Eyes are the window to the soul but my eyelids are the miniblinds to my anxiety disorder.

If you know me in real life you probably already know that I have a nervous tic that becomes obvious when I’m tired, drunk or dealing with anxiety (i.e. 90% of my life) but it’s way more pronounced when I’m stressed out and I often have people DM me to ask if my eyes are okay and I explain that they are but my brain is fucked up except that now apparently my eyes are also broken too because in the last few weeks they’ve been watering constantly and I have a rash on my eyelids that itches like hell and it’s getting worse so I went to my doctor and jokingly said, “I think I’m allergic to my own tears” and she was like, “Yeah, pretty much” and basically I think I just became a bad country song.

And technically it’s less of an “allergy” and more of a “reaction” but it’s still totally shitty and I would cry about it but that would just make it worse.

Anyway, I wanted to post a video of me and the cats a few days ago but my anxiety was high so my blinking tic was slightly more obvious so I tried to do another video and not have my hard blinking tic but trying not to do it makes me do it more and it was like I was playing the staring game with myself and still failing miserably.

But then today I was looking at the video again and I decided, fuck it, and I just posted the video because 1) these things we hate about ourselves are not nearly as noticeable to everyone else as they are to ourselves and 2) because cat videos are a balm in this dark world.

TL;DR – Maybe you also have some embarrassing thing that you want to hide but maybe if we all just show our brokenness together the weird bumps and tics and lumpy imperfections of our humanity will all blend together and we’ll realize that no one really gives a shit and that we just need to live our lives without fear of these tiny things that seem big but really aren’t.

Or maybe I’ll just get some very dark prescription sunglasses.

One of those.

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Writing with cats.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

Spoiler alert: He totally ate my notes.

194 thoughts on “Eyes are the window to the soul but my eyelids are the miniblinds to my anxiety disorder.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I used to pull my hair out in elementary and high school as a way of dealing with anxiety. It left a huge bald patch for months and months. People noticed. Turns out I had trichotillomania…

  2. My Kid with tourette’s Challenged my kid with autism to a staring contest. Best 2 seconds ever.

  3. What are the odds, but I just developed an eyelid rash?! I thought it was karma because I’d tried eyelash extensions that made me feel pretty until my eyelids swelled to three times their size and the colour of a perfect 80s eyeshadow magenta. Karma didn’t want me to feel pretty because then I’d want more and I can’t afford implants so maybe it’s for the best anyway. I’ve been blinking and weeping like a mofo–at least I’m in good company now.

  4. I get rashes on my eyelids too, but it’s some kind of eczema according to my dermatologist. I started using eyelid scrubbing pads and they help a ton. They get all the accumulated dirt and debris off that very thin and sensitive skin that is prone to irritation from makeup, allergens, etc.

  5. Jenny, you have great feline support from your gatos, Ferris and Hunter are probably THE best as sensing you are going through rough patch. I noticed Hunter not leaving your arms but that’s probably because he was trying to comfort you. Your cats are giving you anxiety “lovies”…..

  6. I had a tic in junior high. My head twitched up and to the left. This made it harder for me to study, but also for the people sitting behind me. My doctor prescribed Valium, which suppressed the tic but did no good for my undiagnosed bipolar.

  7. As Sue said, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would not have noticed. And you are so patient with your cats. I adore mine, but they know my ex-military voice sometimes. Bless their furry hearts and bless you Jenny for showing everyone it’s okay to be yourself, imperfections and all.

  8. I love you and I love your beasts. My eye watering story involves my optometrist telling me that my moisturizer was oozing into my eyes. She says anything you put on your forehead is at your chin by the end of the day so by extension, not to moisturize above my eyes. She didn’t tell me I might have any allergies to myself, but that would have been interesting, too.

  9. Great video. Cats can be such assholes. That’s what makes them…uh, fun – right? The blinking, maybe slightly more than normal but not nearly as bad as you think it is. We had a friend come over to visit who had been fitted with contact lenses just a couple of hours before (this was back when only the hard lenses were available). Now, HE was blinking like crazy. He was a childhood friend of my husband’s and this was the first time I’d met him so I didn’t know quite what to think. Compared to that, your blinking is perfectly normal. Trust me. Hmmm…come to think of it, he drove himself over. I don’t know how he managed without getting into an accident.

  10. I have tics too, and I hate them. I can totally relate. I tell myself all the time that they shouldn’t bother me, but they do. Thanks for writing this post about yours! It helps to know we’re not alone!

  11. Clearly Hunter is in it for the smooches and hugs. ALWAYS. (and I wouldn’t have noticed extra blinking either if you hadn’t said something)

  12. All I ever noticed was how loving and funny you are. Don’t ever stop.
    And Elizabeth Quant, I will never get that image out of my head. Hilarious.
    My mom had terrible lupus and never let anything stop her. You remind me of her.

  13. Glad you posted the video…and you’re right, I wouldn’t have noticed anything amiss with your eyes if you hadn’t written about it. Thanks for making those of us who have A LOT of brokenness feel less alone through this craziness of life!

  14. I just assumed you were “luridly winking” at everyone, just like your grandfather. Dark glasses it is!

  15. Agreed. No one notices the things we are most sensitive about. Except they notice mine. Maybe I should stop wearing the shirt that says “I gained 30lbs since the 22016 election” maybe.

  16. Never would have noticed. Write away, lady. And I am HUNGRY for Booksgiving, can’t wait!!!!!

  17. Palsy runs in my family, and now at 40 my hands shake subtly, but noticeably, at almost all times. I am massively overaware of this and try to hide it. Nobody seems to care but me, but it bothers me. You are not alone, miss lady.

  18. I get the same tic but only in one eye. The amount of times I have to explain “I’m not winking at you” is absurd. It’s super annoying when I have to lead a meeting with new clients. Anxiety is through the roof so the winking is rapid. Awwwwwwwwwkward. Sometimes it’s less of a wink and more of a very rapid pulsing/spasm and I’m not sure which is worse! All this to say, thanks for sharing! You make everyone feel less alone! <3

  19. Cat videos are the best balm. Who cares if your eyelid may or may not be blinking? I cry all the time. When I laugh, I cry, when I yawn, I cry, when I’m trying to tell a joke, I cry, when I eat too fast, I cry. If I had a reaction to every time years fell out of my eyes, my face would be one rashy lump. I’m actually impressed that you have a reaction to your own tears. That is so totally, uniquely you.

