Saturday, January 9, 2016

Stimming is a New Word but Old Activity for Me

I'm reading about stimming, which drives me insane when someone writes "stemming" instead, because "stem" is not shorthand for "stimulation", but I've already gone off on a tangent haven't I? This should be fun.

Anyway, I didn't know about stimming until the age of 42, and I didn't know that fidgeting and nervous habits are the same thing as stims, once you're diagnosed. Or at least for me they are. Things I always figured were "nervous habit" I now recognize as stims after reading many blogs, forum posts, articles, books, etc.

Like, I pick. Any scab, pimple, irregularity of skin texture, is gonna get picked. I can't help it. I remember being four years old and people trying to get me to stop. I can't and won't, I need to pick. I do try not to do it in public though. Except cuticles, that's my current go-to stim and has been since 2011 or so. I've got a couple of scabs that have been on my neck and shoulder and back of the head for over a year because they don't heal because I pick. I can't help it.

I also grit my teeth and grind them and sometimes push down harder with some teeth than others in a particular order because I thought it was an invisible "nervous habit" but I guess people see it after all because my psychiatrist wrote in my diagnosis paperwork that I have several non-functional and repetitive things I do, including picking and foot tapping and teeth grinding. *sigh* so much for finding a stim that doesn't show in public. I tried.

I almost wonder if my toe-walking as a kid was a stim. I don't remember anymore why I did it. I still do it but now it's just how I walk, as if the tendon was too short or something. I dont walk on the heel at all. I've seen a video of someone walking "normally" (I find this hard to believe), where a person lifts their leg, moves it forward, sets it down ON THE HEEL, and then slowly puts the rest of the foot down until the ball of the foot is on the ground, then the heel starts to lift up OFF the ground, while the other foot moves.

This is insanity. How can anyone put their heel down and not fall over backwards? I can't do that. I use the ball of my foot to walk, and lean forward, and off I go. I don't think I look like I'm always falling and catching myself or anything. I mean I wasn't even diagnosed until I pursued it myself, and I've been evaluated for foot troubles and stuff before and never had any trouble with my gait noted, so I don't think that's real about people putting their heel down like that when they walk. I mean seriously, I want to see someone walk on their heels and not fall onto their butt. Then tell me that people really walk that way. I'm not buyin' it.

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edited to explain that for some reason I left this as a draft for several months and never published it. Maybe because it reads more like a diary than a blog but to me they're one and the same, except in an exhibitionist kind of way.

So I shall publish it now even in this somewhat unfinished form. I've spent much of this morning picking of course.. just what I do. I don't bother to try to hide it any more, or anything else that might be socially unconventional. The only way to bring about a new norm is to behave a new way. So I'm going to just be me and let the world deal with it.

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