Over the last couple of weeks I had quite a few misophonia things going on... Firstly, I finally connected live with Jeffrey Gould - the filmmaker who is doing the "Quiet Please" documentary on misophonia. It was so good to finally speak with him after over a year of only electronic communications and am very excited that we connected on so many levels. Although he's wrapping up the editing process for the film screening premiere in June, he is looking for mini contributions of 30-second responses to several misophonia-related questions to be interspersed within the documentary's formal interviews. For more information on how to contribute, click HERE.
Last week I also attended a hospitality industry panel/networking event and did my usual scoping out of (what I thought to be) the least trigger exposure place to sit in the room where the panel session was being held. Normally that means sitting in the front row of seats, directly in front of the speaker or projection screen to keep my focus on the presentation instead of potential visual triggers in my peripheral vision. This time it backfired on me. In order for the panelists to have more of a connection with the audience, this organization had the panelists sitting on-stage WITHOUT a long table in front of them for glasses of water and table microphones. I completely understand the logic behind having the people sitting casually on-stage but for me, it was a NIGHTMARE.
There were two groups of about 6-8 panelists during the 2-hour meeting. The problem I had was that when one person was speaking, several of the other panelists would be tapping their feet or bouncing their legs (whether out of boredom, nervousness, or or just subconscious movement to keep the blood flowing... Who knows?) I was actually surprised that the worst culprit of the feet tapping would keep tapping both feet even when he was speaking. It made for a difficult situation for me. Being at the front of the room, I couldn't move to another seat without the entire room seeing me interrupt the panel session. If I looked down at the carpet, it would appear to others that I was not paying attention - either by appearing to be looking down at a cell phone (which I wasn't) or perhaps looking like I was nodding off to sleep. If I tried to close one or both eyes to block the trigger offender, I would look weird to the people on stage. (Again, either looking like I was falling asleep or perhaps winking at someone.)
What made matters worse is that the woman directly behind me kept clicking her pen very fast. Every now and then I'd glance behind me (I.e. Give the "evil eye" glare), which I'm sure the clicker saw but continued clicking anyways. ARGH!
The other major misophonia trigger annoyance I've been having lately is related to the major allergy season escalating right now. I'll admit I've been having my own frustrations trying to breathe - having recently found out I'm allergic to all the major trees and grasses in this area which are just starting to pollinate now. With me, the allergens have exacerbated my underlying asthma - so I'm coughing a lot. My coworker has a different allergy response. She's constantly sniffling - which is driving me CRAZY at work. In fact, I am thrilled for the times when she has to go to a job site or I have to go to a client meeting so I don't have to be in the same room as her. I just want to shove a box of tissues under her nose and say, "Just use one already!"
I'm looking forward to the day when I don't have to deal with these pollen allergies whether mine or others!