As a person with Tourette Syndrome (TS), there is much I could say about my life learning from and coping with my disorder. Because of my TS, I have acquired many skills and characteristics that make me the unique person I am today. That being said, having TS has caused extremely strenuous times throughout my life. My life has been full of obstacles, but these obstacles have doubled as rewarding opportunities to learn and grow as an individual.
Because of my neurological disorder, I have experienced arduous times. One hindrance that I have faced is acknowledging that I have a disorder. Although I do not view TS as a barrier, it is a setback. It took time for me to willingly request extra assistance in areas of my life such as school and dance, without questioning my own capability. Another way having TS has been difficult is the stress and anxiety that often accompanies my tics. Anxiety because of aspects of my life such as school cause me to have more tics. More tics causes me anxiety, which results in an increase of my tics. This vicious cycle is easy to enter and would be extremely difficult to escape if I didn’t have my support system of family and friends. Throughout my life, many of my difficult times have related to the fact that I have TS.
Although I have faced difficulties, living with TS has been educational and rewarding. For example, I have learned how to be compassionate toward others. It is no secret: having tics draws attention. Because I know the feeling of wishing people would understand, judging people quickly is something that I avoid. I go to a place of “I wonder If they can’t help it,” instead of a judgmental place. I have also learned how to educate others. Educating people about TS has been a part of my life since I was diagnosed. I discussed Tourette’s with all of my classes for 5 years straight. One memory of mine is when I was in fifth grade. Someone mimicked me, but before I could even speak, my classmates stood up for me because they understood. I believe educating others is not only rewarding to me, but also rewarding for other people with TS. Another way my disorder has been educational is that I have learned how to work hard. As I mentioned previously, at times my tics have been severe and at other times they have been easier to manage. Even when my tics are at their peak, my work ethic is still as strong as ever. This skill and the others I’ve learned will be useful for the rest of my life.
Tourette’s could easily be viewed purely as a negative and having Tourette’s has been the cause of many hard times in my life. However, without these times, I would not have learned the valuable qualities which have allowed me to grow into the strong multifaceted person and student that I am today.