  20. I agree with everyone else who said you can’t even really notice it unless you know to look for it. I’m totally guilty of it myself. I can have my face two inches away from the bathroom mirror, upset about a new wrinkle or a new zit (thanks perimenopause!) and when I ask my husband to look at it and confirm that I am now a hideous monster, he squints and says, “I see literally nothing. Nothing.” 🙂

    Of course, he could also just be a really smart husband and knows better than to point out wrinkles and zits!

  21. I have something similar. When I cry my tears sting my eyes and make my eyelids swell for a day or two. Not very comfortable, but Advil helps.
    I also get a muscle twitch in random areas of my face when I have high anxiety.
    ie. eyelid, muscle beside mouth, eyebrow, etc.

  22. I don’t think I’d have noticed if not looking for the blinking. I know several people with this tic, so it just seems “normal” to me. Also, cats, dogs, and fur + bright screens — the blinking seems even more normal!

    I don’t think of myself as a person with anxiety — I don’t have panic attacks — but my cuticles tell a more nuanced story! Can’t stop picking them. Ever. Meeting new clients; eating at a fancy restaurant; just watching TV. It’s constant.

    I know it’s gross. I have to periodically brush away the little piles of dead skin I’ve torn off — and am acutely aware of how disgusting that is when I’m someone else’s home or office or seated at a restaurant. And that’s not to mention the cuticles I bite off and eat! Right in front of people! Looking them right in the eye as they’re talking and I’m tearing and chewing…(hahahahaha–what a weirdo! I always wonder if people notice and what they think, but after typing it out, I’m thinking maybe it’s a good way to keep folks at arms’ length….hahahaha)

    So….I guess I’m saying: at least blinking isn’t icky…and if it freaks people out, maybe it’s a great self-defense mechanism for warding off certain folks…

    ; )

  23. And Hunter just wants to be held. It’s incredible that you get ANYTHING accomplished. 🙂

  24. I love how Hunter S. is busy hiding in your armpit, like “Ferris dude! At least do your shenanigans ON CAMERA!!! Sheesh, good help is so hard to find!”.

  25. Not nearly as noticeable as you think. Re: the rash, please pray you’re not allergic to cats all of a sudden. And I’m currently trying to figure out why my lips are burning, peeling and just generally falling off for the last month. Shit happens…

  26. My 80 plus year old dad washes his eyelids with a special soap because he has dandruff in his eyelashes and it irritates his eyes. It’s always something!

  27. I didn’t even notice a tic. Just beautiful kitties!

    I have tics, too. I scratch my scalp until it bleeds. I rub my nose. I scratch at my skin. Just because you’re broken doesn’t mean you’re not still magical, right?

  28. The way you talk to Ferris sounds a LOT like how I talk to one of my cats, Mr. Tony Underfoot. He GOT that name because he is constantly under my feet, trying to make me trip, fall flat on my face and smash my giant honker of a nose which would only make it even less attractive than it already is. It’s not a nose. It’s a bloody ski slope.

  29. I wouldn’t even have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it and made me look!

  30. So my husband has this exact nervous tic (along with others) due to his anxiety and it’s so amazing to see someone who is also awesome doing it. Thank you. Also, I work from home and have had to figure out how to do so much typing one handed thanks to my dog. I’m getting pretty fast, lol.

  31. I have strabismus. Basically my eyes are not straight. One or the other (thank goodness not both at the same time) is a bit off center. Like you, it gets worse if I’m tired/drunk/stressed.

    Watching people turn around and try to figure out what I’m looking at is SUUUUPER fun. Oh well. Fuck it.
    Honestly, I wouldn’t have noticed the blinking and if I had I would have thought you had something in your eye.

  32. Not to worry Jenny! I have all kinds of issues and one of them includes constant tearing! Drives me nuts some days but it’s just one more friggin thing to thank my PTSD for! BTW – don’t mop up your eyes with tissues: I have a batch of soft cloths I carry around because at the end of the day the skin around the eyes can get pretty red and sore from wiping away excess tears all day!

  33. Seriously, check to go on Doxycycline that they give kids for acne. They give it for Rosacea, too. I had your exact symptoms (minus the tick) and the med works GREAT. I do take a low dose daily. When it goes away, I stop the med, but it usually comes back again in 6 to 8 weeks, like grey roots! Oh well, hope you can see if it helps you!

  34. Isn’t blinking one of the ways cats say “I love/trust you” to each other? (It’s one of my go-to moves for making friends with shy cats.) I thought you were just giving Ferris an “I love you but don’t make me come over there” blink.

  35. In addition to the dry eye issues I’ve battled for years, I’ve now added extreme eyelid itching. No diagnosis has been made by either eye or skin doctor, no attempted solutions have worked. My eyelids are excruciatingly itchy in the inner corner and along the lash lines. I cannot stop rubbing and scratching at them. Mascara ads make me want to punch someone, because I’d so rather be worried about thin lashes than trying not to scratch my own eyes out. I also have an eye phobia, to make this whole picture complete.

  36. Honestly I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out. But about the rash, I suddenly developed one too & it tuned out to be a reaction to nail polish! Which I didn’t want to believe because I didn’t think I touched my eyes that much and plus I like having painted nails. But sure enough I remove the nail polish on the rash went away. Painted my nails in the rest came back.

  37. Geez mom, he just wanted a snack that was high in fiber!!! I love you and your cats, maybe I’m weird too ’cause I didn’t notice the eye thing…

  38. If you hadn’t pointed it out ahead of time, I would have just thought it was a thing you did when you yelled at cats or kids or whatever. They make me flinch, too. 🙂

  39. I’m with the group that wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it. I’ve got a couple of things that show up when my anxiety and panic sets in: trichotillomania where I pull out my eyelashes, eyebrows, and arm hair (my family knows when I’m off just from seeing the lack of hair); an obnoxious twitch in one of my eyelids (usually when I’m attempting to talk to someone face-to-face); and hand tremors (runs in the family, yet the doctors say it’s nothing).

    You’re blog and followers always make me feel much better knowing that there are others out in the world with issues too. Depression and anxiety makes it hard to remember that, so thank you for always being you.

