How’s October treating you?
Ours is off to a good start. My first-born turned 13 last week! Eek, I have a teenager! It’s been a nostalgic week of fond memories of his early years – he was such a happy, chunky baby. Ahh, it seems like yesterday! And I can’t help but look forward with excited anticipation to all that his future will hold as he matures into manhood… but yikes, let’s not rush anything. He’ll always be my baby!
So, about October… last week we got into the Halloween spirit talking about our inner werewolves and boundaries. I shared with you about my recent vacation and my unexpected adverse reaction to being confined with my dear, loved ones.
We decided to make this issue a two-part series because in coping with the guilt, frustration, and silent rage of what I experienced on that trip, I was reminded that I knew precisely what the underlying cause was… the moon, of course, and my Misophonia.
Miso-what? Are we talking about tofu?
No. Misophonia. It’s “a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance.”
The crazy part? It’s very uncommon (or in my opinion wildly underdiagnosed), mainly affects women, and Amanda and I both have it. Months ago, Amanda wrote an article on Misophonia for Grace Stories (our blog) and I read it and was like, “whoa, yeah, I have that!”
Despite experiencing symptoms for most of my life, I never knew there was a name for it until Amanda enlightened me. Turns out there are support organizations for it all around the world, however, doctors and medical science are only just starting to recognize it as a legit condition. OH, IT’S LEGIT ALRIGHT!
I noticed it in middle school, right around the time I came into womanhood. (Oh my! I was the same age that my still happy but not-so-chunky son is now – wow, that’s perspective.) So, of course, I did what all of society does and chalked it up to being a moody teenage girl. It was just typical female hysteria, wasn’t it?
Interesting fact: did you know that “hysteria” is Greek for uterus? A coincidence? I think not.
Did you also know that it wasn’t until 1980 that the American Psychiatric Association finally did away with using the word “hysteria” to label all kinds of mental afflictions that women experienced? 1980 – only 30 years ago! That’s 287 years after the Salem Witch Trials from which one source is cited saying, “As 1692 passed into 1693, the hysteria began to lose steam.” Ha! It took the U.S. 287 years to officially “lose steam” in connecting female mental afflictions to the same underlying evil that defined witchcraft.
So, I’ve come to recognize my own affliction as Misophonia. But that’s not the full prognosis. My uterus is indeed a player in the bigger picture…
You’ll recall that I mentioned the moon… A few newsletters back we recommended the book Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Ambitious Women by Kate Northrup. In it, she has a chapter on tracking your menstrual cycle as well as the phases of the moon.
Both are comprised of four phases and cycle approximately every 28-days. And so I tracked mine and found the results to be profoundly helpful in understanding my fluctuating energy levels as well when I’m most or least productive. More on that below in Grace in Productivity.
The moral of the story is that there are ways to come out from under the spell of the witch within us.
We do not have to subject ourselves to societal typecasting or nomenclature. The truth is, we are actually extremely predictable. The secret is in having awareness and a system to navigate it. Furthermore, we must grant ourselves permission to listen to our bodies for the sake of our sanity and that of our loved ones.
As females and particularly as mothers, we’ve been approaching life the hard way for far too long. It’s time to point our broomsticks in a new direction. Wouldn’t you agree?
Ride on indeed, witches!
Thank you for being here today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and may it kick off an extraordinary week!
Love & Grace,
Rachel (& Amanda)
Co-founders of Grace in the Race, LLC