FACE TWITCHING when smiling, face clenching up in social sitauiations, can't smile... - Page 3 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #41 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by johnlock View Post
I've had this problem for about 6 years now, but off and on. It happend once when I was 15 and I met my new neighbours (cute girls next door) then again when I was 17 and came home to visit friends after not seeing them for a year. It didnt happen again until I was 20 and it really got bad. Im now 22 and this is driving me crazy. But I think I may have found a solution...

I found a website where you pay $60 to ask a question to a professional, so I asked a neurologist about this problem. He said its called Ephaptic Transmission, and its when the protective coating around your nerves wear thin and they touch each other and the nerve signals transfer between nerves, kind of like an electric shock. He told me there wasnt much I could do besides facial stretchs, botox, anxiety meds and he even suggested tonic water with the ingredient quinine since quinine is used to relax muscles. I drank a 12 pack and didnt notice any difference. But then I did more research and found out there are ways to thicken your nerve coatings (called myelin sheath) there are even supplements called mylein sheath growth (or something like that) thats meant to thicken it. I only found it online and havent tried it yet. I read that omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seed oil and evening primrose oil can thicken it. and B12 vitamins and vatamin D helps too.

They say it takes about 4 months to see a difference and 1 year to make a full recovery, Ive been taking omega 3-6-9, evening primrose oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, B complex and magnesium for about 2 months and havent seen a difference yet.

I dont know if this is the solution but its hope.

I also read on another thread that someone cured themselfs of this problem by taking high amounts of magnesium, they said 1200mg a day fixed it almost instantly. i read this 2 days ago and started doubling my dose since. But you have to be careful you dont take too much.

Hope this helps, please let us all know if you have any suggestions for this problem.

? That sounds like Parkinsons Disease you are describing where the myelin sheath around the nerves goes away--that is a serious health concern.

Ephaptic Transmission is not an illness or a problem--it just describes the fact that one nerve sends messages to another nerve.
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post #42 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 07:03 PM
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This happened to me today.

Getting group pictures, everything going fine, having fun. Then it's my turn. I go up and I realize everyone is looking at me. I can do a fake smile, but for whatever reason, it wasn't going well in this instance. My smile started twitching pretty badly. One person said my "smile was shaking." Felt like I had been making progress in overcoming my social anxiety, but now today has taken me back.

I'm not the type of person who seems like they would have social anxiety. I'm quiet, yeah, but I have a job that requires me to speak with people every day. I do that pretty well, I think. But in intimate moments like that, when all eyes are on me, I can't do it.

Anyone else have similar experiences? What do you guys do? Thanks.
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post #43 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:47 AM
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I've seen it evident on the faces of people on TV sometimes - usually normal members of the public who are caught in a TV stunt, at the moment when the 'joke' is revealed, when they realise the cameras are on them, and when the host is laughing and holding a microphone in their face - there's a momentary (and sometimes agonizingly prolonged) smile that looks awkwardly fake - maybe not straight away, but when the 'joke' has outlasted its welcome a little.

Also when members of an audience are handed the microphone and invited to say something on a discussion show - occasionally you get the odd person who clearly appears out-of-their-depth and in those situations the look of their complete and utter discomfort makes me cringe with recognition.

I've not noticed the smiles twitching but I honestly figure it's a just an extension of that discomfort, a manifestation of (and desire to suppress) a more severe degree of social anxiety/terror. A more sudden and crippling self-consciousness that makes us freeze up. Perhaps some of us are more predisposed to it for physical reasons too - ie. the muscles of our faces make it more likely... but it's possible that's not the case and it's all just about an extreme self-consciousness and desire to mask discomfort, particularly from people who are naturally shy are introverted to begin with.

Oh boy, the human body really knows how to let us down just at the point when we need it to function the most!!
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post #44 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 02:12 AM
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By the way, I've just re-read my first post which now comes across as too negative and self-pitying - sorry about that. I really shouldn't post last thing at night!

Yes it was as awful as described at the time, and yes it's been a big factor in holding me back from reaching the heights I intended to reach in life. But life is not that bad. In fact there are other things that cause more problems. And believe me, you start to build up coping mechanisms.

