Let’s talk about noise. I’m not talking about noises that are so ubiquitous we don’t think about them, like birds chirping or the sound of the coffee maker. No, I’m talking about those noises that can drive you NUTS!
For example, today I walked into our bathroom and turned on the light and exhaust fan. Now our exhaust fan occaisonally will sound like a speeding freight train running over a group of shreeking violins. It also sounds as though it could break off and fall to the floor at any moment. Today was no exception. Fortunately I can handle that noise and eventually I know that it goes away on it’s own (Sidenote: If anyone reading this is an expert in exhaust fans and knows why this is happening, please comment below. Thanks!).
Now, there are some noises that I absolutely can’t stand and actually have anxiety over. One of these is balloons popping. Seriously, I. CAN’T. STAND. BALLOONS. Nowadays if someone wants me to work with balloons, I can truthfully tell them, “I can’t, I’m allergic”. Thank you latex allergy! 🙂 I can still be around balloons, but I can’t touch them or my skin will begin to itch. It should be noted that I used to not be allergic, but with many allergies, it showed up later in life.
Balloons have freaked me out for as long as I can remember. I’m always on edge around them and anxious they’ll prematurely burst. This was such a problem when I was a kid that I remember one time my mom took me outside with my siblings–who each had a couple blown up balloons. They stood at the edge of our yard, while I was at the other. They popped one balloon each. Then they moved forward a bit and popped two more. This continued until they were right in front of me. I was able to handle it with little anxiety–as far as I remember. When I grew older I learned it didn’t bother me probably because we were outside, so there wasn’t a place for the sound to bounce off from (ah, science….).
Nowadays I am still anxious around balloons and other loud noises, but my anxiety level has gone down over time. This is one thing that I’ve learned about my anxiety over the years, in some instances, I seem to sort of grow out of it, in terms of being able to tolerate some things better than I had as a kid. Hopefully that gives you a bit of encouragement if you are struggling with the same things.
Remember, you are not alone.