Tag Archives: Control freak

Raider Of The Lost Art

10621963_sComputers, tablets and smartphones are turning handwriting into a lost art. About time, movement disorder raided my “lost art” years ago. While feather quills and inkwells summon a whimsy that appeals to my sense of romance, the coldly technical word processing program eases my burden from fingers to shoulder. After all, with Dystonia even a Post It requires an abundance of effort!

My exercise of graphomotor skills involves my own unique rendition of motor planning: firmly anchoring the writing instrument in my hand, controlling my motions with a stiffly held arm (try writing when your arm’s a tension headache), favoring slow staccato print utilizing a pencil to reduce the chance of a runaway letter. The overriding theme: control, control, control, which is precisely what my handwriting reveals about my personality! Truth be told, graphologists prefer to base their analysis on cursive writing, garnering scant attention over the years and uniquely unqualified to make a searing statement about me.

In my case, the compositional elements that go into lettering – slant, size, loops, smoothness of line – are capriciously determined by the whim of renegade muscles and a confused left hand that’s hardly my first choice of athletes. To this day, I possess an utter lack of knowledge of the proper tilt of paper for my oddly scrawled script. Indeed, this “enforced lefty” finds herself challenged distinguishing right from left absent the instinctive guidance supplied by undisputed “handedness.”

I carry fond memories of my childhood knight in shining armor: a sleek Smith Corona electric typewriter I lugged to school for essay exams and relied on to recopy class notes and pound out homework. I speak of an era before White Out transformed editing, when color typewriter ink cartridges ranked cutting-edge and the apple was merely a fruit.

Who’s In Control?

A neuroscientist may tell you the problem rests with a far off galaxy in my brain named Basal Ganglia, denying me control of all my movements. I prefer to address this question on the metaphysical realm. After all, I’m a self-acknowledged control freak. I like to think I’m running the show but my body has a different opinion, flexing its muscles with every opportunity to put me in my place. Modifications in order, I try a team approach and transform into a coach hurling encouragements to get the best efforts out of my players – an excellent motivational tactic that unfortunately fails in its execution.

Dystonia is a never-ending refusal to surrender to body parts that won’t follow my “suggestions.” I find it absolutely bizarre how my left foot appears convinced of the “rightness” of its motion, like a stubborn 5-year-old insisting on walking a strange Indian war dance. How about mind over matter? Hmmm. I attempt thinking my foot into a smooth gliding step. No dice.