  40. Would not have noticed if you hadn’t said anything. I have a tabby cat that looks like Hunter…and he loves to cuddle not matter what I am doing. Makes crosstitching fun!!

  41. 🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽 says:

    Thank you for opening up to us. I have many embarrassing times.
    My face turns red and I sweat a lot when I exert myself.
    I get the feeling I’m not getting enough oxygen and take deep breaths intermittently.
    I often exhale in a sigh without realizing it.
    I have a lot of aches and pains so I bring a folding stool to rest on many times throughout my shopping trips.
    All these things tend to make people around me concerned, and I hate standing out in these ways.
    I’m obese and have diabetes II which has caused me to grow a hundred tiny skin tags on my neck. My neck also has darker pigment around it, so it looks like I don’t wash it.
    I stay home most of the time because it’s just easier, but it makes me sad.

  42. Dang it! I know the difference between your and you’re….that’s what I get for my other anxiety issue: writing and rewriting everything because I’m worried about what people will think. 🙁

  43. I angered my face with new skincare products months ago, triggering eczema that’s now just become a fun new way for my body to troll me. Stressed, use anything but the blandest skincare, whatever, my face gets red, flakey, bumpy patches. At least it chose to make the skin around both eyes red and swollen and scaly the day I was seeing the ophthalmologist. The way he and his nurse reacted made clear that skin acting up happens a lot to lots of people- they had a shorthand for discussing the prescription. It helped, and I can use it on the other patches on my face. Oh, and for you and anyone else dealing with their skin being a reactive troll, REN’s line for sensitive skin is really good. Sephora has a trial set that lasts long enough to settle a bad flare (like a few weeks). It helps it stop feeling like a bad sunburn you scrubbed with a Brillo pad.

    And cats are the best. I’m deep in a daily migraine cluster, and my cat Nick rarely leaves my side. He’ll sleep wrapped around my head, purring, which actually does help the headache.

  44. Things like scars and tics and idiosyncrasies are what make a person an interesting work of art instead of a boring blank canvas.

  45. My cat Rutherford tried to eat my laptop while I tried to work this morning. I get it I totally understand cats man cats 🙄

  46. If you hadn’t mentioned it, I would never have noticed. I have a spot under my eye that throbs when I’m stressed. I also do this weird thing with my jaw sometimes. It’s tardive dyskinesia from one of my past medications. Thanks for posting. It helps people like me who are also dealing with these issues.

  47. So I don’t have my little tic happen often, as a result I also don’t really know what to do to prevent it since I haven’t figured out why it happens. But! When I got married almost exactly 7 years ago (not married anymore) I was super nervous because I hate being the center of attention and hadn’t actually figured out how overwhelming a wedding would be. Right before I walked down the aisle, my cheek, just below my eye, started twitching. And not just an annoying but not noticeable twitch, the best man told me later that he was worried I was having some sort of medical issue. Luckily no one in the seats seemed to notice because we were facing away most of the time and it stopped by the time the reception started but good lord was I worried about having fucked up pictures because of it.

    Love you Jenny and love that you’re willing to share these types of things. I’ve had times when my eyes have watered a ton and wasn’t able to touch them for like a month while they healed. No makeup, no wiping away stray tears from irritation, no wiping away stuff in the corner of your eye after waking up, it was awful.

  48. You are stinking adorable! And I also have a weird rash on my eyes but it’s under and not on the lid. Burns and itches like a mother! I am waiting to hear back from my doctor on it. 🙁

  49. My allergies to myself means that a) I can’t wear contacts any more, because after about 9 hours, my eyes swell up and I couldn’t focus if I tried, b) I pretty much have to wash my clothes after every wear, or I break out in hives (well, really, it’s usually just one hive that’s very itchy and annoying and in a different location every time), and c) have been passed down to my child in the form of folliculitis, so yay for her. She just gets non-irritating red bumps all over her chest. Can’t my immune system…go read a book or something and stop annoying me?

  50. Yup, totally wouldn’t have noticed.
    I have been picking at the dry skin on my thumbs since I was really little. I don’t know why! Sometimes it bleeds so much that I get the blood on my clothes. It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even know half of the time that I’m doing it. I’ll just be watching TV and the look down and my thumb is a bloody stumpy mess. I saw an online course to make it stop, but it was a bit spendy. I’ll just spend my money on Band-aids, thankyouverymuch.

  51. I blink exactly like that in very particular social situations – when I’ve met people often enough that I should be able to remember their names and our past conversations, but not often enough to feel comfortable with them. The more stressed I am about NOT knowing their names or what we’ve talked about in the past, the more I blink.

  52. I currently have td (Tardive Dyskinesia) which causes my jaw to involutarily wriggle back and forth. It’s caused by a medication and is ironicly treated with another medication. (of course, right) While at an ear nose and throat appt the Dr asked me to stop chewing my gum so he could check my jaw. I had to tell him I have td and that I was NOT chewing gum. Even some Dr can be oblivious some times.

  53. Parkinson’s has my eyes doing that all the time. I get botox shots in my eyelids but that causes its own problems. I think you’re adorable no matter what! I hope it stops itching!

  54. My daughter used to do the same thing in the 4th grade! Looked exactly the same, and got worse with stress. We changed meds and it stopped for her. Love your feline co-writers!

  55. Jenny, thank you for being real!! Your post made my smile, a sad smile because you second guessed posting it. But I am so thankful you did! We live in a society that puts so much pressure on women to be golden,perfect Barbie dolls. Real life isnt always the way we want it to be. Our bodies sometimes betray us and our hair is hardly ever perfect! Keep being your wonderful self and sharing. You’re an inspiration to the women in my family. Sending you love!

  56. I don’t have tics but I’m a scratcher. So I break out and then look like a zombie from the scabs. It’s pretty effing attractive.

  57. Well I’ve never noticed anything about your eyes until you mentioned it. But then again, I also have a couple of tics – one being my eye. But it’s only one eye, and people always think I’m flirting with them because it looks like I’m winking. I think because eye tics are common, I tend to NOT notice it. But then I look like a rabbit twitching my nose because of my ridiculous nasal allergies which make my nose constantly itch.

  58. I have a limp because bad back injury + nerve damage = limping which I wouldn’t mind so much except some Irish person decided to write a poem about it and now I think about it every time I have to walk in public which is all the fucking time.

