There was a great speech at Skepticon, while I was watching it I had to go post on G+ about it because it was so true, and honest.

This video was brutally honest in a way I find difficult. His discussion of what it is like to have a mental illness. It is worth a watch



That there has been my work out all week. 40 ft of stairs, about a block south of my place. Once upon a time just getting up it used to leave me so winded I needed 5-10 minutes to recover. I actively avoided walking anywhere beneath the hill because the pain of climbing back up would completely outweigh any benefit I could gain from going down there. Saturday I wound up walking back up the hill, and noticed it wasn’t so hard any more, I needed maybe 1-2 minutes to recover before I was able to keep on.

Monday I decided, almost as a whim, that I’d like to be able to walk the hill without being winded at all, and I set out, walking down the hill was easy, and the first climb up nearly killed my legs, the protest was mostly, “wait you only do this when you REALLY have to” and not “we can’t do this.” on the second climb up I was just as dead as I recall being after one climb, but on Tuesday I went out and did it again.

I think that’s what progress is, it’s climbing the hill every time you find yourself on the bottom. Today was my third day of walking, and is, for the first time I can recall getting up and going into the rain, to do my work out. There’s this guy around campus, who is out every evening doing his run, I remember him the most though, because one day when it was all but a blizzard out, I was riding with a friend to go get soda, and I saw him waiting for the light to turn so he could cross the street. Only instead of standing he was down there in the slush doing push ups. That image stuck with me, he was serious about being the best he can be, and wouldn’t take any excuses.

Getting out there today was a kind of enlightenment for me. I have, inside of me, that same crazy dude doing whatever it takes. I just have to let the chains off of him, and listen when he says, “dude you could do one more.” What ever happens, when I find myself at the bottom of that hill, climbing it will make me stronger.



When I graduated a few weeks ago, my aunt gave me a card and explained that for her graduation gift she wanted to give me something that had meaning for me. Painted Board with a quote on it, something to remind me of what I stand for. She then shared with me the quote that she lives by, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” This quote from Helen Keller struck me, not because I agree with it(I haven’t made up my mind there), but because it explained my aunt to me in a new way.

We become our actions, which are informed by our thoughts. Having a quote like that somewhere where we are reminded of is a way of saying, “This is what I want to be.” I have spent the last few weeks reading quotes that reflect my mind view. One of the first quotes that came to mind was the Litany_Against_Fear from dune. This has been a favorite quote for years, and I have memorized it, I repeat it when I am facing difficulty, and my moleskin often has copies I have written, for some reason writing out a mantra can keep me from ticing in the same way that focused coding, or other distraction can. The issue with the Litany, is that it is better as a Mantra than as a slogan, so I kept looking.

I greatly admire Ghandi, and began looking though lists of his quotes for something that stuck, but they all seemed to conditional, “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.” and “An Eye for and Eye makes the whole world blind.” are both very powerful calls to seek a justice that does not demand revenge, but rather fairness. I also considered P. C. Hodgell’s quote, “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.” This feels two antagonistic, and honestly doesn’t seem like something to live by, but again, a conditional.

While reading over on Less Wrong I found this gem,

“What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away.
And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived.
People can stand what is true,
for they are already enduring it.”
– Eugene Gendlin

That paragraph says more about honesty, courage, and what it takes win in reality than almost any other quote I have ever seen. It is something that I can live by, and something I would like to be reminded of daily. Seeing reality for what it is, and knowing what I’m already enduring, is a powerful first step for maintaining control of my life and it’s direction, It’s like a good map to chart my course with.


>So I’ve been following a whole variety of minimalist blogs, zen habits and becoming minimalist in particular have given me some inspiration. While I’ve got a long way to go I’ve been thinking about how their ideas, particularly leo’s advocation of single tasking and picking three big stones for the day intersect with my daily coping strategies.

Do one thing at a time – This has been the biggest help in managing my ADD and OCD symptoms. I have an applet on my task bar that reminds me every 10 or so minutes what I’m working on. It’s called Project-Hamster or Time Tracker, and does wonders for my distraction while I’m online. Another thing I do is block out large chunks of time to do something. If I finish early the time is mine. I can start on my next task, or just chill out. knowing what I’m working on and focusing intensely for an hour to get it finished and then move on helps me a lot.