One thing I started to do was adopt a kind of deadpan response whenever humour was aimed at me. So say I'm with a bunch of work colleagues, it's a social situation, all of us male, we know each other quite well - so the conversation is informal, boisterous, lots of laughing. Now if the group gaze turns to me and if I find myself in a situation where to not share in the group joke at my expense would make me look weirdly arrogant, then I won't even try to smile. I'll try the deadpan approach. A kind of self-deprecating, "well that's VERY nice of you, Bob" with a mock-pi$$ed off face, almost like I'm acting and they know I'm acting.

I used to reach straight for the drinking glass and hide behind a slurp of drink in days gone by - but I think that was probably a more obvious mask, and it seemed to make it harder to emerge from the glass feeling anything other than more uncomfortable. The magic goal is to keep the focus on the conversation and on them, rather than on how you're coming across.
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post #45 of 83 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 11:53 AM
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i didnt realise there were many people having this twitching problem & i thought i was all alone.... i didnt read through all the posts yet but hope there is a non-medicated remedy for this...
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post #46 of 83 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 12:03 PM
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...only when I fake-smile though. Like when I'm posing for a picture and the person is taking foreverrr to take it, my jaw starts to shiver/twitch. I hate it because I'm always afraid it's going to make my smile look weird in the picture.
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post #47 of 83 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 11:45 PM
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The way to the cure


(Please I know it's long - If so just skip at the end for solution)
Hello guys, ok I will save you 100$ Ahaha

I am 19 years old, and I noticed the exact same situation that you said.
It is very embarrassing. On the top of that I have a student job
( for 3 years now at a fast food customer service - So you could imagine)
The first time I ever noticed that twitch is when I had to took the graduation picture, after it came back this year, when I had a stressful situation with a costumer)

*I am also an actor so I deal with camera and photo shoot so this stress facial tics ( because I want to look good) .

But listen guys here is the part :

We people who do have this facial twitches are very self conscious about what other think of us and how I look ect.

(optional : For my personal life, people who were jealous of me called me ugly and other hurtful things but I transform into a bombshell (model/Gym) but I sadly became to self aware about myself)

================================================== =======


I then decided to call the college psychologist and talk about it and look what it is :

"People donít care about you. This isn't because people are mean or hurtful, but simply because they are mostly focused on themselves. Consider this hypothetical pie-chart showing the variety of thoughts a typical person has:

In this example, 60% of thoughts are self-directed. My goals. My problems. My feelings. Another 30% are directed towards relationships, but how they affect me. What does Julie think of me? How will boss evaluate my performance in the next review? Do my friends like me or see me as irritating?
Only 10% in this model is time spent in empathy. Empathy is the rare event where one person actually feels the emotions, problems and perspective of another person. Instead of asking what Julie thinks of me, I ask what is Julie thinking.
Within that 10%, most people then divide attention between hundreds of other people they know. As a result, you would occupy a fraction of a percentage in most peoples minds, and only a couple percentage points in a deeply bonded relationship.
Even if you are in another persons thoughts, it is how your relationship affects them, not you.

What does this mean?

Embarrassment doesn't make a lot of sense. Since others are only focusing a small portion of there thoughts onto judging you, your self-judgement is overwhelmingly larger.

People don't notice this how bad as we do, I have two of my friends who have tourette syndrome , but I don't notice.
People don't notice as bad as we know, they might not even know we have those facial tics.


You need to not avoid social situation.You need to go in them
and even if you have your facial twitch NOT CARE ABOUT IT ( even do it's hard) because if you care about it it will create anxiety and anxiety and stress start those twitches, so by not worrying about it ( IT WILL HELP A LOT)

And even if you have those nervous twitches during this situation think about this :

- Why does this matter what other people think about my twitch ?
- Why do I care so much of what people think about me ?

People are VERY SELF CENTERED people won't even notice those facial twitches because they are SELF CENTERED ON THEM

So why care about it ?
Every time I have those breakdown I think about that.
And it helps

I have another anointment with the psychologist and he will give me other methods so I will share that will you guys later.


I took an appointment at the acupuncture because it help with anxiety and stress = Help facial twitches.

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post #48 of 83 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan123 View Post
Hi everyone,

I thought I'd google 'panic smile mouth fear social' - and this forum thread came up. Reading the posts, it's exactly the same thing that has made my life such a misery, so I thought I'd sign up and share my experience.

I first discovered I had this problem in school when I was required to give a presentation. I've always been a nervous person and when I stood up in front of everyone and started it, I thought I had it all under control.

