EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed any of the first 27 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
I’m spending my time in a writer’s paradise — well, anyone’s paradise. People from all over the world come to Martha’s Vineyard. It’s the “Lap of Luxury” for the New England area. You have it all — sun, relaxation, great food, and much more. I have been trying to take advantage of all that I can, trying to relax and get some sun. I have realized that I don’t tic as much as usual when I am relaxing on the beach.
Could it be the vitamin D from the sun, or am I just that relaxed that my tic decided to take a break? I’ve tried to pay attention, and I’m pretty sure I’m not suppressing them. I have been suppressing my tics for so many years, it’s second nature. Half the time I’m not even sure if I’m suppressing or not. However, I have found it interesting, and when I get back to New York, I want to try to take some vitamin D supplements. Hey, why not? It’s worth a shot. Just one more attempt to escape from the beast inside of me.
I have been quite relaxed in the sense of my anxiety, but still have been a bit stressed out. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but after 37 years, I have realized there is a difference. When you look up stress in the thesaurus, anxiety is one of the top words, but there is a difference — especially if you have anxiety disorder.
They are very similar, but I have been so relaxed, that my anxiety level has been so low, and life is quite enjoyable. Anxiety controls and takes over your whole body, but I feel as if stress is just in your mind. You can breathe off some stress, but at least for me the anxiety just lives there. If you’re anxious, you almost have to just ride it out, and I’ve been riding it out for a long time.
You think that living in the “Lap of Luxury” would be stress free, but paradise isn’t always what it seems. The house that I’m staying at is my cousin’s and her wife’s home, and there are many people staying there. This week the number of permanent people has increased to 10 people. We all have our own separate spaces — there is the main house and a guesthouse. Still, with the amount of people, there are bound to be some head butting issues.
There is always someone coming or going, and people left behind. It’s somewhat funny, but there were two times this week I was left alone in the house. With the amount of people in the house, you would think that this would be a moment of clarity, but I was actually bored. Left with no car, and no one around, I felt that strange feeling of boredom. The reason I say, “That strange feeling of boredom,” is because I rarely feel bored. Normally, with a continuous feeling of anxiety, boredom is just not in my vocabulary, there is always something to do, or something that needs to be done.
I guess in all actuality, I should take advantage of feeling this new feeling, for it might not last long. Even with 10 people living in the house, that’s only the people “living there”. There will be a constant variation of weekend guests coming for little weekend trips. Here’s where I get nervous: Many of the people coming for their weekend getaways, I don’t know. Personally.
So here we go, more staring, and more of me having to explain my tics and my TS. Most of the time, I have no problem advocating for the TS community, but it depends on my mood. Sometimes I just like to forget I have it. As I’m writing this, I’m getting a bit emotional, and ticcy. I’m sick of always having to explain myself to strangers, but I have spent so much time hiding, I refuse to stay quiet any more.
Even though I’m relaxed on the Vineyard, I am looking forward to heading back to NYC this Saturday for a few days. I have to go back for some work, and a TSA event that I’m producing. Living in this house with 10 people, it will be nice to go back to my own home, and just be alone for a minute.
I arrived at the quaint Martha’s Vineyard airport on Saturday, nice and relaxed. Everything was fine until I got on the plane. Yep, there I was, in row 15 with a mother, father and their two kids, one about 4 years old and one in the wonderful terrible 2s stage. I thought I was going to flip out, but I managed to keep my cool. It’s only a 30-minute flight. I put my sunglasses on, my earphones in, and suppressed my beast. The couple had their hands full. This was not one of those moments that I felt like advocating, I felt it was just easier to suppress.
I left for the vineyard, and left anxiety back in NYC. While on the flight, I wondered, “Is anxiety going to pick me up from the airport?” Anxiety is a good friend, he was there as soon as I walked out of the airport. My mind started going a million miles a minute, and now I had an hour cab ride home, that I still had to try to suppress my tics. At least in a cab I do feel more comfortable to let the little ones out, but it is still weighing on my mind. What is it about this city, that I find it impossible to rid myself of my anxiety?
I finally did reach my destination of home. I had a friend house sitting, while I was gone and was intrigued to see the state of my home. OMG, I was about to scream. I’ve discussed my OCD’s before, and walking into my house, I felt like a bomb went off. Now in someone else’s eyes it was clean, but I saw all the faults within seconds. It took me about an hour to get it somewhat to the state that I felt comfortable.
It wasn’t bad, it’s just things were out of place and all of his stuff was all over the place. The good thing is that once I got it “somewhat” to the point of comfortability, I thought to myself. “I have someone staying in my home, and I’m only here for a few days. I have to let go a bit”, and I did.
I’m really trying to learn to deal with things, but understand, this is me. I have a neurological disorder that I can’t control. I have to live with this. There is a song lyric that has been stuck in my mind this week that best describes me, “This is the part of me, that you’re never gonna ever take away from me”, so I deal and live my life.
Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”