One would hope that being pulled in so many directions would make me notice my surrounding triggers at the office less, but no such luck. It just made me frustrated at myself to have been so busy that when I heard a trigger, I realized that I forgot to put in my earbuds/earplugs. Oh well. At least getting into the office early and working late meant that there were a few hours I could work when no one else was around to create triggers.
These next couple of weeks will be very interesting for me though. It will be the first time since being diagnosed with misophonia that I've spent a whole week as an attendee at a conference as large as the one next week. (I don't count the one at which I spoke last September because I was only there for three days and was so sick with a cold, I only got out of bed to present and maybe to attend one or two networking socials in the evening.) Conferences are always tricky environments for my misophonia. As a professional, part of the benefits of attending conferences is taking advantage of all the seminars and networking opportunities; however... Networking opportunities mean LOTS of people who are eating and drinking (I have a lot of eating/drinking triggers) but even more so... Sitting in meeting rooms trying to pay attention to a speaker is almost impossible for me to do anymore. I wind up trying to get to the session super early so I can sit in the first row directly in front of the speaker/screen (eliminating the majority of my visual triggers but creating the potential of tactile triggers when people in the row behind rest their feet or bags on my row of chairs), but that's not always possible. If I don't get there early enough, then I wind up having to switch seats multiple times during the presentation or walk out entirely whenever I experience triggers by the other attendees surrounding me. I already know that the seminar that I'm presenting is expected to have over 120 people. (Hopefully, there won't be any gum chewers in the front row. LOL!)
Then there's the aspect of traveling in general to get to and from conferences. I talk a little bit about one of my plane misophonia trigger experiences on 4/12/13 in a response to a reader's comment to my 2/27/13 post on Auditory Stimuli for Coping with Triggers post. (I find it fascinating to see how these follow-up discussions lead to other related topics...) Flying is always "fun" because if I'm not dealing with tactile triggers of the person's arm touching mine while sharing the same armrest, there are other things that arise in a confined plane cabin or even just at the terminal waiting to board.
Another interesting thing about my upcoming trip is that it will also be the first time that I'll be spending a significant amount of time at home with my aunt and uncle since I decided to actually write a memoir about the condition. We've had many discussions about what I'm going through, about my past, even just about the condition in general, but only over the phone. Now I'll not only be able to talk with them about it in person, but can also show them information from the web - especially some of the misophonia discussion groups - and other sources. (Their internet has been down for several months now and since I'm the geek of the family, they're waiting for me to come home to fix it. So, this'll be the first opportunity they'll have to see this website and especially, to see this blog.)
I'll do my best to post updates while I'm away but if I'm unable to do so, at least now you'll know why. (Just know that if that happens, I'll most likely be posting many catch-up posts when I get back to the Midwest.)