Andrew Choinski

I have been dealing with Tourette Syndrome for my whole life, longer than I can even remember. It has been a persistent struggle to deal with this on an everyday basis, whether it’s having very interruptive breathing patterns or enduring physical pain throughout my body from certain tics. I have been to numerous doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, etc., since middle school trying to put a curb on this disorder, but up to my junior year in high school, the results of my hard work have barely been noticeable. I have also been on a number of medications, with side effects ranging from fatigue to gaining close to 30 lbs.

Tourette Syndrome has not been easy for me, in fact, it has been one of the biggest obstacles I have ever encountered. I have even at times felt like giving up on trying to stop this disorder from affecting my life the way it does, but it wasn’t until a couple of months ago where I am grateful I didn’t. In November of 2016, I have finally found a therapist whose methods are cooperating with me, and my tics have significantly decreased. Not only has this made me feel very ecstatic, but my confidence in school has also skyrocketed. I have learned to accept this disorder, to accept that it is part of who I am. I don’t try to ignore the fact that I have Tourette Syndrome anymore, but I embrace it and use it as a constant reminder of who I’ve become as a person through the years of fighting this. Through the help of both my friends and family, my attitude towards beating Tourette Syndrome has become very clear and positive.

When it comes to school, one particular memory comes to mind that has definitely impacted me deep down. In one of my classes, I was answering a question when a tic interrupted me while I was speaking. Before I got a chance to finish what I was saying the entire class started laughing, putting me in complete embarrassment and stress. Later on that day I spoke with my family and a few friends about this humiliating experience, and they all comforted and cheered me up. They all told me that this is who I am, that I shouldn’t be embarrassed, and that I should embrace it. It was that day I realized they were right, and that I needed to forget about that memory because the tics don’t define who I am as a person. Recognizing that all these people who were there for me to boost up my confidence really showed me who I am and how lucky I am to have these people in my life. In a way I am glad that I have Tourette Syndrome, because if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t be the person who everyone knows me as today and realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such caring people.