    May those who love us, love us;
    And for those who don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts;
    And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
    May He turn their ankles,
    So we will know them by their limping!

    See?! 🙄

  59. I didn’t even notice the tic until you mentioned it! I was focused on the cats.

  60. I love this post! I’ve got a crooked nose from a never set brake and a neck tick that I try to hide by moving my jaw. But whatever! Right! My brain space is much better served not caring what other people think about my imperfections, they may not even notice them

  61. For years I had HUGE flakey what-I-thought-was-dandruff. Like chunks two and three millimeters long would fall out of my hair. Head and Shoulders did nothing, special shampoo did nothing, washing more often, washing less often, NOTHING. Had it all through high school, and helpful classmates would be like ‘there’s something in your hair’ and I just wanted to crawl under a stump and die.

    Turns out it wasn’t dandruff. I was having a continuous allergic reaction to eating wheat which we didn’t know I was allergic to until I had ALL THE HIVES ON EVERYTHING and got an allergy test. Also, my lips puffing up like bad botox said something was up.

    So I stopped eating wheat, and it was like magic. The hives went away! My lips stopped swelling! My hair no longer dropped huge chunks of gross! So now I just take advantage of gluten free being a thing and live pretty much normally. 🙂

  62. I have 2 little oranges that always want to “help” me when I quilt. Started when they were tiny rescues being bottle-fed, & 2 years later are still supervising. I carefully lay out bits & pieces, they leap on & scatter stuff. Good times!

  63. I’m allergic to my own tears too. When I had to wear hard control lenses my eyes got really screwed up. It gets worse though because I’m allergic to my own blood. I had blood stored for a surgery and when they put it back in me I reacted to it. Go figure. I love your video with your cats and your blog always entertains me. Thank you and I hope your eyes get better soon.

  64. As others have commented, you’re just communicating with your cats by blinking. Supposedly, if you look your cat in the eye and blink, you are establishing dominance. Didn’t work for me either.

  65. I have rosacea, which makes me look awful, all the time, imo. When I get stressed (ha ha when wouldn’t that be?) I have a tic in my left eye which jumps. I have occasional stress related hives, too. I also have a lot of health problems which make it hard to walk and now I’m having a problem with my arms, too, so I can’t even pull up my blankets at night. Fun times. 😀

  66. People……….people make me nervous. And when I’m nervous I tend to ‘blether on’ (as my Scottish Grannie would say) or do other ridiculous things. Yesterday I drove my husband to work; one of his staff yelled jokingly for me to get in the office and get to work. And I…………flipped him the bird. Jokingly! But my horrified husband…………..well, sigh, he wasn’t too happy with me. And….. oh gawd, there’s the staff xmas party in a month (sigh) – park me in the corner with a bottle of wine.

  67. Like others, I never would have noticed your tic if you hadn’t mentioned it. I’m glad you decided to share the video of you and your cats anyhow.

    I’m self-conscious about my rosacea, a skin condition which sometimes makes my nose and cheeks so red that I feel like Rudolph the Reindeer on a foggy Christmas Eve. And I just know that some people see my consistently reddened face and think I’m an alcoholic.

  68.         Where did all your words go?  I suddenly can't see your posts, only the titles, and the comments.       

    (That’s weird. I have heard anyone else have that problem. Does it happen in a specific browser? ~ Jenny)

  69. Lamictal causes me to have nystagmus, which no one notices until I tell them about it, but anxiety makes it worse (because of COURSE it does) and if I ever have to take a lie detector test, I’m doomed because I’ll be nervous as fuck just because of the test and whatever they ask me, no matter what I say, they’ll think I’m lying because my eyes will jog and it’s a dead give-away. I spend real, actual time worrying about this eventuality.

  70. I only noticed because you pointed it out, otherwise? I wouldn’t have. And my attention was quickly diverted to ‘life with cats’ as I would call it. “Don’t eat that!” Which was fantastic.

  71. As an older person who got too much sun when I was younger, I now have an age spot with a darker mole in the middle. If I don’t try to cover it with make up (which I hate to do) people are constantly telling me I have dirt on my face. I think it’s more embarrassing for the person telling me than for me (after I explain it’s not dirt) and it’s something I guess I just have to live with.

  72. I watched the video via Twitter before I read this post and didn’t notice anything unusual. Then, after reading the post, I watched it again. To me, it’s a tic only if you blink ONE eye. If you blink BOTH eyes, you’re merely blinking a lot. I’m very sorry your eyes are bothering you, but don’t worry about also having a tic. By Sherry’s Laws, you don’t.

  73. First of all, you are adorable. I am a rapid blinker and people often comment on my strobe light-like blinking. Secondly, how do you get your cat to just hang out with you like that? Beans (Admiral Navy Beans, the cat with the bunny tail) lets me carry him around but he won’t sit and snuggle. He only lets me carry him because he thinks I’m bringing him to the treats so he’ll love me. And, he’s right.

  74. Did not notice your tic. I make my mouth move very strangely when concentrating on some activities. I used to smuggly laugh about my gtandfather when he used to do the same. Pay back’s a bitch.

  75. I’ve always rocked my head when I walked, especially when there’s a song in my head, which there usually is. My husband whisper talks to himself while he walks around. Neither of us has ever acknowledged that we’ve noticed the other person’s thing – we’re just weirdos together, going on a decade now.

  76. Hand on heart, I thought you had figured out a way to communicate with the cats and I seriously thought, next time we foster I’m trying that.

    My husband and I loved watching the snuggly kitty. This is a great video. You’re perfect.

  77. First, I couldn’t tell. Second, and far more importantly, you are so right! People don’t notice the things we obsess about and even if they do, who cares? There ain’t none of us perfect, whatever standard you’re using, so just be the perfect you – struggling through YOUR life. People who love you will love you. You don’t need to worry about the others; they simply don’t matter. And we all love you, Jenny.

  78. I’m a fellow Texan, and throughout the year I do the blinky because pollen. Because SO. MUCH. POLLEN. And my eyes look way worse than yours. Bottom line: we NEVER see ourselves the way others see us, neither inwardly nor outwardly. I saw a gorgeous gal with two ridiculous cats (sorry, dog person here, cats are ridiculous), and possibly suffering from my same pollen problems. Because SO. MUCH. POLLEN.

