misokinesia, and ADHD which gives me a few quirks (sensory + otherwise!). Also, not sure if this counts as a sensory quirk but I have a few secondary behaviours like twitching my head when I’m triggered…
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
Yes, my immediate family know as well as some uncles, aunts and a few older friends. Only two cousins know… I’m still scared of opening up to teenagers. Most of my family are decent about it although they often forget and I don’t like to remind them and ruin the ‘happy’ mealtime/car journey/insert-any-moment-here.
My best friend also has it so is very supportive – I didn’t tell her for ages til one day when I was watching a Misophonia webinar… She asked what I was doing so I explained, starting with “I know you’ll think I’m crazy…” Instead of her thinking I was crazy, it turned out we had both been hiding the same secret from each other! The webinar was set aside and we talked for hours instead.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
When I stayed at my friend’s before either of us knew the other had misophonia… Her mum gave us a packet of extremely crunchy crisps and we both sat there crunching as loud as we could to drown the other out. At the time it was torture for both of us, but looking back it’s pretty funny cos we were both trying to cope when we could have really just put the packet down and done something else!
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
I’ve not found many coping mechanisms that are fully effective yet, apart from taking time alone and having white noise on wherever possible. It doesn’t drown the sound out but somehow gives my brain something else between it and the trigger sound. Also avoiding or getting out of as many triggering situations as possible is vital.
What are your misophonic superpowers?
I for sure can empathise with other people who are going through different issues, even if I don’t understand the physical problem I can relate to many different types of mental pain. My hyper-sensitivity also means I am very observant to detail, which can be a superpower or a curse depending on the circumstance!
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
Don’t blame anyone… Neurological or physiological disorders are never your fault.
What’s your very best life hack?
Use a mini hair grabber to keep your earphone wires coiled up. Also Doritos make good kindling if you have no scraps of wood.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
Don’t be embarrassed of taking breaks away from people when you need to… It’s not weak or rude, just sensible.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Changes every week! Usually something country
The Spark by Kristine Barnett
Favourite work of art:
Erm… Don’t really have one
5 things you couldn’t live without:
Sleep, prayer, music, chocolate, and my community