Record Yourself Ticcing, WHYYY?!

Mar 22, 2024

Key Takeaways:

  • Avoiding facing tics increased their shame/mystery; hiding didn't help
  • Viewing video with self-compassion built acceptance of this long-rejected part   
  • Facing discomfort brought unexpected healing after years fruitless fighting

As someone who has struggled with constant, embarrassing motor tics for over 20 years, the idea of videotaping my tics and watching them back fills me with dread. Like many dealing with Tourette's, I tend to avoid facing just how uncontrollable and pervasive my tics are on a daily basis. Out of sight, out of mind has been my coping mechanism.

But recently, I've realized that hiding from my tics has only increased my shame and isolation over the years. The more I pretend they aren't there, the more power and mystery they hold over me. I've decided it's finally time to turn towards this longtime foe with self-compassion as my tool.

So I set up my phone's camera, took a few deep breaths to calm my anxiety, and hit record. Watching back the video, I had to fight the urge to immediately turn it off or criticize myself. But when I leaned into the discomfort, something shifted.

Rather than harsh judgment, I felt overwhelming sadness for how much I've hated this part of myself for so long. Instead of a cruel tormentor, my tics now seemed like a wounded child desperate for my acceptance. Meeting them with kindness freed me from the war within.

While my tics aren't gone yet, relating to them with mindfulness and compassion has brought some peace after decades of fruitless fighting. By opening my heart to all aspects of myself, healing has become possible. I'm no longer so afraid to face what I've spent a lifetime resisting.

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