  79. I watched this video several times on IG (because cats) and never noticed the blinking. It wasn’t until I read this post and rewatched the video that I even noticed you blinking at all. I wouldn’t have thought it was a tic either, just blinking. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Good reminder that what we notice/are sensitive/hyper self conscious about isn’t noticed or interpreted by others in the same way.

  80. I have the same problem! I get an itchy puffy eyelid and the inside of my arm it’s like eczema but it’s not. It coincides with my stress level. Once it was so bad, my whole body had itching everywhere. All nervous system related. Sorry you have this, but I’m glad I’m not alone in this weird reaction to anxiety

  81. Can I admit I was too busy aww-ing at the very sleepy snuggly kitty to notice 🙂
    I have skin tags on my eyelids and feel incredibly self conscious about them. I am always surprised no one notices, but they just don’t… and I still can’t stop thinking about it. We are weirdly normal!

  82. I’m unable to even be near cats because my allergy is so awful. I adore their awesomeness from afar. Too close and my eyes swell to 3 times then shut, I get hives everywhere then my nose and throat do their swelling shut thing, my joints go next but by then I can’t breathe or see, there isn’t enough calamine to bathe in, so who cares if I walk like the Pillsbury doughboy! But yes, I love cats…on the internet.

  83. I love how Hunter is all “See, I’m the good kitty!” So sorry about your eyes! My uncle blinks a lot and I just always thought it was a tick. Thank you for being brave in your honesty! <3 <3 <3

  84. As a little kid I chewed zillions of tiny holes in the cuffs and neck of my sweatshirts at school. Anxious much? lol. Best part, literally not one teacher/parent/etc. every commented on the fact I was basically acting like a deranged chipmunk in public. oh, what people must have thought……

  85. I have eye issues too, but mine usually get all red and swollen and have the rash on my eyelids, and usually nothing really helps them.

  86. Just tell people it’s the holy spirit. Hey maybe it is. Who knows.

    When I saw you with the kitten this week I was like is she trying to up the difficulty level? I think you need to put one if those ridiculous cat towers surrounding the desk so they can sit next to your face.

  87. Post the real life shit!
    We are all conditioned to believe who we are needs hiding, modification, or explaining.
    I call bullshit!
    There are filters on every frigging social media site/app/what-have-you and it only serves to feed insecurities. Who benefits from these insecurities? Who seeks to gain from this?

    Feeling shit breeds anxiety and illness.

    You know what makes us happy? Being our true selves.
    You know what I love most about people? That they are NOT THE SAME.

    Embrace and protect our differences, and those of others; the things that make us “US”.
    F*ck conformity. Mindless zombies all looking and acting the same. Bah! We are not sheep. We cannot and WILL NOT be controlled.

    Venting complete.

  88. I know you hate folks being ‘helpful’ regarding your health issues. I’m a nurse, so it is a compulsion for which I apologize. Please check to make sure the tic is not tardive dyskinesia if you have not already. That is all. Also crying in your beer something something beer goggles something country song.

  89. Honestly the only thing I noticed was the cats, especially the one apparently asleep on your lap. I have an eye twitch under the same circumstances you described and when that happens I have a bad habit of putting my finger on it to try and make it stop. The problem is I do that in public and then I become convinced people think I’m trying to stab myself in my own eye – which I actually am when it comes right down to it. Sigh.

  90. Also look into dry eye. That might be the trigger that sets off the tic. Eye drops are so soothing!

  91. I know so many people with this same tic. You’re beautiful inside and out.

  92. Both of my hands involuntarily twitch fairly regularly, and it’s a recent thing. My neurologist isn’t concerned about it, so that’s good. I have Hashimoto’s disease, and the twitching could be due to that. My eyes twitch occasionally too, and I have neuropathy in my right leg and foot and in both hands. Plus I have depression and mild bipolar 2 disorder, and fibromyalgia.

    I’m used to being broken, and it’s much easier to get through each day than it was even a few months ago. But there are several days per month that I’m in a lot of pain. I know people who are much worse off than me, so I’m grateful that my chronic illnesses aren’t worse.

  93. I have this same tic (and a few others). I get self conscious and embarrassed about it but it turns out most people don’t even notice (knowing this doesn’t keep me from getting self conscious and embarrassed, it turns out). It’s comforting to see someone else with it and see how barely noticeable it actually is, even when I’m looking for it. Thank you for sharing this.

  94. I have this same tic (and a few others). I get self conscious and embarrassed about it but it turns out most people don’t even notice (knowing this doesn’t keep me from getting self conscious and embarrassed, it turns out). It’s comforting to see someone else with it and see how barely noticeable it actually is, even when I’m looking for it. Thank you for sharing this.

  95. Can you make like some meditation recordings or something? Your voice is so soothing and calm! (Even when you’re trying to tell your pet “omg no DON’T EAT THAT.”) I expect they’d be oddball and I am totally okay with and in support of that. <3

    Stay awesome!

  96. After reading your books and posts and tweets I figured it was you being you. BTW, when I think too fast I start to stutter or mispronounce words. People wonder why I don’t talk in crowds or around strangers, that is why.

  97. Like you said, these things are always more obvious to ourselves than they are to anyone else. My eyes are slightly uneven and when I am taking photos I instinctively tilt my head slightly to try to compensate… I have never had anyone comment on it or ask about it, but when I look at photos of myself, it is always the first thing I see. (I had a facial injury when I was younger that was not addressed properly and it resulted in one of my eyes looking a bit wonky.)

  98. Mine isn’t an action but the size of my eyes. People always comment on them some like them and some call me bug eyed, my mother unfortunately told me the bug eyed part so now I’m more self conscious about them. I got in trouble alot when I was younger for rolling my eyes at teachers because while I think I move my eyes and I guess it looks like eye rolling. When I got excited my eyes pop out more I guess and when I shiver it looks like they roll back in my head and all you see is white. Lastly they also change colors so I never know my eye color and sound like an idiot when people ask as well as they can change independently of each other. All in all not a huge thing but something i get self conscious about and can’t do anything about.

  99. I have something similar, but to add insult to injury, the eyelid dryness has spread. Now I have a dry patch under my right eye to go with my under eye circles. Crying definitely makes it worse and I’ve been doing a lot of that this week.

  100. I have an eye tic too – only instead of just blinking I look like I’m winking. Totally embarrassing with strangers!!

