I’ve had biting tics since I was a child. They come and go, but even when they’re not happening that often they’re lurking in the background. They often flare up when I’m particularly upset, excited, angry or even happy.
But though they can be triggered by strong emotions, they’re still just tics over which I have little or no control. On the other hand, what I do have is some control over the feelings that set the tics going, but as for anybody, it’s not always that easy to exert it.
When Leftwing Idiot and I were disagreeing about something earlier, I bit myself and he raised his voice and said, “Stop it!”
I understood completely why he said this (it must be very difficult to see me hurt myself in this way), but my initial reaction was one of annoyance – if I could stop it, I would. What he said made me feel even more frustrated, but it’s also made me step up my efforts to manage my feelings and I realise that I have got better at this in this sort of situation.
With some tics it’s easy to see that they’re involuntary. With others it’s harder, especially when they’re triggered by the occasional tensions that friendships inevitably bring.
“Nice up your Christmas tree.”