Tourettes-Like Demons

Oh dear,
This is exhausting,

As well as the ruminating,
β€”This Tourettes-like muscle tensing;

I usually have both,
At the same time,
And increases in rumination,
Mean increases in tensing;

But even without rumination,
Or even OCD,
Still, there’s the battle,
With endless stomach-crunching;

β€”Fine, you know what,
I’ll come clean,
Here is the full f***ing list,
Of my Tourettes-like things:

Voluntary blinking,
Voluntary abdominal tensing,
Voluntary eye movements,
Voluntary big toe hyperextension,
Voluntary throat-clearing-thing,
Voluntary index-finger hyperextension,
Voluntary lip-brring,
β€”I don’t know the name for that last one,
But that’s what we called it in singing lessons;

So, I’m battling all of that,
Besides the rumination,
And OCD;

The top three, in bold,
Are the worst,
And the real problems,

For they’ve given me such headaches,
And eye-aches;

At one point, this time last year,
When the eye tics were worst,
I worried that my vision,
Was going to become damaged,

β€”That was the only thought,
Which could finally prevent it;

Now, it’s just the abdominal-tensing,
Causing me great problems,
I suppose that’s an improvement!

I’ve been doing it all day,
And I’ve been doing it all week,
I’ve especially been doing it,
The entire time at Green Health;

Why especially there?

Because it’s become an association,
I expect to do it there,
And I especially don’t want to,
Because gardening is supposed to be fun,
β€”It’s an important thing,
For my entire health;

So along come the Tourettes-like tics,
And spoil it all,
Heavily distracting me,
Obstructing my breathing,
Turning my focus ever-more,
To the growing headache in my brain;

F***ing mad, isn’t it?

And I’ve just been deemed as,
‘Fit to work’,

I’m neither fit to walk,
Nor to talk,
In this state!

For I only have one diagnosis,
β€”For ADHD,
So that’s all that is counted,

Now what usually happens,
In cases such as mine,
Is the very stress of being assessed like this,
And forced into trying to work, too soon,

Eventually results in a crisis so severe,
That they finally agree!

But that’s not going to happen to me πŸ˜‰,
For I have a winning strategy,

β€”Coming clean,
So very publicly,

Exposes the demons,
To the goddamn LIGHT!

F**k you demons.


30 thoughts on “Tourettes-Like Demons

  1. Robin, these are not demons. They are reactions to stress. I think it’s wrong that you have been deemed ‘fit to work’. You have far too much to deal with right now. Are you going to appeal?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ’™. Yes, I’m going to appeal with the help of a benefits advisor through a charity πŸ˜„. So lucky to have this support… He knows his stuff

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good question! I was really getting into meditation in November 2018, whilst staying with parents. But the intervening trauma well and truly got me out of that habit. It was really helping though. My tics and OCD anxiety got so bad I just couldn’t meditate anymore.

        I feel like I’d have a much better chance now. I actually considered doing it recently, but now the problem is just that I don’t have anywhere to do itβ€” I never have peace in my room, because the ceiling is constantly creaking! It can happen at any time in any 24 hour period… and regularly does.

        Although…I guess I could just meditate in my car like I did last year, whilst living in it! I used to sleep in the car park of a regional park, and it was blissfully quiet at night! I find fresh air really helps with meditating too. It’d be a big time commitment to find anywhere peaceful enough to drive to, though…! Such is life what a bitch.

        I was using piano to replace it actually, but i’ve hardly had chances to play recently, or when I have, it’s been taken up with OCD :\. Somehow I still haven’t managed to do it today!


      2. I’m going to add piano to my todo list each day, from now on. Thing is, doing pressups is also extremely relaxing. I’m started to do that in a regimented way again, and hopefully swimming which would help more than any meditation could. But…I’ve just got an eczema outbreak!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got the lip-brring thing too. I call it horse-sounds when I try to describe it. It happens when I run, when I work to stop grunting. I find it interesting that you place “voluntary” before each tic. If they were truly voluntary, you wouldn’t do them right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, that’s a really good point!

      Well, I read quite a bit about Tourettes and Somatic OCD at one point. And I read stuff like this, about Tourettes:

      “Although the wish to move is perceived by the patient as involuntary, the decision to release the tic is often perceived by the patient as a voluntary capitulation to the subjective urge. Most patients with TS can exert a degree of control over the urge and constantly try to inhibit the movement. Based on these features, it has been suggested that tics performed in response to an urge to move should be classified as β€˜unvoluntary’, as opposed to voluntary or involuntary acts. However, recent experimental data suggest that the brain areas involved in the generation of the wish to act show considerable overlap between healthy subjects and patients with TS.