  101. I love this video— speaking so politely to a vicious paper eating cat!!! I have one too. She’s 4 llbs. A munchkin. And mauls the edges of every SINGLE piece of paper. And she still gets called “baby” “little girl” etc. Its just wrong!

  102. My nine yo has a tic where his eyes dart up and to the left when he’s struggling. He’s learned to close his eyes…but it’s still noticeable. Honestly, I think his tic is helpful as it helps the adults in his life remember he has specific struggles and he’s not just being an asshole. He gets in trouble a lot at school as he often seems like a jerk even though being a dick is not his motivation. Intent doesn’t get you a good citizenship grade though or any empathy. 🙁

  103. I have to admit – I was watching the cats and Dottie and your reactions to them. I noticed your skin is clear and looks good and your clothes always look sharp, but I didn’t notice an eye tic. If I had, I probably would have thought it part of your reaction to the cats!

  104. I saw your video on Instagram first, saw the comment about you writing about this today and immediately rushed over. I have the same tic under the same circumstances. I also didn’t know for the longest time that it was because of anxiety. My parents thought I could control it and would try to get me to stop as a kid but that just made my anxiety even worse and I would end up in a hard blinking spiral. It’s weirdly nice to see someone with the same thing, so seriously thank you for posting about this today. It really makes me feel like I’m not alone in this.

  105. You are so right Jenny. Viva la tic, snort, wart and blemish!!!! We all have the power to reject shame. Hello world, here is the real me.

  106. I blush when I have to talk to people, I can actually feel my face get red it basically makes job interviews or public speaking a nightmare.

  107. Me too, Jenny. It can be extremely embarrassing and even talking about it can make them worse!! Definitely lack of sleep and stress makes them worse for me. And caffeine. You are so damn cool for opening up conversation and just saying eff it, here I am. It’s not easy. Definitely one of those things we try and keep a secret. I notice anytime anyone else has a tic and I want to put my head on their shoulder and exhale, like Hi Homey. I understand the struggle and I know how exhausted they may feel at that moment. Thanks for opening up once again.

  108. Okay, first of all, I am not a cat person but omg your kitty hugging you and staying in your arms and then nuzzling his head in to you was soooo cute! Secondly, some things I am self-conscious about with my appearance are acne! I am 33 years old and have seen so many doctors and if anything works, it doesn’t last long. Many times I have hidden in my house because of it. Also, my breasts are uneven and I am painfully self-conscious of it. One is like twice the size of the other but I don’t want to get surgery so I try to live with it. But I don’t wear anything low cut or bikinis because I think it is even more noticeable and I hate that. I don’t like to tell people these things because I think it will just draw their attention to it more and it makes me feel even more self-conscious, small, and vulnerable.
    Thanks for sharing yours <3

  109. Eyes being the window to the soul makes me remember a song that was sung on an episode of ‘QI,’ but which was originally made in 1936 and was considered shockingly in poor taste for the time, ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows,’ which is absolutely hilarious to think about now! Lyrics like,
    ‘The blushin’ bride, she looks divine
    The bridegroom he is doin’ fine
    I’d rather have his job than mine
    When I’m cleanin’ windows’
    So, there’s something for you to think about when you next notice your tic!

  110. I entirely feel your grief! I have essential tremors in my heads and hands. I was seeing my neurologist about them and was telling him about how reading was getting difficult. So he looked at them and said “Your eyes are shaking as well”!!! Double whammy! My mother had them and her head shook badly. Dad would holler at her to stop which of course increased her anxiety and she shook worse.

  111. Your scolding at Ferris is so gentle and sweet. Very soothing!
    I can think of lots of things to feel self conscious about but I gave that up in my 40s. I know that I’m pretty plain but I have occasional moments of energy and charm and I just have to enjoy those.

  112. You are such a loving and beautiful cat care giver. I applaud you for showing us your imperfection but it’s in those qualities about us that make us human and frankly just badass.

    Similarly, I recently was a guest on a video podcast with a marriage counselor and relationship writer, and I was pretty nervous about doing it. I am a hard introvert with a soft spoken voice and my voice tends to shake whenever I’m not completely relaxed or comfortable.

    All things considered, I think it went well although I did stammer once or twice, but screw it, I’ll be posting it anyway. The video hasn’t been uploaded yet but I’ll post it when it’s up.

    It takes a bit of courage to show our imperfections and insecurities to the internet world, but it’s important that we continue to have that courage and audacity. Besides, those worth our time and attention won’t be judging anyway.

  113. Having your furchildren help can be more work than not, but they love you and they do want to help. And your tic is a gentle one, and hardly noticeable and we are all sad it’s making your eyes itch. I only wish we could all take just a tiny percent of your discomfort on for you – you are loved, Jenny Lawson! There are few who can share the joy you do, and if our sharing that makes even a small difference, we will keep telling you.

  114. I didn’t notice your eyes, your voice on the other hand is so soothing it settled my anxiety. You and those cats need an asmr channel on YouTube.

  115. I just feel totally embarrassed of myself in general right now. I was a college professor, now I’m working a crappy job (moved across country to be closer to aging relatives). I’m feeling pretty much like a failure, especially when people ask what I do now. (Sometimes, I just say ‘adjunct college instructor,’ which I do part-time). The funny thing is that my child has never been happier, being so close to family.

    Sorry for the tangent; I try to keep the faith that it’ll all be ok.

    I think what you were self-conscious about, Jenny, people either didn’t notice or found endearing. I guess it’s kind of funny how we can find kindness where we don’t expect it.

  116. I’ve got a nervous tic, too, but it’s not an eye tic. I do this thing with my hands, like brushing them really fast against each other. People will often point it out after being around me for a bit, like, “What’s up with your hands?” The best way I can describe it is how you would brush your hands off after petting a cat. A quick rub against each other. But depending on how anxious I am, it could go anywhere from just a second to nearly half a minute, but when it gets that bad it’s usually a sign that something else is going on.

  117. I like your tic. It is kindly and sweet. Unlike mine that makes me look like a ravenous, yawning hippo.

  118. I don’t have a tic, but I have MS and mine comes with muscle twitches. Sometimes my hand or my leg will twitch sort of like when the Dr checks your reflexes. It’s fine when I’m home, but in public it kind of sucks.
    A few months ago, I accidentally smacked a lady on the butt because my hand jerked on it’s own. That’s not as bad as the time I kicked my friend’s 3 year old daughter when she walked in front of me while I was on the couch. That was a hard one to get past.

