Updated: Jul 5
TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING
For those who are unaware, between 15th May and 15th June is officially Tourette’s Syndrome Awareness Month. So, I’ve decided to write another episode to my life with Tourette’s Syndrome. This time, I will be focusing on the redevelopment of tics and the process of triggering that cause them to return.
So, when I was first diagnosed with the condition, I was told that the average human inhabits around two tics about then that are unnoticeable. I, on the other hand, collected a total of "sixteen tics". “Collected” like Pokémon in my Pokédex of tics.
"AWKWARD HAIR FLICK, I CHOOSE YOU!"
The sniffing; the blinking; the abdominal tense. All tics that made the condition shine enough for us to seek medical attention. I knew that was a lot to handle but I composed myself well and continued with my life.
Over the next few years, I would start to see that number decreasing, or at least becoming so unnoticeable that they show no effect. The sniffing tic? vanished. The abdominal tense? non-existent. The blinking however, transitioned into widening my eyes opposed to closing them. Fortunately for me, my Tourette’s is barely visual and that causes me to occasionally forget that I’m even doing it. The only people that notice it are the people who worry. People like my family and my girlfriend question my health whenever they see the slightest increase in the frequency of my tics. It’s a pain but I’m glad they’re there.
Around the time I turned twenty, it was a rare occasion that I would be affected by the condition to the extent of having a fit of tics (these fits include severe stomach, back, and/or headaches). But, with age comes responsibility. I had a lot more pressure on my shoulders that then caused stress, anxiety and, when I’m stressed, along came the cavalry of twitches. The more I thought about what I needed to do to survive, the more I couldn’t control my actions.
An endless cycle of overthinking, worrying, stressing, panicking, and twitching. A constant loop of negative emotions fused together to cause a domino-like effect on my tics. Regarding my tics, I find that when I do an action or movement that I like, I tend to fixate on it too much. Thus, developing a new tic that I have minimal control over.
Over the past few weeks, I have redeveloped a tic that affects my breathing. This specific twitch causes me to tense my pectoral area which causes bumps in the way I breathe. Irregular breathing can cause me severe chest pains and uncontrollable anxiety. It is a constant feeling of attempted regurgitation and it’s becoming more severe by the day. Usually, I can relax enough or I’m busy enough to counter-focus onto another activity, or work, so I don’t think about how it is rapidly advancing.
Now that I feel a new sensation, I feel something else brewing. Something that I’ve never faced in my 13-year-long battle against the condition and even the thought of it terrifies me to my core…
Stay around for the next post where I get deep into this new territory and I hope you feel the intensity behind my words.
Follow me on social media for updates, motivation, interaction, and general discussions throughout Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month