Maggie Cincotta

When I was five, my parents noticed me constantly twitching and making strange noises. Curious, they took me to various medical professionals for neurological testing, where I was diagnosed with tourettes syndrome. I soon began visiting a tourette’s specialist, who taught me multiple techniques to decrease my tourette’s. I found it quite frustrating to manage my tourette’s. They were strong, they were annoying, and, worst of all, they were embarrassing. Nonetheless, I was determined to not allow tourette’s to impede my life. I knew I could never “fix” my brain and completely annihilate my tourette’s, but I could reduce them.

I found it punishing to deal with my tourette’s in public, and was often bullied. Although this was unfavorable, it taught me assorted methods on how to hide my tourette’s and, soon, my peers stopped noticing them. As I grew into a teenager, my tourette’s increased. They would especially parade themselves during periods of acute stress. Agonizingly, I began to tic in school, especially before tests. During my freshman year in laboratory biology, one of my multiple tics involved forcefully twisting my head to the left. When my teacher spotted this, she assumed I was attempting to cheat off of my lab partner’s exam. My tourette’s often led me into situations similar to this. I explained my syndrome to this teacher, and how difficult tourette’s were to control. Unfortunately, she had a zero tolerance policy, and I failed that test.

Although exceptionally upset, this situation caused me to realize how unwilling I was to enable my tics to tamper with my GPA. I knew I was mentally strong, even while living with a neurological disorder. While in the classroom, I would ensure to keep busy, for my tourettes did not aggravate me as much while focused. With an abundance of determination, I was able to downturn the amount my tourettes distracted me. Although living with a mental disorder has been dire, it has made me exceptionally mentally strong. Having tourettes has taught me that willpower is the driving force behind any set goal. I am often asked that if an operation to make my tourettes vanish existed, would I use it? To much surprise, I would not. My tourette’s have caused me tremendous amounts of suffer, but have additionally given me the mental strength and stability that so few contain. They are a blessing in disguise.