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To the Misophonia That Has Controlled My Life for the Past 6 Years

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Dear misophonia,

Hello, old friend. It’s me, the one who doesn’t like noises. The one who gets upset with people for chewing or sniffing or slurping or tapping their fingers on things or basically doing things that are typical bodily functions.

You have controlled my life for the past six years. You have dictated what I do, where I go and what times I do things. You forced me to arrange my life into an exhausting array of avoidance. I miss out on going to the movies with friends and will never have those dreaded college lecture hall stories to tell my children. I wish I could get through a meal with my family or sit in a waiting room without being driven into an anxious meltdown.

Misophonia, I can’t show people how I am feeling when you cause me to become enraged. The only physical thing I could ever show people to represent the way you make me feel is the imprints on my palms from digging my nails into them. People see me react to a sound or movement that triggers you and become irritated with me for having a reaction. How dare they get irritated with me? It isn’t me, it’s you!

No matter how exhausting you are, thank you. Thank you for stepping back into the shadows of my mind when I am out at a restaurant and many other things are going on. Thank you for teaching me that everyone needs their own adaptations in life and that we are not cookie cutter people. But most of all, thank you for helping me appreciate the tranquility of being alone, the beauty of silence and the times I get to freely enjoy with my family with minimal triggers.

Claudia standing in a park with her hands covering her face
Claudia standing in a park with her hands covering her face
Originally published: January 4, 2016
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