In my last FaceBook Live, one of the questions asked of me was, “What does it feel like to tic?”
One of the things about writing is that I am more able to set down my thoughts this way than I am with the spoken word. My ability to explain complex ideas and feelings are more easily discernible than when spoken.
But back to the question: what does it feel like to tic? To answer this question, I want you to imagine or remember what a chill up your spine feels like. With your mind, feel the tingling you get at the base of your spine that then quickly snakes it’s way up to the base of your neck. From there, it disperses throughout your body and you shake in a “cold shiver”. It’s like a jolt of energy from within your body.
In the same way, my tics are a jolt from within myself but because of it, I have very little to no control of my movements and vocalizations. However, unlike the jolt at the beginning of the “cold shiver”, mine never dissipates. It stays with me until the last tic has come to pass for the day. It’s like my body is having a few or an endless amount of cold shivers that affects not just my upper torso, but also my legs and vocal chords. It’s as if I’m cold without feeling cold.
Another way to think of ticcing is… I feel like a marionette with invisible strings. Having your body move in odd and precarious ways at lightning quick clips without your effort can feel as unnerving as it sounds. If you’ve ever seen the movies, plays or TV specials of ‘Pinoccio’, you may have had an inkling of what it’s like to be a doll moving by strings someone else is manipulating. But like Pinoccio famously stated: “I’ve got no strings on me.”
This is what it feels like. It’s both like and unlike anything I know. But I’m a survivor because I know I’m stronger than Tourette’s.
Stay tuned for part 2!