It went reasonably ok. I reached the end of the talk, my heart was pumping ten to the dozen, and the teacher started discussing the subject with me in front of the class while I was still stood up and I handled that ok too, I thought - but then something happened that I couldn't handle. The conversation became jokey.

The teacher made a quip, and I did what I'd done countless times before when I've been too nervous to smile naturally - I faked it. They say you can always tell in someone's eyes if their smile is fake. It wasn't too much of a problem in this instance because I figured people couldn't spot it from this distance. But still, it took effort. The other giveaway is how quickly the smile vanishes from the face, and I was conscious of that.

The teacher had a reputation as being a bit of an aggressive guy - not physically but mentally. A very smart, very domineering man. And he started laughing and cracking jokes at my expense - banter I suppose most people would call it. To my horror I found that I was too anxious to be able to smile properly.

This was awful because I was desperate for people to not think that I was arrogant and couldn't laugh at myself - so with 50 students all watching, I tried to smile again, and suddenly one side of my face (from the corner of the mouth up to my eye) twitched so violently and unexpectedly that it stunned me. I don't mean a single twitch. I mean it started twitching and kept doing it, and wouldn't stop. It lasted for what felt like minutes. Everyone was sat there watching me, with looks of either bemusement or extreme pity on their faces, some openly laughing.

I knew I couldn't possibly just run out of the room without making it worse, so I forced myself to stay stood there, twitching like a sad pathetic crazy thing, trying harder to smile with them, and twitching more violently as a result. The ******* of a teacher, instead of sensing my discomfort, seemed to ramp up the aggression and it just became worse - my whole face was contorting almost like I was having a fit. I really thought I was going to pass out. Finally, after what felt like an eternity of sheer hell, I was invited to sit back down. I walked to my seat, sat down, and knew that my life had just ended.

Since then, the fear of recurrence has resulted in many awkward moments especially in social situations where banter and humour flies back and forth. I used to have friends who, like most males of a certain age, would show their bonding by ribbing and mocking each other. I know, it's kind of backwards but it's a guy thing isn't it? Anyway often I would be the butt of a concerted mocking episode, and my smile would fail me. I'd be desperate for them not to think I couldn't handle a joke at my expense - but that's how I'd be coming across, like I had no sense of humour. In the end it got so bad that I broke contact and moved away.

That was over 20 years ago and I have never properly recovered from that school experience. If I could sum up the one recurring emotion in my life now, it's embarrassment. Humiliation. A total inability to ever convey dignity and authority. I feel like a boy in a man's body. And wow has it held me back. Also I now blush at everything - even when I'm by myself I can read something and blush with a kind of empathy of what the person I'm reading about might be feeling. I'm a 40 year old man. It's pathetic. I regularly feel suicidal about what kind of adult I've become.

It might be relevant to mention that both my parents suffer from extreme social anxiety (my mother couldn't even attend my brother's wedding, it's that bad), so in terms of genes and upbringing I suppose I had this stacked against me! My brother is also very shy and introverted but not nearly as bad as me.

This is the first time I've ever recounted that day or this problem to anyone - I've never even told my family, but it changed my life forever. I was one of the brightest people at school and offered a place at the country's top university. My zero confidence led me to reject their offer - I know, madness - and I've been on minimum wage jobs ever since. I'm trying to save up enough money to buy some hypnosis sessions with a therapist, hoping that will help. Positive thinking books are also useful. Mostly I just shun social situations and come alive on the internet where I can appear like a fairly regular normal person. Thank god for the internet.

And thank you for reading.

Seeing your story almost broke my heart.


They are worst things in life, ( as stupid as it is) You need to get over it.
**** happen, don't let this bring you down no more.

SO what you had been humilate ( EVERYONE HAS) no big deal.
Embarrassing yes but they are worst thing in life.
Don't care no more of what people thing.
Be free baby even if you twitch be free it will cure you.

xoxo Good luck
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post #49 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 11:19 AM
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That's the thread that explains how I got cured. I had the twitchy smile when I was nervous allll the time.
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post #50 of 83 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 12:22 PM
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Even I am having the same problem..my face freezes or resists my smiling and I have to fake a smile..
I also get headaches, dizziness and panic attacks and recently I have started going to CBT( Cognitive behaviour therapist)..he told me one technique and tht really reduces anxiety..

