I thought I’d had all the bad tics.
After all, I’ve punched windows, slapped friends, thrown a glass at my manager, shouted out the f-word, c-word and s-word, yelled “pigs” at police officers, and hit my head repeatedly against a wall.
I was wrong. It turns that things could get worse. Now, regrettably, my Tourette’s is coming out with racial slurs: an unfortunate but rare facet of coprolalia.
This is obviously awkward, to say the least. Now, it seems I’m going to be offending a lot more people, at a much deeper level.
At a loss as to what to do, I asked the internet for advice, and this is what everyone said:
- Explain quickly to anyone who has overheard my racist tics that I have Tourette’s.
- Wear a badge saying I have Tourette’s.
- Try to turn the vocal tics into “mental tics”. “Mental tics” is not a medical term, it’s just what I call the silent tics that interrupt my thoughts. They feel much like an intrusive thought, but it’s made up of words instead of images.
- Switch the tic. For example, if the racist tic is coming out, sometimes it’s possible to switch the word to something else half-way through.
- Alternatively, if the tic has to come out, say something that rhymes with the offensive word instead.
It’s early days – I only started ticcing racial slurs a few days ago – but I’ve since found that tic-switching and finding a rhyming word really works for me.
As general rule, I find that tics come and go. I can’t wait for this one to go away, but for now I’m putting the internet’s advice into practice, and taking each tic as it comes.