My 11 year old DD has had one tic or another since she was about 5. She's done throat clearing, eye blinking, some weird smile thing, shoulder shrugging, a head shake (this one freaked me out), and is currently on a sniffing thing. They come and go, sometimes gone for months at a time and they usually last a month or so before they go away or change into something else. They intensify during times of stress or discomfort with surroundings. The tics will also disappear during times of physical activity, but resume as soon as she's finished. ex: she was doing the head twitch thing very frequently during the time she was to take her tae kwon do black belt test. The testing was insanely stressful, more so than a typical one due to many reasons. Her head was shaking so much I thought it was going to fall off up until she started the testing. Once she started moving, the head stopped twitching.
With the head shake that freaked me out so bad I took her to the ped. to get some advice. His opinion was that it was her way of releasing stress and is directly related to her intesnseness (is that a word?), her giftedness, and her tendency to bottle her emotions all combined. He said that we could have neurological tests to rule out a medical issue, but that he didn't recommend it until after puberty. Apparently most tics will disappear after puberty so long as it isn't neurological.
We don't point them out to her, there's no point in it. She's homeschooled so doesn't really have to deal with mean comments. We're just riding it out for another year or so and go from there.
Anyhow, no...you aren't alone.