On Being Brave

In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller chronicles his journey from apathy to outrageous purpose and joy. Per the website link above:

After writing a successful memoir, Donald Miller’s life stalled. During what should have been the height of his success, he found himself unwilling to get out of bed, avoiding responsibility, even questioning the meaning of life. But when two movie producers proposed turning his memoir into a movie, he found himself launched into a new story filled with risk, possibility, beauty, and meaning.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years chronicles Miller’s rare opportunity to edit his life into a great story, to reinvent himself so nobody shrugs their shoulders when the credits roll. Through heart-wrenching honesty and hilarious self-inspection, Donald Miller takes readers through the life that emerges when it turns from boring reality into meaningful narrative.

Miller goes from sleeping all day to riding his bike across America, from living in romantic daydreams to fearful encounters with love, from wasting his money to founding a nonprofit with a passionate cause. Guided by a host of outlandish but very real characters, Miller shows us how to get a second chance at life the first time around. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a rare celebration of the beauty of life.

In reflecting yet again on this book, I am convicted in the truth our own life stories must be full of heroes, journeys and daring adventures. Unlike the movies, however, we don’t get to sit back from the comfort of our chairs and watch the hero. We get to be the hero, and that’s something entirely different, isn’t it?

Watching the hero you get to say, “Oh, wow, that action scene was epic! The special effects were awesome, and hair stayed perfectly coiffed, even during the knife fight!”

When you are the hero, suddenly the action is much more intense. You can’t rely on a trail guide. You have to bring your blade, cut down branches, forge new paths, cross scary rivers, and go face-to-face with giants. That’s not thrilling and inspiring. It’s not invigorating. It’s terrifying.

But mamas, isn’t this what makes you a hero in your child’s life? Regardless of circumstances, you bolt out of bed every day – ready to fight dragons? Sometimes you have someone at your side. If you’re lucky, someone’s left you an old tattered map. But oftentimes, you jump into the abyss with nothing but your brain, your courage and your big beating heart.

These days, I’m feeling less than courageous. I’m not one bit terrified of the T.S. beast. I mean, not one bit. Instead, I’m feeling defeated as to the motive behind my book. As I’ve said to a few of you, I wrote this book when I was knee deep in the pain and gunk and exhaustion of battle. But I have to ask the question – Did I do it for my own healing? To pat myself on the back and say “Hey, wow, good job, Mama! You sure are raising a great kid!” or did I do it for others?

Without a doubt, this website is for you lovely ladies. It’s meant to be a love letter for other soldiers in the fight. But the book? I’m not sure.

Feedback from others has been wide and varied, but since I’m down, I’m focusing on the less than exciting. As at least 5 people who’ve read it pointed out that throughout the narrative I make it clear that Stink is fine – – that it’s me with the problem. This leads to the question, “What is the book about then? T.S.? My marriage? Coming to terms with my fears?”

I really need your response, readers. What would you most want to read in a book about T.S.? Because I’m at the point where I’m just ready to give up on it and just blog here. I might just let it be something that I wrote to get me through a time with my kid that was scary, but now that is in the past.

I’m honestly just done with the whole, “My kid has T.S.” thing. I need more, “My kid is Stink” and this is how I parent HIM. And my daughter! Hey, I have a daughter, too!

I’m starting to think this whole T.S. theme is too exhausting and that maybe God has a different plan for my writing.

Any insight would be helpful. I fully admit, now, I’m tired and a bit emotional, so I will let this digest and get to my notes next week.

Pewwww on everything today!

Love you all.


PS: My kid might need a hair cut.

it could be time for a haircut


Follow Happily Ticked Off on Facebook!

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In an effort to get people connected, you can now find posts from this site as well as other inspirational T.S. related stuff, on Facebook.

Follow me here! Feel free to write me, also, at HappilyTickedOff@Gmail.com

Talk at you soon – and can’t wait to connect.

acupuncture, Tics, Tourettes, Uncategorized

Acupuncture Video #3 – Western vs. Chinese Medicine

In my third video of a series of acupuncture pieces, Martina Eberhard discusses the difference between Chinese and Western Medicine. Hint: It’s not that one doctor’s office has Fortune Cookies. Though if one did, I would make sure yours read: “Focus on you child’s gifts today!”

Happy end of weekend.



On Why I Don’t Give a Shit

I’m just going to say it – I don’t care about stuff. I don’t care about image. And I don’t care about who likes me or doesn’t like me. I just don’t have the time for that shit.

What I care about is connection. I am curious about the world and I’m not scared to put it all on the line and ask the hard questions because, well, if you don’t like me for asking them then refer to paragraph #1: I don’t have time for that shit.

