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Not Every Day Is a Good Day And That’s Okay

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Not Every Day Is a Good Day And That’s Okay


I think people today, especially teens, are easily misled by society to think that everyday needs to be “social media” ready, filled with photographic moments that convey joy, fun and happiness. My generation is being duped because this is not a realistic portrayal, nor is it even achievable. Some days are good days and some are bad days. And, some days are not one or the other but are filled with both good and bad moments. Let me share with you a glimpse into one of my recent bad days. I was at school. My tics were really, really severe and as a result, my body was in constant agony. It was hard to focus. I tried to suppress the tics, but it wasn’t working and I knew that as soon as I got out of school I would be in a multi-hour debilitating “tic attack.” I was trying my best to stave that off while I was in public. As I walked between classes, I quickly wrote out my feelings in the form of a poem, which I texted to my mom:


My Tics are galore

What a chore, Such a bore

Won’t you go away

“No way, Not today”

My life is a mess

I have so much stress

My stomach is clenching

It’s oh so gut wrenching

My jaw won’t stop popping,

snapping and locking

My brain won’t stop pounding

A noise so resounding

I am in so much pain

As if hit by a train

Please help me untwist

I beg of you to assist

I go through it every day

With no choice but to obey

My Tourette I do hate,

But it will not abate.

My brain screams and shouts

“Just let it out just let it out”

But I can’t oblige,

Lest I do cry.


Holding back for years

Not a sob. Not a tear

I hope you’ll understand

Just please be at hand

I need you more than ever,

Now and forever

“Do you want out of your skin?”

“Want to see? Come on in?”

My body is a hellscape

From my feet to my nape

My tics gather in my mind

But no peace do I find

A balloon about to burst

And then here comes the worst.

I despise this Tic attack

And how it always comes back


It’s okay that I felt that way. It just was not a good day for me. I am fortunate enough to have been raised to have a realistic view of what life is and is not. In the words of the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, “Some days are like that. Even in Australia.” 

Don’t get me wrong; I do my fair share of complaining when I am going through a tough time. But cognitively I know that “this too shall pass.” There are a few things that help me when I’m in these moments, many of which come from my mom. She has always told me that life is a roller coaster with highs and lows: never make a decision in a low. In those instances, you need to recognize you’re at a low, and that’s okay. There are no “I need to”s and no “but I should be’s”. You just keep reminding yourself that you are in a low and you do not make any decisions at all… not big ones… and not small ones. You don’t need to feel like you have to “cheer up.” Self-care is the most important part when you are in a low; be good to yourself whatever that means in the moment. Do you feel like napping? Go for it. Do you feel like eating ice cream for dinner? Great, let yourself. Just don’t make any decisions. The low will pass; it always does. It wouldn’t be a roller coaster if after the low didn’t come a high. So you ride it out at the low point knowing that the high is just around the corner.


The other thing I try to do on a regular basis is remind myself of all of the things for which I am grateful. It is so very easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself; to wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have Tourette afflicting me every second of every minute of every day; to contemplate the luxury of being able to just watch a movie, read a book, talk to a friend, eat my dinner, listen to a teacher… without the extra burden of managing my constant tics and worrying about my next impending tic attack. I try to force myself to remember the good. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in his book A Man Without a Country, “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’ These happy moments are Glimmers, “small moments of goodness or beauty that regulate our nervous systems.” 


I recently saw the term “Glimmers” in a social media post that encourages one to become a “Glimmer-seeker.” My daily Glimmers are usually my two dogs, a 70 pound, 2.5 year old yellow labrador retriever named Bristow and an 18 pound rescue mutt (boxer/beagle/terrier/poodle/ Chinese crested super mix!) with a shiny black coat and white tuxedo front named Sloane. (For those of you who are fans of the TV show Alias, starring Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber and Bradley Cooper, you will recognize the genesis of these canine names.) Merely by existing and sharing space with me, my dogs bring me instant Glimmers. Tacos are another Glimmer for me… especially chicken tacos… they make me happy. So the next time you are having a bad day, please do not think that you are the only one out there not feeling social media ready. Just forgo any decisions, ride out the low, wait for the rollercoaster to pivot upwards, go easy on yourself, look for your Glimmers, and always remember: “It’s the storm, not you, that’s bound to blow away.”

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