I haven't published on the Blog for many months. Today I started writing, because I feel that, as they said in the series Friends: “It's the end of an Era.” I'm not a die-hard fan of anything. Except from Friends. I used to buy VHS when I lived in Paris. They were brought from the US. Then I bought the DVD collection. Then I watched it on Netflix, now on HBO. When I need to connect with the soft side of life, I put it in the background. The untimely death of one of its actors, makes me think two things. One, that there are human beings like Mathew Perry, capable of brightening the lives of millions of people and being themselves immersed in deep suffering. Two, from now on, FRIENDS will also have the bitter touch that everything in today's world has, because now, we know what was on the other side. Nowadays, we know what's on the other side of most things. Unless you live in complete ignorance, it is almost impossible to obtain the Friends effect. That is why it is the end of an Era: the Era of absolute carelessness. There is only room for moments of lightness, they are very necessary and must be claimed. Joy requires effort most days, because we know the Making of the world we see. But it is worth it, if only to preserve our physical integrity. It's pure survival. Although there are many who only care, permanently, about the façade of the building, not the state of the courtyard, in a literal and figurative sense. It's not my case. In my opinion, only by looking into the interior courtyard, can we know how
a building and the people who live in it, are really like.
“Your reputation is what people think of you; Your character is an indication of who you really are.” Napoleon Hill. It's something very personal, knowing if it is worth it, to be an open book like me or not. I'm still in the same place where I wrote 6 months ago. Exposed to the same noises as 6 months ago. Openly saying that I suffer from misophonia has not changed my environment at all. Putting felt pads on furniture is asking too much, even if you are informed of the consequences of not doing so for those of us who suffer from misophonia. And as I write this, I hear them, those are the kind of people Elaine Stritch would say can kill you from Terminal Disappointment. Maybe there is an unstudied Obsessive Compulsive Disorder called: “constant and unexplained furniture moving.” Maybe it's just a lack of empathy. Maybe it's evil. Maybe it's ignorance. What difference does it make!. Any of those things happen to THEM, not me.
***If you have misophonia, replace: furniture moving with the noise that affects you.*** I only talk about this one, because this one is 100% avoidable. Not like many others that also affect me, but can be attenuated with noise cancellation headphones. Furthermore, since it is not a utilitarian noise that fulfills a function, like construction work for example, the brain processes it as deliberate aggression. Generating extreme anxiety and the desire to simply disappear from where you are. Getting the brain to not interpret it that way, is the battle of all of us who have misophonia. And even more so, when you know that they know the damage they cause and do it anyway. When I published the post FROM EXULANSIS TO RESILIENCE I went almost 6 months without thinking about misophonia again. It's about making the problem as small as possible. Constantly talking about it doesn't help. I spent months talking about my suffering incessantly and made no progress. Sharing it here fixes it in time and helps me to put it behind me and move on. Boys and girls with misophonia, do not rebel against how unfair and avoidable what you are experiencing seems to you. Find a way to avoid suffering. Do not give misophonia the power to deprive you of your goals, your creativity, your peace. Don't let it bring out the worst in you. And above all, never, ever, think that you are not normal. We are normal. Our hypersensitivity cannot define us. We have to use it to be better. Misophonia or anything that makes us feel different or misunderstood, any addiction, disorder, trauma, has the power to make us feel like we have no value as a person. For me, the logic is the following: I have a problem X that makes me deeply unhappy. This problem seems ridiculous, voluntary and incomprehensible to others. Nobody supports me or understands me. Since my problem is unimportant, my suffering is unimportant, ergo, I am unimportant. For me, giving misophonia the importance it has, restored the value I place on my own existence and my own well-being. Therefore, it is important to claim what happens to us. It is important and rightful. And feeling so terrible, it is more than enough. We must not add shame and guilt to the pain we already have. Who we are, in our entirety, deserves the best. Always. I remember my first boyfriend when I was a teenager, when I was about 16 years old. He was a beauty. Turns out in his childhood he had been chubby. One day, he told me that in those years, when he dreamed, in his dreams, it was not him. He was someone else. He couldn't visualize himself in his dreams. He did not consider himself worthy of aspiring to what he dreamed of. A boy told me this more than 30 years ago! Male sensitivity is expressed less often than female sensitivity, but they suffer equally or more for not having the habit of expressing themselves to each other like we do. Therefore, if you are trapped in that feeling of not wanting to fight to be happy, I send you a very strong hug. The one I would have liked to receive on the worst days… and I still have horrible days. Talking about what happens to us, helps your family and the people who love you understand you. But it makes you feel even more misunderstood by the rest. Although sometimes you find other people and neighbors who are even worse than you! It's okay, we don't have to care. Other times, people we don't even know come to support us, who are far away, but who extend their hand to us, as happened to me with the Misophonia Podcast, to whom I will always be grateful and whose App and background noises helped me to cope for many, many months.
