A few years ago, I posted on Facebook that I had misophonia. I was extremely nervous because most of the people in one Facebook group, the Misophonia Support Group, had negative experiences. I explained it as best I could, and the people who saw that post and commented have been nothing but supportive, which is amazing. My best friend, Elizabeth, of like 10 years (maybe more, we’ve lost count!) has also been supportive, in more ways than she thinks. She is the one on the left in the picture.
I want to highlight one instance in which she helped me immensely while we were hanging out at her house. Now studying in New York, she came down to visit, and during one of the times we were hanging out, we were watching TV. We were watching Cutthroat Kitchen, an intense cooking competition, and at least two of the contestant’s were triggering me with their sharp/whistle-like “s” sounds. I was trying to enjoy it, but I was visibly irritated, and I plugged one of my ears and tried distracting myself on my phone. It was at that moment when Elizabeth got up to do something, and she asked “You ok?” Without thinking, I said “Yeah!” And I smiled. I realized my mistake as soon as I said that. I was so used to saying “yes” to that question, because when I’m being triggered, I can’t concentrate on trying to explain why I’m not ok.
However, when Elizabeth went to sit back down, she grabbed the TV remote and turned the volume down. The best part? I didn’t have to ask her to do anything, she just did something that helped me, whether she knew it or not. I smiled slightly, and immediately felt better. The trigger noises were reduced to a more tolerable level, and I could deal with that. I silently thanked Elizabeth and thought about messaging her later that what she did helped me cope a lot better. When I got home, that’s exactly what I did, and she said it wasn’t a problem at all.
I was lucky enough to meet Elizabeth and become best friends with her, and it’s amazing that she knows when I’m actually ok, and when I’m not ok. I am aware that many misophonia sufferers have best friends who aren’t that supportive. I’ve read many posts on misophonia groups detailing their negative experiences during hangouts with their best friend, from doing the trigger more just to annoy them, or actually ceasing to do the trigger but seem annoyed that they had to stop.
I am sorry for everyone who has a best friend that isn’t supportive. Perhaps starting a conversation about misophonia with them and encouraging them to ask questions will help. Perhaps your best friend just doesn’t know enough about it, and doesn’t see it as a big deal. You could print/bring up articles from the web on your phone and show them that you’re not making it up if they’re hard to convince. I’m incredibly lucky that my best friend is as supportive as she is, and I can’t stress enough how much that means to me. It’s important for everyone’s best friend to be supportive, because it’s mostly their support that keeps you going, and keeps you from giving up.