      The simultaneous presence of both voluntary and involuntary aspects in the expression of tic symptoms by patients with TS is consistent with the hypothesis that tics can have the same neurophysiologic substrate as voluntary acts, even though they are misperceived as being involuntary. This reinforces the view of TS as a hyperkinetic movement disorder primarily affecting the conscious experience of action.”

      From here:

      So it can be quite a subtle thing to distinguish. But I imagine the experience is different for different people. For me, the urge isn’t particularly strong most of the time at the momentβ€” I can suppress the tics easily, but it becomes harder when anxious or when I’m Expecting to do it. And it takes a continuous conscious effort to keep them at bay. When I do that, it becomes progressively easier to not do them.

      Maybe the stronger the (involuntary) urge, the more the doing of tics feels involuntary, too? Maybe there are different classes of Tourettes. Or maybe what I’m experiencing is closer to Somatic OCD? There’s definitely overlaps.

      I’d be really interested to know how much your experience matches or differs from this! Thanks.


      1. Like many (most?) people with Tourette, I find my tics pretty embarrassing. Enough so that I’m motivated to not tic in public. Sitting in management meetings or board meetings at work around a big table where we’re all facing each other, scrunching my eyes isn’t something I want to do, but I do it any way. At any moment, I can NOT scrunch my eyes, but eventually, I’m going to. Recently, I ran a three hour timed race (about an hour and a half longer than I was trained for). In the last hour, I spent a lot of time walking. At any point I could start up a run, regardless of how tired I was, but I couldn’t sustain it. I was simply out of energy. I think ticcing is like this. BTW- eye tics are one on my principal tics, and my eyes are pretty damaged. I have significant double vision. Once I had it corrected with surgery, but it has come back. No doctors have said it’s related to the TS but for me, it’s hard to believe it’s not.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for thatβ€” Yes! How you describe the tics is how they are for me too. Same with embarrassment, yet will end up doing them anyway. It’s a horrible battle. I’ve become more and more used to doing them around people! And yeahβ€” the eye ones being the most obvious, are the most embarrassing.

        For me the eye tics actually began by noticing my dad doing them. And since I was doing computer programming for a job, as was he, I thought to myself in my head “Oh man, I don’t want to find myself doing that, that’d be embarrassing!”, thus I found myself doing them, and more and more! I developed a squinting/blinking tic a couple of times when a child tooβ€” it came and went.

        That’s interesting what you say about the eye damage. And sad if true, sorry to hear that! Yes, doctors can so easily say generalising things, a lot of them are arrogant too. On the other hand, it Could be cooincidence.

        Have you ever tried any medications? Do you find that exercise helps with it at all?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I pass this on with caution. I’m on a Tourette facebook page and it’s very clear to me, one person’s life-saver is the next person’s nightmare. I’m on a high does of prozac and a low dose of buproprien and risperidone. I used to be on more risperidone but it caused depression (a common side effect for people with TS) and more buproprien but that caused more tics. I’ve been adjusting this cocktail for years, and I think it’s pretty good now. The biggest surprise of all was that the risperidone really reduced my OCD which has improved my life immensely.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks a lot Jeff! Actually, I didn’t ask with the idea of intending to try the same medicationsβ€” simply more data points. I know that medication types and doses can be so personal to each person :).

        It’s useful to me just to hear that any medication at all is helpful for somebody with Tourettes, same with OCD.

        But that is especially fascinating to hear about the Rispiridone! A doctor tried to prescribe that to me last year, but it was after only seeing me twice, and they had had it suggested to them by a psychiatrist who had Never met me. I have a cautious approach to these medications, and like to have a proper input into the choice to start them. I was also living in my car at the time, so what the hell, the whole thing was messy! xD.

        But perhaps Rispiridone is something I could at least consider too, at some point.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Robin, I hope you find somewhere peaceful to resume your meditation habit. If it’s noisy where you live, have you thought about using headphones and listening to music while you do it. I’m sure you know there’s loads of great meditation friendly music on YouTube. I particularly like Anugama. Good luck with those tics! EmberπŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ember :). Actually, I do listen to peaceful piano music with my noise-cancelling headphones a lot, and that does help with most sounds. But, if i have my window open, the sound of cars going by still easily cuts right through it, and the sounds from upstairs also cut through the headphones and the music :\.

      It takes a LOT for me to not notice sounds. I really just need a better environment.

      Liked by 1 person

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