Imagine the event in future that makes you anxious( for eg..friends laughing at you)
Imagine the event appearing below you and you are safe up watching it..
After sm time..start turning away from the event and look at your present situation.
Look back to the "possible future" event and imagine it has resolved..you are happy.."

If you are around people and you get thoughts like people looking at you..go 15min into the future and think that everybody knows you and is greeting you..

Practice this..it really helps..
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post #51 of 83 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 10:23 AM
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The Solution... Muscles

im not the type of guy to ever write stuff in forums or anything, not going to lie i think its quite gay, but i struggled from this problem too and seeing people talk about taking drugs (including alcohol) just to sort out a problem is complete ***** ****. havent you lot ever stopped to wonder rather than this being a mental problem it is physical. your face has muscles in it too. i came across http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCWZk8DaZSk and realised she had part of the answer. just like the other parts of your body your face has muscles. your face is twitching because your face muscles are weak. train your smile at home just as if it were your biceps and you will see. thank me later. and man up! loool
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post #52 of 83 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 12:03 AM
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Please read!

I engage in a conversation.
My hands begin to sweat.
My face starts to feel uncomfortably hot.
I forcefully contort my mouth into a smile but my cheeks/lips start twitching.
My twitching causes a strangely familiar self consciousness which freezes my entire face.
My eyes begin to slightly water.
I can no longer give proper eye contact with the person of interest.

Seem familiar? This is the layout of most of my social interactions, it happens so often that I have it down to a science. While I do not have the solution, I have a few answers:

Why do I have "face twitch"?
Because somewhere in your life, you were pushed far beyond your comfort zone, and at the time, this was your method of coping.

Why do I still have it?
Because throughout the years, you have developed an unhealthy complex of self consciousness by trying so hard to not think about it, that it is all you think about.

How can I get rid of it?
Imagine the "face twitch syndrome" as a spoiled child in the back seat of your car. You have been indulging this child for years, by avoiding social interactions, and trying to find temporary alternative solutions instead of hitting the problem head on. Are you going to keep indulging this child because you don't want to confront it? Or are you going to start teaching this child to respect you? In my opinion, no amount of alcohol, magnesium, or botox injections will solve your facial twitch problems. It is like paying off your credit card debt with another credit card. It is only a temporary fix which replaces one dependency with another. The grand solution to such a difficult problem can only be solved by diligence, discipline, and the knowledge of knowing that no life long change happens instantaneously.
Like any other skill in life, I believe that confidence, as well as the art of social interaction can be learned as well as re-learned. You developed this "face twitch" syndrome by being pushed far beyond your comfort zone; therefore you can fix it the same way. Put yourself out there, go forth and face these twitches no matter how weird it feels. Practice makes perfect, because no skill in life comes naturally.

-When you feel nervous, visualize who you are, and who they are, and realize the simplicity of the conversation you are having. (i.e You're in a group with your friends and a some people you don't know, the conversation is all about inside jokes which you do not understand. You force a laugh, then a smile, then you start to get nervous because it feels like everyone is looking at yo.. STOP RIGHT THERE. Realize that you are a human being communicating to other human beings in a group. They are no different from you. They have to wake up every morning like you do, they have to eat food to survive like you do, and they all have to poop occasionally like you do.)
-Excuse yourself from the premises and go to a secluded area, give yourself a pep talk and calm your nerves. (i.e You're at a large social function, and people begin to talk to you. All of a sudden, you feel the nerves coming on and... STOP RIGHT THERE. Say you must excuse yourself to use the restroom. Look at yourself in the mirror and CALM DOWN, then, get back out there and unleash the charismatic beast within.)
-Tell a close friend about your facial twitch condition and have them practice talking to you. When you talk to them, practice intently listening to what they say and practice remaining completely calm. Since you can't FORCE YOURSELF to not twitch, force yourself to listen to the person's words, and your facial expressions will inherently follow (with no twitches!). At first, you might slip up because you will think, "Oh my word, I'm actually doing it!" and then you'll over think it and mess up, but that's where persistence comes in, because practice makes perfect.
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post #53 of 83 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 12:13 AM
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It doesn't happen to me anymore, but it used to a lot in high school. It would just make me feel even more self-conscious and nervous.
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post #54 of 83 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 07:56 AM
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Hi, the answer to this is total acceptance of the situation you fear, in this case, people noticing the twitch. It is paradoxical, by you trying to stop this happening, you are in fact making it happen. We need to do the opposite of what we have been doing. That which you resist, persists. Make peace with people noticing the twitch and turn the tables on your negative beliefs about what people will think. Example, "It's not the end of the world", "Who cares", "So what if my face twitches" You can make your own ones. Keep repeating these phrases to yourself and it will lessen the anxiety and eventually, you won't even care and only then will it go away. I suffered very bad eye twitches so I know the distress it can cause. Take care.
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post #55 of 83 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 08:01 AM
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The best source of help for these things imo can be found here,


