Ethan Portes-Chaikin

Living with Tourette’s Syndrome has been nothing short of an adventure. Though not everyone in my life is not as understanding as my father, I have been able to make countless friends who love the person I have become.

I will never forget a specific night after a hard day at work, I had sat down with a friend against the wall outside of my job, and told her about how I had struggled keeping my tics in check at work. Seeing that I had been beating myself up, my friend said “you know, having Tourette’s is a disorder that makes your brain function differently than anyone else I know. To me, that makes you a super hero.” That sentiment has resonated with me ever since, and knowing that I have been able to live a fulfilling life and help others in the process is something I would never trade.

My disorder has made me a better musician, a better friend, a better coworker, and a more understanding human. Sometimes, I will even incorporate my tics into my music. My passion has been heightened by the obstacles my disorder forces me to overcome. I am always excited to push myself further past the restraints of my tics.

My father specifically has always believed in my goals, and though he can not provide any monetary support, he continuously does what he can to help me pursue my dreams. I have faced bullies and limitations alike, and while I faced them head on, my father has stuck by my side through it all, and has definitely pulled me out of some dark places.

In my opinion Tourette’s is not a curse, it is a blessing. It allows you to achieve a level of compassion that most people cannot. It helps you understand what people with similar disorders and disabilities in general are going through. Tourette’s has been less of a burden to me and more of a companion. I couldn’t imagine life without it.