Three Big Stones – This is huge for me on the stress management side of things. If I set a limited number of goals, which I only enter on my palm the night before or morning while I’m deciding what I’ll do. Then it’s alot easier for me to focus on getting those done. Often I’ll knock them out and work on one of my personal fun projects, like my Role-Playing Game or coding. By limiting what I have to stress about I actually get alot more done, and I feel that the quality of my work goes up immensely.

becomingminimalist’s posts tend to be far more about the value of minimalism rather than the process. They are the ones who sold me on it. Without so many things, I find I am less distracted, better able to do what I value, and most importantly I find that without so many things to do, I am less stressed and function better.

One of these days I’ll get down to my 100 things, and post the list. Until then I’ll keep reminding myself, does this add value to my life, or is it just more stuff.


>So over on The Art of Manliness there was a great post about building resiliency. I suggest you take a look.

Without resiliency we forever dwell on our setbacks instead of making progress in our lives. The hurt from our past disappointments (or even the hurt we imagine could befall us) is so debilitating that we cannot muster up the courage and desire to take chances and seize opportunities; we’re afraid of experiencing pain and embarrassment

This quote in particular got me thinking, about the opportunities I haven’t tried to seize because I was afraid. All the girls I never asked out cause I was afraid, and the scholarships I didn’t apply for. But as a counter to that I have seized some amazing opportunities, and improved myself tremendously in the past three years. I decided that I would become a teacher, no matter what, and I’ve made that happen, one hour, class, day, month, term, and year at a time. Dispite the issues I deal with, and when my OCD and TS are busy feeding my depression and anxiety issues it can be hard to remember those goals. When i look at how far I’ve come, it’s easier to look forward and stick it through these challenges, because if I don’t have resilience then all of my sacrifice and effort wasn’t worth anything. I hate to see my efforts be worthless, so I keep pushing on no matter how hard, I may need to rest at base camp and acclimate, but I’m not done til I get to the top.


>Two posts in one day, why, cause it seemed stupid to not make my intro it’s own post that I can link to directly.

My philosophy on disability can be summed up in 3 words, “Cope with it.”

What does that mean?

Well to begin with it means that I choose not to identify with my disorders, I’m not Obese(okay well clinically I still need to lose 50 lbs to not be obese, but that’s not the point), I’m not a Tourettes kid, and I’m not any things other than me. I choose to cope with something that I need to cope with, just like I have to cope when I’m out of sugar and trying to bake.

I cope with it, not against it. This means that I acknowledge that this is something I have to deal with, it’s stupid to spend all day tic suppressing when I could be having a good time, and let them out, magically that often makes them disappear in the end.

I was supposed to have something clever to say about it, but all I can come up with is that the disorder is just that it’s a disorder, it’s incurable, and it’s not malicious, it just is. My Buddhism Professor would probably say “it is in the nature of the Tourettes to be a pain in my ass” or some pseudo-wise saying like that.

This basic philosophy also carries over to my choice in management tools, I dislike the side-effects of every med I’ve ever been on enough that I manage without medication. I do self-medicate with Caffeine.

I recognize that for various reasons this philosophy may not work for everyone. I do think it’s the most sensible approach to disability I’ve seen. To many people identify with their disorders and let them control their lives. Life is to be lived, not dictated by something that you can cope with.


>Okay so largely because I think I’ve got something to say about this, and because I want to get in the habit of writing on a regular basis. I’ve decided to begin a Blog about living with Tourettes Syndrome.

Some things that you will find here. The experiences of someone who really does cope with Tourettes on a daily basis. A positive action based method of coping with Tourettes. Accurate information about Tourettes, coping with it, and whatever other things happen to be of interest to me in my life this week. At least weekly updates, likely bi-weekly Monday and Thursday. Support in coping.

Some things that you will not be finding here. Pity parties, I’ve got family members who are so into these things, all they do is paralyze you and prevent action. Dry Clinical data concerning Tourettes or any of my other issues. The real names of my friends and associates, they’ll all receive a nickname for this blog.

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