  119. After reading everything you write that I can get my hands on, it was so wonderful to see what you look like and hear what a soft, gentle voice you have. I, too, struggle with The Demons in my soul. You have saved many a day for me reminding me I am not alone. The tic? Not to worry. I stutter when anxious, to the point of being totally unable to communicate. Can’t even write, I shake so badly. But it passes. And this will for you, dear Jenny. Those of us who have to fight life so hard understand your struggles, and love you for continuing to speak out for those of us that can’t. Warm hugs to you…….

  120. One of my aunts has this same tic, and honestly nobody cares. And my family can be VICIOUS. It’s definitely not as bad as you think.

  121. I get twitchy eye lids when my anxiety is high and constant. They just added a new med to my regime. I am on 1/2 a dose and only taken it the past two days and man…. This too shall pass.

  122. You know, Jenny. We’d love you whether your eyes were doing the meringue! Thanks for sharing.

  123. I watched this video on IG before reading this post and I didn’t notice a single thing out of the ordinary, and so I watched it again but payed extra attention to your eyes this time and it’s still barely worth noting. It just looks like regular blinking. 💜

  124. Someone else may have already said this, but it’s very possible you’re allergic to your makeup. I know, Wah, Wah! I used to wear Revlon, rimmel, covergirl, etc. My eyes itched when I wore regular makeup but I thought nothing of it until one time my eyes became so irritated and swollen I looked like I got stung by bees and the skin around my eyes literally peeled off like I was burned.

    Over the years I have found these are some of the best hypoallergenic sensitive skin makeup brands: physicians formula, tarte, Clinique and bare minerals. I know those last three are more expensive than the drug store stuff, but personally I can rely on those to not make my skin go crazy and I can always rely on those to perform great-never ever a waste of money. Almay foundations are terrible (made me orange). Neutrogena is ok, but the eyeshadows and liners are blah colors- they don’t carry fun colors. I like to play a lot with when it comes to makeup. Those brands I listed can be found at Ulta and planet beauty-planet beauty has outlets, you might have one near you! Also for a hypoallergenic makeup remover try Neutrogena makeup remover wipes, and you might want to swap out your face wash for something more gentle for your skin. Hope this helps!!

  125. Jenny,
    I’m a non-cat owning, minivan driving, heterosexual father of three and I’ve been secretly reading your blog for a few months now. Your ability to be authentic, honest, vulnerable, and weird and is inspiring. Keep being you and best of luck with the eye.

  126. I have a super shiney eye lid from all the vasaline I have to put on the rash I got on my twitchy eye

  127. The cat videos are a great balm to my day as well, and make me smile, & giggle, because they’re TRUE, and I LOVELOVE that Hunter S Tomcat snuggles you so hard when you’re writing, because writing can be stressful, and NEEDS MOAR LOVE. Don’t fret the blinks. That’s just your heart taking all the pictures to freeze those memories forever in your harddrive.

  128. I have one friend who got laser surgery for acne near his ears, and another got a botox type of injection because her lips weren’t even. Never noticed either, ever, over ten+ years. I recently asked someone if they thought my crooked tooth was really ugly. They said: what crooked tooth? Sucks when we stress about things that are invisible to others!

  129. So my eyes water when I have to pee and the fuller my bladder the worse they water. Unfortunately, I don’t feel pressure to pee, because my nerves tell my brain that my eyes should water instead… so yeah, sometimes brains suck…

  130. I’m so glad that you posted the video! Watching it brought back a flood of wonderful memories of a favorite great aunt who passed away years ago. She had that same tic–and not one of us in the family ever really noticed or cared!! It fact, I always found it endearing. So watching you with the cats only brought back to most wonderful, loving memories I have of this aunt, as she was a very special, warm, loving kind-hearted woman who was adored by many. So there–your eyes brought a smile to my face, and tears to my eyes!

  131. I wouldn’t have noticed it at all if you hadn’t prepared us. When I’m anxious I struggle with words, it’s as if my brain decides it is suddenly going to have some fun with me but if you were to give me a piece if paper and a pen I could get the words out seemlessly.

  132. I wouldn’t have noticed it at all if you hadn’t prepared us. When I’m anxious I struggle with words, it’s as if my brain decides it is suddenly going to have some fun with me but if you were to give me a piece of paper and a pen I could get the words out seemlessly.

  133. The highest compliment I’ve ever been paid is when my 4-year-old son told me I’m a “smackin’ strawberry.” (I’ll point out that we’d spent the day at a farm picking strawberries, because I realize it’s kind of a weird thing to say to someone …)

    So you, Ms Lawson, are a smackin’ strawberry, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

    P.S. Just a thought: I dealt with the same symptoms for years before I realized I’m allergic to nail polish remover. If I have the tiniest residue of it on my fingers and happen to rub my eye/s, it’s all over.

  134. Okay, so I didn’t have the sound on, but initial reaction? There’s this enormous snuggly orange cat — it’s hard for me to look past the CAT. Love this.

  135. Your cat vs writing videos have been wonderful. They make me smile, and often while my own cat is doing the same thing to me.

  136. Any eye makeup that isn’t a certain kind of Cover Girl makeup (including anything that isn’t the “naked” eye makeup) makes my eyes water and gives me a horrid rash on my eyes. If you’re wearing eye makeup, try not wearing it for a few days and see if it goes away.

  137. Thanks for reminding us all that we are all in this damn human experience together. Tics and all. We love you and your courage to share authentic you. Thank you for that.

  138. Dear Jenny – I just want to tell you that I love you. Your tic (tics?). Your humour. Your honesty. Your bravery. Your silliness.Your seriousness. Your openness. Your pets, living and taxidermied. Your writing and videos means so much to me. Thank you! It seems to me that I don’t tell the people I love that I love them enough, and that I don’t thank those to whom I am grateful enough. Can anyone be loving and grateful enough? Here’s to trying!
    Be well! Bask in furious happiness and know that you are loved.

