543 Day Writing Journey

Tics. Day 532.

I’ve always had tics and almost lost a hand because of them. Tics are physical movements or vocal sounds one makes, either involuntary or voluntary, that are repetitive and obsessive. Click HERE to read more about them and their potential causes. Lately, my tics have been more frequent and prominent, but thankfully I know how to deal with them and have been for over forty years.

When I was little, I used to have to rub any spot that my fingernails touched. If I scratched a dog’s back, I would have to rub it. If I scratched a bug bite, I would have to rub the spot after my nails touched it. One day, we went to Caldor in Northampton, MA, and upon exiting our car, my nails touched the back of the vinyl seat. As I reached back into the vehicle to rub the spot with my hand, my mom was closing the very heavy 1970’s car door. Thankfully, she caught it in time and my hand was saved.

I’ve since evolved with my tics so they’re not as evident, but have recently become lazy. Lately, I raise my eyebrows and purse my lips. Unless they are each done evenly, which is impossible, my tic will not satisfy whatever perfect feeling I’m attempting to accomplish. My tics are head-to-toe but not usually at the same time.

To someone who does not tic, this may all seem a little insane. I’ve never been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention-deficit disorder, nor have I ever been seen for the symptoms, but I do fit the bill. Tics can be a nice little side dish that’s served up with disorders such as those, but like I said, I have no true diagnosis. I also don’t have true concern.

For me, the tics come during times of stress, good and bad, and there’s nothing I can do about that. “Reduce your stress,” people would say. “Sure,” I’d answer. I have this need to create an even muscle feeling, usually on my face. If one eyebrow feels a certain way, I feel the need to do the same with the other. There are times, however, when I don’t feel the need to do it.

What’s most interesting to me in this present moment is that I am seeing things differently now that I type words about my tics. It does seem more concrete and, quite honestly, a little nuts and maybe it is. I’ve been living with this my entire life, though, and have no concerns about it.

When I was little, the awareness for certain disorders was not as broad as it is now. There’s a good possibility I have or had something that makes me more prone to tics. Also, it’s genetic, and without calling out one or more of my sons, I will say I know that for sure it’s been passed on. At this point in my life, I have no concerns about it, but just thought I would mention it. If it makes one person feel a little less odd, it’s worth it.

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