I was 13 years old, sitting in my choir class, when I realized something weird was going on in my body. It was an ‘unexplainable’ discomfort that I only felt at the time in my diaghram, usually when I sang. I thought I was having bowel movement issues at first. While riding in the car, this weird discomfort would go ballistic. I reacted in a way that resembled a seizure. My mom was completely freaked out so she took me to my primary doctor. He could not diagnose me.
A sinking feeling I never had before began drowning me.
He referred us to a neurologist, which freaked me out more because I discovered in that moment something was imbalanced in my brain. The nice doctor was able to quickly diagnose me with Tourette’s.
I want to delve deeper into my disorder. It causes physical pain, but the mental pain is much worse. The first couple years were rough. I was bullied, people would mimic my condition (tics) and my want to leave the house was becoming a huge chore.
I feared being close to people because my arms would flare without warning. Singing became almost impossible because it would be hard to breath or react to my tics because if I didn’t, it would cause huge discomfort. My arms, legs, stomach, and eyes feel pain every five seconds. Like muscles spasms 24/7.
I watched a girl move her stomach really fast in class, as mine does constantly, and laugh at me with her friends. In the middle of class.
I feared being laughed at and hearing jokes like, “why can’t you keep still? You got Tourette’s? Wow, you’re so weird!” I felt alone. Outcasted. Depressed. I wanted my life to be over. It became too much for me my junior year. My dad had to tell me to be confident and accept this disorder as a part of me, or rejection would destroy me.
Overtime, I chose to live life with my disorder. I helped a young girl with her own disorder when she wanted to commit suicide one day. That moment made me realize that this disorder is a way for me to have a positive voice in a dark world.