At the same time – and this is what makes me so special  🙂 – I feel this enormous weight that comes with not giving a shit, because while I don’t give a shit about the drama that goes with peoples’ opinions, I very much give a shit about the person on the inside. I don’t give a shit because I want them to like me. I give a shit because I am generally concerned (and, I’ll admit it, curious) about what makes someone wounded. I want to know why they bleed and why they laugh and what makes them scared and what makes them fearless.

And then (this part always makes the wounded person crazy) I want to TALK about it. I want to sit with them and tell them it’s going to be okay. That in facing their demons they are really admitting that they are not perfect. That they don’t have to be. I want to tell them I don’t give a shit about their insecurities and I’m certainly not going to walk on egg shells around their cuts and bruises. But I will hug them and tell them that they are not the first person to feel so alone.

And maybe I want to do this because, full disclosure, I want someone to do that for me. I want someone to tell me that all the things that crowd my brain – concern over head shakes and my new job and my family dynamics and my new dog and my husband’s new job – none of that really matters. I want them to embrace me and say, “Andrea, I’ve been there, and guess what. I don’t give a shit. But I do care about you.”

That’s all I have for you today. Even though I don’t give a shit, I love you all.


Why I Won’t Give Out Formula Info

Hi guys –

Some of you have commented or written to me that you want the same formulas Martina, Stink’s acupuncturist, is using on Stink.

The reason I’m not giving them out is because these particular formulas are based on Stink’s individual make-up:

* The color of his tongue (his is bright red which goes back to his liver)

* His pulse – different kids have different circulation issues based on their individual make-up

* His “wind” – whether he has hot or cold energy

* His particular issues – for him, lingering head shakes. The vocals are GONE

I am NOT PUSHING you to call Martina for a consultation, but I CAN tell you that she will help guide you toward someone who can help your son or daughter get their particular needs met.

Full Disclosure: Despite all of Martina’s amazing acupuncture, my son has mild to moderate head shakes still.

“Some of this has to do with the fact that Stink isn’t up to speed with his full set of formulas yet,” Martina informed me. “He had those loose stools, so we had to wait for his body to adjust to the supplements more slowly.”

She went on to add, “Remember, acupuncture is not like Western Medicine. It’s not a ‘drive thru cure’ where you take a pill and symptoms are masked. It’s a slow and steady build up towards optimum health. You must commit to the process or you’ll be disappointed.”

“Well, okay. But I want a silver bullet!!!!!” I screamed on the inside. (or maybe to her. I won’t say.) My gut is going with Martina on this though. We’re going to have to trust the process.

Questions for Martina re: how she can help your child with his/her specific issues?

What are they? Leave a message and I will have her answer them within 3 days, via the comment section or a post.

acupuncture, Tics, Tourettes, Uncategorized

Are You Ticked Off by Negative Comments?


My last post about my tic resolutions (what I can change, what I can’t, and having wisdom to know the difference) generated quite a bit of buzz over at The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome where my blog is syndicated. While many people 100% got my point of view, I got a couple pretty negative comments. I had a few reactions:

1. Wow, cool! I’m finally pissing people off! People are reading!

2. Ouch, ick. That stung. Poor me. Let me go cry to my friends on my “Twitch and Bitch” forum.

3. Logical schmodgical: What if I really am offensive?

#3 stuck to me for a variety of reasons. Let’s start a new list, shall we?

1. I’m not writing this blog just for me. I’m writing it for others. It’s my duty, as an “educator” to be sure I am communicating effectively.

2. There’s a fine line between being a narcissist and writing compelling, memoir-driven articles.

3. Most interesting realization of all: Insecure people, even among friends and family, will often skewer people they know as being narcissistic because of their preconceived views of who that person is and should be within the framework of their very own insecure lives. People have a much easier time extolling the virtues of “other” writers – you know, the ones with the pretty book jackets who end up on “The View” or “Huffington Post” – who already have stamps of approval by the public at large.

4. Referring to #3, once my book goes, said haters and cynics will suddenly tout me as being right all along. Yeah me!

5. As a Christian, I would be nothing more than a hypocrite to push any of this in their face, or respond to negativity with like. I must love them as Christ loves me, and if I can’t, enter Christ. For those in the #3 camp, this #5 statement makes me not only a narcissist but a self-righteous one at that.

6. This leaves me with #6: “If God is for me, who could be against me?’ Romans 8:31

I don’t just tout #6 as a fun inspirational flag-waving-attempting-to-accept-tics-and-not-ruffle-feathers-mama. I feel it. I care about people, but if people don’t like me, I don’t really care. It’s lovely living in this place! Come join me if you haven’t bought property yet. The neighbors are friendly, there’s lots of laughter and the wine is fabulous! (Being good on the wine, relax.)

I did write to Jeff Weber, New Jersey’s fearless web master, to be sure I wasn’t being offensive. He gave me the pass, so off I go to do what I do!