You buy audio cbt tapes. I have bought most of the programs for sad and this is by far the best. It's well worth the money. And they will go into far greater detail in regards my previous post on the techniques you can use to overcome such things. We need all the help we can get when dealing with a problem as severe as sad.
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post #56 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 06:00 AM
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Exactly the same problem

Anybody got any cure ? This has ruined my social life.
I see many people here saying that its all in the mind and that if don't pay attention to it, it would go away. To all such people, I have tried everything but in vain. I am sure that this is some sort of medical condition. I am desperate for a solution. I visited a psychiatrist and he suggested some behavioral conditioning therapy. But I think its the neurologist that we need and not the psychiatrist.

Check out the following link :

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post #57 of 83 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 07:39 PM
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Smile Solution!

I found a solution. So I've had this problem for a bit, I would always have a fake, twitchy smile whenever I presented in front of my classroom. I was too lazy to find out why I had this problem .. but today when I checked out why in the mirror, I found the cause. For me, it's mainly because I don't smile all the way. I have to problem smiling 100%, but if it's forced and halfway, my muscles have less control and they start twitching. Not sure if this is the cause for everyone, but I found just smiling 100% works, don't smile less than 100% or you'll start twitching
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post #58 of 83 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ptuh View Post
I found a solution. So I've had this problem for a bit, I would always have a fake, twitchy smile whenever I presented in front of my classroom. I was too lazy to find out why I had this problem .. but today when I checked out why in the mirror, I found the cause. For me, it's mainly because I don't smile all the way. I have to problem smiling 100%, but if it's forced and halfway, my muscles have less control and they start twitching. Not sure if this is the cause for everyone, but I found just smiling 100% works, don't smile less than 100% or you'll start twitching
I'm glad this works for you. Interestingly I have found the best course of action to be the opposite of what you suggest! Personally I would encourage people to NOT feel that they have to smile widely when they feel uncomfortable. When you do that, you're pushing your face outside its comfort zone at just the moment you're feeling psychologically uncomfortable, which is likely to resort in twitches or a very odd grimace. Instead I suggest going down the more restrained smile route - just a wry smile, almost more with your eyes than your mouth if you know what I mean.

Feeling that you have to over-smile is a classic sign of someone who is passive and insecure or desperate to appease a more dominant person or a potentially threatening situation such as a big audience, and can actually make you look even more nervous.
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post #59 of 83 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 06:04 AM
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I am so happy to know that i am not the only one in this world who is suffering from this mental torture..

I just want to know if this is a mental problem or a physical problem...because when i drink alcohol my mind stops thinking and i don't face these problems..

I want to ask few doubts to all of you people who are suffering from this problem....so that we know if we have any doubts in common..

1) I got FITS disease (related to nerves) when i was a kid..

2) Not just my cheeks but even my hands and legs also shiver at times..

3) I have eyesight from many years but not using spectacles

4) I look in the mirror for a long time

5) I face this problem when i am with empty stomach

6) I face this problem when i meet any new person..or a friend after a long gap..

if any of you have same doubts and facing this problem in same situations please post your experiences so that we can try to find a solution for this problem..
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post #60 of 83 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 09:39 AM
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I experienced this not too long ago, my head would jerk ect.. and the only thing that helped me was prayer.

When I prayed it stopped instantly.

🎵I wake up everyday celebrating sh(I)t why? BC I just dodged a bullet from a crazy b(I)tch🎵 I realized I cant fix broken people...i tried.. I cant help someone who wont take accountability.for where they went wrong...but its okay..bc I'll always be fine. No sleep will be lost, ....the video below is me, basically.

Always thank someone for showing their true colors.. Now you see them for who them are and can cut them off
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