Ashlynn Hill

As a person who has been recently diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, I can definitely say that the past few months have not been the easiest for me personally. I have always had smaller, not as noticeable tics throughout my entire life. However, the past several months my tics have dramatically increased and have begun to occur at random a lot more frequently. I am a senior in high school, this is already a time in my life that contains quite a lot of stress and pressure. There have been plenty of moments that I started to tic in the middle of class and people gave me weird stares. I didn’t understand why I was behaving this way. Earlier this month I was able to go to the neurologist, and luckily they were able to give me a diagnosis along with medication that has helped reduce my tics somewhat. I still tic throughout the day, just not as often as before I began taking this medication. Although, before I went to the neurologist and before I started my medication my life was very frustrating. Sometimes it still is. Why now? Why me? I believe everything happens for a reason, so this disorder was placed in my life at this time for a reason that I may not fully comprehend right now, and that is okay.

I do recall one particular moment that I will never forget. This happened to me about a month ago. I was in choir class, a class that I love so dearly. The people that are in this class are like my second family, I love each of the people there so much. I began to have a tic/anxiety attack in the middle of class one day, it was extremely noticeable. Everyone in my choir class is very understanding and supportive of my situation so they did not look down or shame me for what was happening. Instead, they all came up to me and gave me a hug. This actually helped calm me down quite a bit. My choir teacher allowed me to stay in her classroom as long as I needed to so that I could calm down. I told her my experiences of having tic attacks in other classes and how other students looked at me so negatively for it. My choir teacher looked at me and said, ¨ We look at you like we love you. ¨ Of course, this brought me to tears because I had never felt more loved than in that moment. This reminded me that even though I have this new disorder, it does not define me and I will not allow it to discontinue my passion, which is music. I still plan to pursue a career in music, and it would be an honor to still accomplish my dreams despite the challenges I face.