The first thing they advise you, when they see you overwhelmed and on your knees by your circumstances is: go to therapy, take medication and meet new people, even fall in love. Or at least meditate. Those are the usual paths. But I decided to dedicate these 6 months to finding MY path. And I encourage all of you who suffer from misophonia to find yours, which could perfectly be the usual one! I am glad to see that there are psychiatrists like Dr. Amen who focus on healthy lifestyle habits and diet as the basis for a better life and not on pills. I have always thought about it that way and that is why my social life was complicated, because in Paris I didn't like to meet up to eat Blanquette de Veau or in Almería to have tapas. I was always very clear, after my anorexia more than 20 years ago, that I would never have a bad time over food again. And the same goes with alcohol. I don’t like it on regular basis and it is a must in almost all social interactions. These are things that for me are non-negotiable and it has taken 20 years for me to find many people who think like me. It has ben a loooong desert crossing. It's like smoking. It seems incredible that I have been a smoker for years! That's life, evolving. From being a smoker to enjoying exercise and endorphins. Having fun is the purpose. What an easy way to feel better in an hour! Over time, I always find scientific evidence of something that I intuited or had put into practice, such as, for example, responding to the noises that make my life impossible, with the same noise. Well, it has been shown that mimicry helps to cope with misophonia. But I try my best to preserve the atmosphere of my house. The one that I have created with so much effort and that I share with Nuki, my dog. I have to be subjected to an extreme anxiety to be unable to not moving my furniture as well. And God Knows how hard the battle is to stay calm while the chest hurts and the heart races. In these months, I have had to focus on the verb to feel, more than on the verb to do since, as I said in the last Post, Creativity took the back seat in my life. Until I completed the circle and came to the conclusion that it is in the action where my mind and spirit are calmest. Carrying out tasks that require 100% of my attention has the power to make me disconnect from the things that worry me or make me sad, it is my way of meditating, concentrating on studying a music sheet or writing Kanji. To those who suffer from misophonia, do not allow your suffering to be relativized or minimized. I remember that in Bali, I met a surfer that was injured. All of his friends laughed affectionately at him, because he had the accident riding a five-foot wave. When normally, he surfed over 10 meters. (When I returned to Europe I saw that he was the one who made the Shipstern Bluff wave known. On top of that, He was modest). Well, that's life, it's not the size of the wave that matters, nor your skill, but your ability to surf it at any given time. This year, 2023, has been the Year in which I have learned the most about others, about life and about myself. Let's say that this year, they have already given me the Chair. For years my motto was: THAT IS NOT AN OPTION. I assure you that it is an infallible motto, to not do anything that will harm us. It works for everything, it took me out of Anorexia, literally. Then it was PALANTE. ( Onward) Moving forward and moving forward no matter how, even if I lost my health in the attempt. Last night I watched an interview with Diana Nyad and I thought it was wonderful to hear her say that her new motto was: FIND A WAY. And it is so true. We have to find a way. Your manner. The one that preserves your physical and mental health, your peace and your joy. And it doesn't have to fit in with anything or anyone. I have left for last, the topic of trying to be happy by falling in love, well, if things work, it can be fantastic. In these 6 months, the people I have met have been like stones in a river, placed there, only to take me to the other shore. Once you have crossed the river, you realize that on the other bank you are alone again. Alone but different.
I have learned that sincerity does not necessarily bring sincere relationships with others, but with oneself. And that is priceless. In this reunion with oneself, there are objects that help. Things that are only yours and no one else's. That you have never shared with anyone. That ve not been distorted. Because, with how many people can you watch The Notebook believing that this time is the good one and how many times can you give away your favorite book of poems as a gift. ( For example). Those of us who do Graphic Design know that, every time we open a jpg image. It is losing quality. The romantic bonds we establish are usually jpg. The things that do not lose their value, no matter how much we revisit them. What really matters, what is ours, must be saved as gold in cloth in TIFF. format. And among those things are my old Children’s Books, which I have here by my side, in my office to remind me of it every day.
"What we leave behind and what lies ahead are nothing compared to what we carry inside." -Ralph Waldo Emerson I have accepted that Love does not necessarily bring love back, but that the feeling of Love is always worth it. To avoid one sort of Mental Diogenes I have forgotten all the things that could have been and were not, nor will be. I have started to just smile and move on whenever I break down inside.
I have understood that my way of being, my life and my choices, misophonia included, are worthy of being loved and not judged. I have claimed the right to express myself when something seems very wrong to me. Complying and suffering in silence is not a symptom of elegance, but rather a sign of lack of self-esteem or insecurity. I have assumed that life is not 100-meter dash but 1000-meter hurdles, only this time I do not try to jump over every single one of them. Some I go around and to some I give a Bruce Lee’s flying kick. I have felt very brave for sharing the whole horrible process with misophonia. Brave, because there is not the same empathy with anonymous people as with famous people, when it comes to telling how we feel. They are brave, we are just weird. I have learned to channel all my energy into keeping myself busy with things that are good for me. Good in the short, medium or long term. Because patience plays an important role. I have gotten as much good as possible out of all the horrible experiences this year. For example, practicing the piano again, (with headphones so that I don’t bother others), and getting serious about learning Japanese. Both things have arisen from that search for stillness of mind. And interestingly, instead of the mathematical perfection of Bach, I enjoy Chopin more, which sounds just as wonderful when my hands fall between two keys. When the environment is hostile to us, what we want is to escape. I guess that's how all addictions start. Because of the need to flee. From ourselves, from reality or from the environment… little does it matter. The death of Mathew Perry makes me think about the danger of taking medication if you have an addictive nature. I feel proud of not having fled. I'm still here. Although… November is my Birthday month. The best gift, I already have it: Being able to continue doing the things that make me happy. Something so seemingly simple requires freedom and purpose. Two things that in themselves are a gift.
THE QUEST continues.
Find a way. Your way.
Faster or slower, you will get there. And without co-pilots.
You will see how there are many more people like you, waiting for you, when you arrive.
But the journey must be done alone.