Earplugs Are in My Toolbox for Schizoaffective Disorder
I have a tool in my toolbox for schizoaffective disorder that I haven’t written about before. The tool is earplugs.
Why Does This Schizoaffective Need Earplugs in Her Toolbox?
I have acute hearing. That means that sounds in my environment hit me really hard. If I’m in a loud restaurant, the din of chatter around me is amplified and can be quite disturbing. So, I use earplugs to cut out the chatter.
I try to be discreet about the fact that I’m wearing earplugs. I cover my ears with my long hair. But one time, at the opening of a show featuring the work of one of my graduate photography professors, it was getting very noisy. I put in my earplugs. Then I heard someone else at the show say, “Hmm. Earplugs.” I was really embarrassed, but I needed the calm.
I never used earplugs when I heard schizoaffective voices. Since the voices were in my head, earplugs would have just amplified them.
One Time I Really Needed Earplugs in My Toolbox
Now I want to share a funny story about when I needed earplugs. Well, it’s funny looking back on it. I was pretty miserable at the time.
My husband, Tom, and I were eating lunch at our favorite restaurant. There were another woman and man sitting at a nearby booth, talking loudly. I felt as though they thought they were so witty and clever they wanted people to hear what they were saying. That may be unfair. I don’t remember much of what they were saying, except that the woman mentioned she thought the rocker Liz Phair stinks. Liz Phair is from the Chicago area, where Tom and I live, so she brings up a lot of comments around here. (And, by the way, I like Liz Phair.)
The couple kept talking so loudly that other people in the restaurant, including Tom, joined in. That’s the point where I put in my earplugs.
So then, the woman came over to our table. She and Tom had a conversation, but I was doing my best to ignore her politely. I did catch that she and the man she was with were professional storytellers. But I was really at the end of my endurance for noise. I was focusing on the food I was eating, looking down. My earplugs dimmed the conversation. I just wanted her to go away. I didn’t even mind that she gave Tom her business card; I was so focused on my inner struggle. But I think that if she were hitting on him, she wouldn’t have done it in front of me. Also, she kept trying to bring me into the conversation. I wasn’t having it.
Tom promptly discarded her business card. I didn’t blame Tom for talking to the couple. It’s normal to want to get to know new people. Most people don’t feel as I do by strangers being friendly. I’m just not one of those people. And I especially don’t like groups of loud people. My earplugs are in my toolbox wherever I go.
Caudy, E. (2023, March 30). Earplugs Are in My Toolbox for Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, May 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/3/earplugs-are-in-my-toolbox-for-schizoaffective-disorder