  139. You blink exactly like I do, only mine is caused by chroni dry eye. My tic is I can’t look people in the eye.

  140. I adore you! My left eye twitches the more nervous and anxious I’ve become. I thought it was just me. I read your blog as much as I can with three special needs kids. And I absolutely love it because I suffer from bipolar PTSD and anxiety and basically I’m a mixed bag of crazy. And I’d like to see that it’s acceptable and this is one of the few places that is this I love you for that never change

  141. I saw this when you posted it and I didn’t even notice the tic. I was so focused on the cats that’s all I could see!

  142. I agree with the poster who said “Embrace and protect our differences, and those of others; the things that make us “US”. F*ck conformity. Mindless zombies all looking and acting the same. Bah! We are not sheep. We cannot and WILL NOT be controlled.”

    Our differences make us all the more special!

  143. Not so noticeable. I can’t find this quote that I love for these kinds of things so I’m getting it wrong but the gist is, Don’t worry about what other people think of you [or whatever weird thing you have that worries you], because they are all too busy thinking about themselves and their own weird things to pay that much attention to you.
    Also, my daughter has had an undereye tic, kind of a reverse blink, that is driven by her own bipolar condition when she’s stressed, drinks too much alcohol and/ or coffee, smokes, etc. We found this awesome doctor who basically said, “You are okay, you don’t need more meds for this, you can decide how you want to handle your lifestyle choices if this bugs you – it’s under your control.” You should have seen the anxiety just wash out of her face. She’s not very good at making sensible choices but she actually tries for this thing and it works a lot.

  144. You know, I had already watched this video on Instagram, and I totally didn’t even notice until I watched it again here after you pointed it out!

  145. My left hand shakes when held certain ways, a tremor. I’ve been diagnosed with Positional Dystonic Tremors of the left hand, but i do not have Dystonia. I thought i hid it pretty well until an employee stopped me once and asked if they should call a doctor. Everyone knew i had it. It’s not really treatable though i take some medication that reduces from looking like I’m waving at you to a mild tremor.

  146. Hell yes! I agree. I own and wear several tutus and onsies. Some are so comfy when its 30degrees out. I pumped gas once in my zabra one and my daughter went in to pay, attendant asked if S. McConnell
    She was with the smcconnell7.sm@gmail.com
    Zebra n she proudly said yep. We have fun and embrace comfort n difference in our house 😋

  147. I’m more concerned about the fact he’s trying to eat your notes, lol.
    I used to blink a lot as a kid and my parents brought me to a whole buncha eye doctors and they were like “nothing is wrong with her eyes why are you BRINGING her here REPEATEDLY” so then we foun d out I had anxiety and they gave me medicine for that BUT it doesn’t help with my ticks so my parents lectured me and I have worse ticks now so jokes on them I guess??? (and me I guess too…)

  148. Oh I’m sorry for double posting but I also wanted to share this story but then forgot to in my last comment so: My old cat Sheba used to try to eat paper also, but she also ripped it up before she ate it, so we’d have ripped up paper all around the house and Sheba just all smug on the floor like “yeah, I did that, what of it?”. Cats are great even when they’re naughty.

  149. I didn’t notice AT ALL when I first watched the video the other day, and even after you explained it and I watched for it, it doesn’t seem like a thing to me. Not that I’m saying it’s imaginary or made up, because that’s not what I mean, I just mean that it’s not a big noticeable thing and am trying to reassure you of that! And now I’ve word-vomited all over this comment but I’m going to post it anyway because you’re the bravest and I want to try it too.

  150. I wrote a long post but it’s purpose was to say “agreed”. Took me a while to get there because I’ve been trained to worry more about how I look than how I seem. It’s unfortunate. So I thought. How I seem matters more, agreed.

  151. I have never spoken to someone with the same hard blinking tick (and now I can’t stop doing it)! I’m so glad to know I am not alone. Thank you so much for sharing! You have such a great sense of humor. You always bring a smile to my face and if I’m feeling down, I re-read the Beyoncé story again and laugh so hard I cry all over again. Thank you for sharing your journey, slightly skewed view of life and your light with us all!!

  152. I have several embarrassing facial tics. I pull my ears, I hit my chin, and I stretch out my mouth. I have no idea I’m doing it but my partner gets totally embarrassed. I feel like Stretch Armstrong….remember that doll?

  153. I tried to post this comment before and your blog decided I wasn’t feeling insecure enough, and rejected me. Let’s try again, because neuroses are fun!

    I am not allergic to my own tears yet (though I wouldn’t put it past me….I’m allergic to most other things, including my own raised body temperature, which makes me break out in hives). On the other hand, very soon into crying I burst blood vessels in my eyes, lids and tear ducts, and start to cry blood tears like something out of a tragic hero Anne Rice fantasy. I joke that it’s my way of ensuring people know just how Goth I am inside, even though I haven’t been able to replace my knee-high, black, laced, Victorian-style boots. People still find it unsettling, for some reason.

    I do, on the other hand, have several tics, despite my long list of medical conditions not officially including anything that comes with tics. Pain and/or fatigue (both of which are chronic conditions for me, so hey) give me partial- or full-body, sometimes fairly violent twitches. I’m pretty sure that just comes down to my nervous system throwing a fit and attempting to scream, “I am so fucking fed up with this shit!” in the language of interpretive dance, except my body doesn’t move well enough for interpretive dance. If I’m particularly emotional, I start to vibrate, leading up to full-on twitches particularly of my right leg. My right leg has a bone structural deformity from a broken knee my parents never got set properly and…well eniways, my nerves are particularly borked in that leg, so I guess it sort of makes sense. That one started when I was 17 and nearly died from an overdose caused by a doctor Rxing too high a dose for my body weight. The experience doesn’t tie in any obvious way to originating that particular tic, but it does anyway. Then, there’s my facial tic. Brought on by stress and/or fatigue (stress being very nearly as chronic as the pain and fatigue), this tic starts with a blink kind of like yours, but more obvious and squinchy. At its worst, it will be the squinchiest blink possible, accompanied by my kind of sucking in my upper lip and having to touch my forehead right over/between the eyes. It’ll keep me awake, that one, and NOTHING helps subdue it. That particular tic started when I was twelve, and my sister began her liver transplant saga, and….more backstory you don’t need. But it was a stressful, emotional time, and not entirely for predictable reasons. Being nicknamed ‘Blinky’ by some kids at school didn’t help.

    Of course, my son is Autistic and has lots of stims, so in my family it’s my husband who is the weirdo who can actually control all his body movements.

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