Toss the keys on the counter, keep the cheery smile, greet the spouse, animals and commence talking about each other’s day. Still reeling from what happened work, struggling to decompress from the social interactions and interruptions forcing me to conversation with people in fake small-talk. But I’m together. I’m fine, giving my attention to my spouse and animals.
The evening carries on as usual - a walk with the dogs, dinner and Netflix, and some puppy play. Somewhere in that routine, usually the dinner and Netflix time, or even randomly throughout the day, my teeth are set on edge and I’m physically writhing from competing sounds. To me, this is when there are two distinctive and separate noises in different or similar volumes, tones or pitches that occur simultaneously. I cannot, repeat, cannot handle it. Or at least until I identified a handy fix action that brings 90-100% relief most of the time.
Example: we are watching something together and then my spouse wants to tell me a story related to something going on in the show, but all the while the show is still playing at normal volume at the same time. I can’t hear whatever they say nor what the show is projecting. It’s a jumble of contrasting and competing sounds that are draining the filtration process from ears to my brain. It’s so overwhelming and I sometimes immediately get a headache and am usually irritable right away.
That’s just one of many examples that assault my brain in different ways at different times. Other common ones are when my dog drinks water while music or tv is playing; all of my coworkers typing and clicking at the same time; the lawn mower and the tv; the hum and mumbled chatter of my spouse in their office upstairs while I work downstairs with a zoom meeting or conference.
Forget about chewing. That by itself regardless of other sounds is a huge trigger for me. If I don’t have my tool nearby I usually leave the room so the other person can eat. Even my cat, she’s huge and eats so loud. I promise I’m not over exaggerating. These are huge problems for me that cause me to plunge head first into anxiety, panic attacks, and maybe result in depressive episodes.
I bought a Bose Bluetooth Noise canceling headphones 🎧 set and have been using it any time I need a quick solution to block out the world and reduce the competing noises and handle my hypersensitivity. I can function and do whatever I need to without being a bother and burden to my spouse or feel on edge. It’s not the end all, but it is my escape from the sounds of the world. I have them paired to my smart TV in order to block other sounds or commotion while being able to escape both audibly and visually. I’m focused and functional while remaining in relative control of my mind, emotions and thoughts - sometimes. That’s the illness side though, still a struggle no matter what.
So if you suffer from hypersensitivity also, invest in some noise cancelling head phones. They are life changing. #hypersensitivity