Acupuncture Update: In closing, Stink’s vocals are still gone. He was complaining of loose stools from the supplements he was on, so we backed it in half. Unfortunately, his head shakes came back full force. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Martina, his acupuncturist, believes he just needs to adjust to it slowly and the tics will go back down.

Martina Does Acupuncture Phone Consultations: Want a consultation on how to find an acupuncturist for your child in your area? Martina is available for phone consultations. She won’t recommend specific businesses, but she’ll get a sense of your child’s symptoms and then tell you what to look for in the right person, giving you specific acupuncture terms to use in narrowing down the right professional for your child’s needs.

Martina’s Consultant Fees: She charges $40/half hour, $60/hour. She’s versed in nutrition and supplements and can lead you in the right direction. Look soon for a new video of her treating Stink!

Martina’s In-Person Fees: Martina is in the L.A. area. Consult her directly for prices. Rates go down if you buy a packaged deal which, honestly, is recommended as she will want to start treatment 3 days/week and reduce as symptoms wane.

Martina’s Contact Info: You can find info on her at the link above. For quick reference, call her at 818-378-4157.  You can also look up her website or email her at Martina@YPIH@Gmail.com

Tell her Andrea from Happily Ticked Off referred you. I get absolutely no referal fee for this, but it does help her adjust her prices to you. (Pssst. I’m takign care of you!)

Check out more posts about Tourettes at the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome where this blog is syndicated.

* Picture is “Woman in a Purple Coat” by Matisse. It always inspires me to live a life of purpose, joy and love. She just looks so relaxed, yet confident. I’ll take some of that, and a back scratch. Thanks!


Happy New Year! Tic Resolutions?


Keeping this short as I’m at work. (Unless you’re my boss reading, in which case I am diligently coming up with 75 Examiner Headlines.)

How was your holiday season? How are the tics? How are you dealing with them?

One dear friend of mine from my private group keeps a Victory journal. It’s a faith-based writing memoir in which she shares her struggles and hopes for her son with God. By writing down verses and scriptures, she has an automatic go-to way to release some of her fears. I love that!

As for me, I am a pray-er and list maker. Here are my goals for dealing with Tourettes this year. Would love to hear yours.

Fantasy Goal

Not let tics bug me in the least!

Realistic Goal

Find the courage to accept the tics I cannot change, change the tics I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Vocal Tics Gone

Thanks to acupuncture, Stink’s vocal tics are gone. I mean GONE. Given how much crap he ate over Christmas, combined with video games and lack of sleep, I don’t believe this is just coincidence or part of the tic cycle. Acupuncture is the reason, so I’m grateful. (Stay tuned this week as I video tape the lovely Martina speaking on this subject!)

Still Shaky Shaky

Unfortunately, my son’s head shakes/nods are at an all time high. I mean, NON stop. (How they don’t bug him is amazing. I honestly get so drained being around it sometimes. I swear, it’s ME who needs some kind of hyno-therapy for this. Still, not depressed like I was years back. Just working on acceptance. There is hope!)

Martina thinks that the supplements will kick in after six weeks and to be patient until then. If the constant shakes don’t go away, it’s time to reconsider how much time he spends on the computer.

NOTE: I pray that he does find relief via the herbs she is prescribing, because he SOOOO loves his gaming. He is not playing all day. He plays weekends only. During vacation he plays 1 – 2 hours/day. This might seem like a lot, but as a kid, I watched TV 1 hour-2 hours/day. I also biked and ran and hung out with friends, just like Stink. We’ll have to see.

Realistic Plan for 2014 for Tic Treatment

* Gluten free unless a birthday party in which he gets pizza and cake. (Similar to me and wine. It’s all moderation.)

* Computers weekends only except 10 minutes/during week to feed some virtual plant in some game. (I know, it’s dumb)

* New sport introduced for daily exercise

* Dog for him to walk daily! (Stay tuned! He got a promise for a dog on New Year’s Day which was also his 11th birthday! Tics increase in the tween years, so I’m keeping this in mind.)

* Acupuncture 3 days/week + supplements

More Hardcore Plan if tics don’t decrease by Spring

* No 10 minute virtual plant feeding during week

* Going dairy free again

* Revisit the idea of Brain Balance now that I’m working and might be able to swing the 5K

* Consider some kind of Lens Treatment for tics

* Revisit an environmental doc to guide me on pros and cons of letting a kid be a kid (video games) and supplementing with good stuff I’m already doing

For Me

* Daily exercise

* No wine during the week

* Church on Sundays with family

* Bible Study daily (just ten minutes)

* Life Group (small groups of people thru church) to connect with once/week and remind me that my life is not based on tics but something so much greater than myself

I pray that 2014 brings you peace that transcends understanding. I pray that you (and I) remember that all kids have something. We can’t always fix the tics, but we can encourage the gifts our kids are born with. Personality trumps Tourette Syndrome. Love you all!

Check out more posts about Tourettes at the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome where this blog is syndicated.