Throughout my life, I have faced a significant ongoing challenge. I learned that I had a body movement type of tourettes. The disorder, while not having a significant physical toll on my body, had a severe impact on my mind. I was constantly trying to control what actions anytime I was out in public. It began to take over my life in a negative way.

It began to take a bigger effect the older that I got. In athletics, especially basketball, was where I experienced the most trouble. While I was not very aware of my very noticeable actions, many others were. It was difficult I found out to go to unfamiliar territories without them affecting me mentally. There was not an opposing basketball gym where I didn’t hear a comment, shout, or at the worst times even a chant directed towards me. This distraction made the game that I spent thousands of hours working on hard to play. There were many times where I wanted to sit on the bench and hide rather than do what I loved. The very worst moment was when my coach (at the time), called me out in practice for my tics. Since a tic had caused a slight inconvenience to my basketball play, he was very upset. In front of the team, he claimed i was embarrassing myself, my team, and him by doing my awkward movements, and that I stop or I will continue to lose playing time. I would have rather been anywhere but that gym that day, but I had to sit there and take it. It was a very low point in my life, and I would do anything I could to get out of it.

In spite of the challenges I faced, I was not going to let that define who I was. The disorder was causing pain in my life that I could no longer ignore. So I decided that, despite the stigma, I would get help from a professional. It was not an easy thing to accept that I needed someone else’s help for my daily life at first, but it became easier as time went on. I followed the advice of the therapist and used his various methods of deterring the behavior. Although it didn’t seem much was happening day by day, myself and others noticed visible change over time. I kept up the strategies for months, and I finally felt better about myself and felt more confident doing things like I wanted to.

Despite facing a great challenge in tourette’s syndrome, I managed to work through my problem and develop a better situation for myself. I stuck to my plan, and didn’t give up. I made it easier for myself to deal with the unfairness in my life. I overcame the pressures and became an all-conference, and as of next year, collegiate level basketball player. Finding a way past the disorder made me a stronger person and helped me become who I am today.