Social media confession: I have recently been tweeting my formerly misophonia blog posts and just the other day, my name was mentioned in the same characters as “inspiring recovery story.” I was completely mystified. I don’t really feel like I have ever recovered from anything. Ever (except periodic constipation).
Yet, I feel that it is time for a fully aware person to give a moving public account of his or her battle with misophonia.
And Michael Lawrence has agreed to be that person.
Mike, who you might remember from a previous post aboutmy imaginary malpractice suit against Dr. Phil, is now in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where has temporarily relocated to undergo NFB treatment with a practitioner and protocol he believes might be The Answer. He sent me a description of this “19 channel qEEG with LORETA program” treatment process, but I wrote back that I was far more interested in the type of juicy material that I could sell for big bucks to a new tabloid called The Misophonia Enquirer. In exchange for a cut of my imaginary profits, he obliged. Here are excerpts of his email confession:
On the roots of his struggle:
I had alcoholic parents, was the scapegoat for my father’s rage and frustrations and was a colicky baby that was not picked up and held enough (for my needs), which may have contributed to my delicate nervous system and fussy and nervous nature. I resented my brother, who could do no wrong in my father’s eyes, whereas I could do no right. My brother was my earliest and greatest trigger, and he tormented me with his misophonia eating sounds. I was, and still am, easily bothered by people and things that disturb my sense of calm and peace. I’ve just been a sensitive soul all my life, and I can cry at the drop of a hat. I have spent the last thirty years, on and off, facing my childhood pains and traumas in primal therapy. It has been extremely helpful to me, but reliving and resolving those traumas has not reduced the misophonia triggers.
On his fight to find a suitable job:
I was a landscape contractor most of my life, and that evolved into real estate investing, which I still do, though I retired in my 50's. I had to find something that I could do where I had some control over my environment and was not trapped in situations with people that I could not escape. This rare disease has held me back and limited my classroom education, but I am just a naturally curious person and read a lot. I have felt a need to educate myself about this rare disease in order to better understand myself and misophonia, in hopes of finding an effective misophonia treatment.
On his determination:
I have been a driven person all my life, and I suspect that misophonia has brought this out of me. I know I have had to work extra hard just to do the most basic of things. But I won't let misophonia destroy my life, and I will not succumb to its power. I have been determined not to let it win out. My suffering has been a good thing in the sense that it has taught me empathy. I also believe that the way my father constantly put down my intelligence and abilities set me on a path of proving him wrong. Despite the fact that I am not particularly confrontational or competitive in nature, these things have brought out the fighter in me. When I find something that I am passionate about, I pursue it with fervor and don't give up easily. I have always been the kind of person that does not give up easily, and I have faith that if we try hard enough, we can find answers to life's many problems. Bullheaded may be the more common term for it!
On how he copes:
I am blessed with a remarkably patient, understanding and loving wife, who was all for this trip to Iowa and has not once complained or resisted going. She has told everyone we know about my condition and why we were going to be gone, and I have received nothing but understanding, support and prayers. I believe that faith is a necessary ingredient in making things happen, and so far, it has proven helpful to me. Although I was born and raised Jewish, I joined the Mormon Church a number of years back. It is the centerpiece of my life and answers all of the important questions of existence for me. Both religions have taught me that there is a purpose for all of our suffering, and the trials we face are there to teach us and make us stronger. I am in a position where I may be able to share something that could be beneficial to many people. If I can help one young person to live a life without this horrible rare disease, it will be worth all the suffering I have had to deal with for over 55 years.
Now, don’t you think this is the kind of gripping story that would fly off the rare disease grocery store checkout line racks? If not, I’ll try to sell it to TMZ (aka The Misophonia Zone).