I personally love 4th of July. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I live out in the country and can see fireworks from a distance, or the fact that when I celebrated, it was with friends and family. And I remember nothing but fun times. But now that my friends and I are all adults now, some of use have moved away, and some of us have grown apart. And now, 4th of July “tradition” just isn’t what it used to be. As what happens when people grow up.
However, my plans for the 4th will consist on non-loud fireworks, and just one kind: sparklers. To me, those things are great. They make for great photo opportunities!
I do know that most people I’ve come across in the misophonia groups don’t like the 4th of July, for obvious reasons. It’s loud, scares pets, and more than the sounds being triggering, it can put people on edge. But if your family celebrates–either by buying their own fireworks or by going to a firework show–I’ve come up with a few things you can do to prepare if you decide to go. Remember, it’s totally ok for you not to go or participate in this event. If your family doesn’t like that, and they’re making you participate, I hope the things listed will help you. And if not, try negotiating with them and see about other ways of celebrating. If fireworks are illegal where you live, hopefully this won’t be an issue then. 🙂
- Earplugs. These do wonders, let me tell you, even for someone who doesn’t have misophonia. One time, my aunt and I went to a firework show in a town thirty minutes from where we live, called Calipatria. We were close to the fireworks, and I was wearing earplugs because I knew it was going to get unbearably loud for me at some point. About halfway through the dhow, my aunt asked to borrow one of my earplugs, and I did. She said it helped a lot. I had to plug my other ear with my finger, but it wasn’t too bad. So, prepare yourself with earplugs!
- Headphones. Over the ear, preferably, as these block out more of the sound. These can be an alternative if earplugs hurt your ears.
- If neither works, move to a quieter place if you can. It can be difficult finding a place where you don’t have loud sounds going off right in your ear, but even just a walk can help distract you. You can look up at the sky every now and then to see the fireworks.
Some people may not be able to stand the smell of the smoke fireworks give off. I can tolerate it if I’m at a show, but if I’m at home (or a friend’s place) celebrating, the smoke can get very overwhelming. In this case, I just move to a different location. I always make sure to take some allergy medication as well to be better tolerate it.
Other ways to celebrate:
- Cake. Fourth of July cake! I remember my best friend doing that, but there’s a funny story to this. So she made a cake (I think?) and she left it at her house to bring over for later. We were going to do fireworks at my house first, and then eat cake. When fireworks were over, they went back to see that one of their dogs climbed up onto the chair and ate all the frosting. The poor thing was sick the next day. But, we were going to have cake!
- Wine. Celebrate with a glass of wine (if you’re of age!) and just relax.
- Watch from a distance. If you live in an area where you can see fireworks going off somewhere, just grab a chair, sit outside, and enjoy from home.
If you have pets, always make sure they won’t run off if you decide to do fireworks. Since there are bound to be fireworks going off nearby (hopefully if you live somewhere where it’s legal), make sure your pet is secure. My best friend usually puts her dogs in pet carriers, and they’re fine in there. If you’re not going somewhere, just comfort your pet(s) and give them lots of pets and belly rubs. Maybe even some treats. 🙂
I hope this was helpful. I wish everyone a safe 4th of July if you celebrate it.
See you next week!