The past couple of days I've been corresponding with a few readers of this site, particularly about the last couple of posts where I talk about my Mindfulness Cognitive Therapy sessions. Something to note though... I don't see these sessions as ultimately curing me of my misophonia. I still believe it is a neurological condition that will require much more than practicing mindfulness meditation. No... I'm seeing these sessions as a way to help take better care of myself and try to make my symptoms less severe so that I don't feel like I have to "flee" as much, or avoid altogether, trigger situations. I've learned so much about myself over the past couple of weeks - especially how my putting my career before anything else (ultimately stressing me up the wazoo), may have needlessly exacerbated my misophonia.
I think back to when I was at school and even though I worked hard, I made an effort to do many extra-curricular activities too, which may have been why my symptoms were less severe. I still had school stresses, but I had fun outlets with which to release them. Even my very first day of grad school, when the professors gathered us all in a room and told us, "Don't even think about doing extra-curriculars, even work study. You won't have the time!" I *MADE* the time. That semester I had seven classes, but I not only was a welding teaching assistant in the school's shop building (having welded for three years as an undergrad), I also sang in the choral society AND did theater tech work for one of the other performing arts groups. It was a lot on my plate, but I think it's what saved me from having severe misophonia symptoms back then.
In the past dozen years, I've put work before everything and now I know that was a BIG mistake! The therapist pointed out how so many medical conditions are caused - or significantly worsened - by stress. All my weight gain and sleepless nights could have been avoided if I spent more time doing things I enjoyed or having fun. These past couple of months, doing my own thing as a lighting consultant (until I found a company where I'd really be happy) has given me the downtime break I needed to "reboot" myself. I'm looking forward to wherever I end up as an opportunity to start over and take better care of my life. If I don't... Who will?
So while my quest for relief may not reveal a cure for misophonia in the near future, every step I take along this path towards relief teaches me more about misophonia, and I hope others as well. Perhaps my journey will help someone else - a doctor or researcher perhaps - get one step closer to finding a cure! :-)