Breathing

It was a low point. I was not proud of myself. My sister-in-law looked me in the eyes and very clear breathed deeply to elicit a deep breath from me as well. “Please don’t,” was my honest, though tactless response.

At that point, all my senses were on high alert. She was right. I needed to breathe, but it felt patronizing to be told so.

Jesus knows I needed to breathe. My inability to receive help, though understandable, has hurt a number of well intentioned people.

When I am in an irrational state of mind, appealing to the logical course of action doesn’t always work. So, to help lessen the pain I cause, I try to plan before the panic. I’ve given my friends a keyword to tell me when they see me start to spiral. And if I fight it, they can remind me that I gave them permission to tell me that.

Also, it’s helpful to practice breathing deeply when I am feeling just fine. This develops helps me 1) lessen the intensity and frequency of panic and 2) aid me in the middle of it.

Instead of practicing breathing for mental health, it’s been easier for me to do breathing exercising for other reasons – like singing or playing harmonica. It feels more productive, enjoyable, and even healing.

Right now, I am going through vocal lesson videos online through WorshipU, which has a mobile app as well. It’s been a long time since I have played the harmonica, but maybe I’ll get back into that sometime in the future. One thing at a time. 🙂

As much as I pursue prevention, when I am in the middle of it and not thinking clearly, I usually just need to leave. I need to exit the situation and pray. He never condemns me when I do. The Prince of Peace revives my lungs and floods my soul with secure hope and love. Jesus, help me remember to breathe deep.

A Misophonia Story continued

…continued

So, “Black” Friday night, like an involuntary twitch, holding myself together felt like an impossibility; if I didn’t “flight”, I was gonna fight. I was shaking inside. *slam* My hands hit the table, and I immediately wanted to take it back. Everyone looked at me in shock and maybe judgment – which I wouldn’t blame anyone for.  

I offered to leave in the calmest tone of voice I could muster.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, really. I had just reached my limit with my sound sensitivity. My sisters and brother-in-law insisted that they would rather have me stay there and they would stop eating. Other sarcastic words were uttered by a loved one and bitterness exposed. I cried. I didn’t want to ruin their night. Shoot. Recalling this all really sucks. 

Anyway, I stayed, and they took snack breaks in the other room between game rounds. A compromise. Quieter foods were consumed at the table. And still I felt the weight of the fact they could have carried on normally if it wasn’t for me. If I wasn’t there, they might’ve had a better time. But they insisted that they wanted me there. Most of them insisted anyway. 

Phew. I need to recenter. I’m in tears as I am typing this. I don’t usually describe these scenarios here for that reason. I want to focus more on what helps. I am really fortunate to have people who willing to accommodate me in my weakness, but I really wish they didn’t have to. Okay, okay, okay. I need to stop. *nearly bawling* *trying to convince myself* Everyone needs some level of accommodation, and love means sacrifice no matter who you are and what you struggle with. 

Pursuing Peace Holistically

AGH! Okay. I don’t want that to happen again. So here’s the plan, ideally. 

Making consistent for prayer and meditation on the Word is necessary. I need to be okay with leaving people in order to do that. Regardless of what I think they might think.

Also, it is completely acceptable to utilize other healthy methods of managing stress. *I’ll share some things I am trying, but I have not been paid by any of these companies to do so.* During the holidays, I had forgotten to take my vitamins and supplements. I have been taking Ashwagandha (an herb), which has been helpful across the board in regards to stress. And, again, I forgot to take it over the holiday. So back on it. Gonna aim to continue faithfully.  

A couple other things I am trying:  Monq -a personal essential oil diffuser;  Wholetones .

On top of these, I’ve been more disciplined in diet and exercise – not quite to the point I’d like to be, but taking steps in that direction. I’ve got people holding me accountable. 

I know there is more therapy and healing that needs to happen. There may be a root issue that may be accessible and treatable with some help. In the meantime, I’ll do what I know works and gets me through to the next day. 

And, most importantly, I’ll keep praying to the One who can heal me. Jesus Christ. I’ll keep looking to Him. 

 

4 Holiday Self-Care/ Reality

“Dear Fours, during the past holidays, what are some things you’ve found yourself longing for? There are probably some things that aren’t meant to be, and that’s ok – can you hold them gently and loosely in one of your hands? Now, in your other hand, what are the things you’ve longed for that you might be able to create, initiate, participate in, or actively move toward this holiday season?” @xoenneagram

I don’t have Instagram anymore, but my sister screenshot this and sent it to me. So, you Insta-people should check out @xoenneagram. (Another Enneagram post in reference to Fours.)

Back to the questions…. 
…during the past holidays, what are some things you’ve found yourself longing for? …

Hmm… peace? Is that too cliche? Mostly, I just want peace, whether it’s a  holiday or not. Sometimes, peace and quiet – though I love all the little children and big people making noise. I need my quiet times. Peace. The serenity of the outdoors. But mostly peace within my own heart and head. My misophonia generally acts up a lot during the holidays. I can get away and do the dishes, but sometimes Grandpa insists that I sit and wait for everyone else to finish eating -_-.

Practically speaking… umm… for everyone to get along; not freak out over small things (myself included). So I guess that’s also peace. Haha. Now, if we’re gonna dream big, I may say deep pure connection over the beauty and glory of Jesus. 

Joy. Thankfully, I don’t have to look far for that. And when I struggle to see beyond my nose, quiet times with Jesus help me to find joy. So, peace, again 😀

Okay, I can’t control all of that. I can set aside time intentionally for quiet, but I can’t make people respect that. So I’ll ideally hold that loosely. I can start gushing about my Savior, and hope that it catches. —That’s the plan anyway—

How That Went – A Misophonia Story

…Okay, so I wrote most of this before Thanksgiving, and wanted to be frank with how it went. I had a low-grade panic attack for most of “Black” Friday. After spending the day using all my energy to keep from running to hide, my body couldn’t hold in the tension any longer. As is common in these circumstances, my misophonia was on high alert (sensitivity to sounds often is connected to stress levels). I try to distract myself as much as possible to ease the fight or flight response, but my resources had bled dry. 

I’m not proud of myself. I wanted to apply this “holiday self-care” advice more effectively. It’s not easily understood, Misophonia. I am thankful for everyone who loved me through it. Still, I acted out of fear. I didn’t take the time alone that I needed for fear that my loved ones would think I did not want to be around them. 

… I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Sound Health with Julian Treasure

When I first stumbled upon Julian Treasure’s TED Talks, I was so excited. I thought, “This is it. This is my cure.” And when you’ve been plagued with the “hatred of sound” for nearly 20 years, a cure is nothing short of miraculous. Thinking about sound and listening in a new way, as well as creating healthy “soundscapes,” was wonderfully therapeutic.

Well, it was helpful, but not necessarily a cure. Misophonia is such a moody beast. Even when something really helps, it’s benefit for me often has an unanticipated expiration date. But, unlike whatever I may find growing in my fridge, it’s expiration is not final. And it’s been a while, so it might be beneficial to revisit.

He never mentions Misophonia, and his talks are more geared toward the general public, so this is good for most anyone. 

Now, I need to find a TED talk on how to survive the awful music my workplace insists on. 😉

-Peace