TS be real or TS not be real - That is the Question...
Okay so I was asked to discuss a little bit more about Tourette Syndrome and the "stigmas" (insert eye-roll) with it... So, let me just preface this post with fuck those who say it's not real! That's like saying anxiety isn't real, or the sun doesn't rise in the East and set in the West or pink isn't the greatest color... EVER. Tourette Syndrome is 1000% real and just because you don't always see it [tics or twitches], doesn't mean it doesn't exist! I loathe more than anything when someone looks at me or messages me and says "oh it's ironic how whenever you talk about it, you twitch or tic" -- well uhh DUH! When people who have TS talk about it, by nature we are going to do a twitch; it freaking triggers it! Ex: when I talk about my tics, I am going to do them because I'm aware of it, or when someone around me clear their throat or sniffles, I am going to clear my throat and/or sniffle because those are some of MY tics -- and everyone's tic, twitches and triggers are all different, just like people are all different!
For those of you who don't know, if you see or know an adult with Tourette Syndrome, they definitely had it as a kid -- you don't grow into it in your 20's; if anything you grow out of it by then! As adults, we may be able to control our tics in public or when needed because we are more aware of it, hence why people think it's not there all the time; it is! I cannot stress this enough: Tourette Syndrome is not always cursing, screaming, making outrageous movements; those are incredibly extreme cases. TS also involves anxiety, depression, OCD, perfectionism, having rituals (if I touch one side of my body, I have to touch the other side to even it out, or if I don't fold a shirt the right way, I have to do it again) stressing over them, insomnia, nervous system disorders -- OMG there is so much more to Tourette Syndrome than just twitching! I don't know why people are so naive to learn about it or scared to talk about it... it's not the end of the world, it's actually a very common thing and in today's day and age, you'd think people would feel like we can openly talk about this! For fuck's sake, more people deal with it than not! Yet, people who deal with it are so embarrassed and self-conscious about it, including myself, because of ignorance and stigma associated with it. THIS IS A TRUE STORY: I once worked somewhere where I started ticking (clearing my throat and sniffing a lot) and I knew I was doing it but couldn't stop it... a co-worker started doing it (which of course triggered it more... what a vicious cycle, right?), anyways, I looked at them and said "you know these are some of my tics right" to which they responded "yea, I figured" to which I respond "well don't you feel like a jerk now" to which they then said "nah, not really" -- joking or not joking, uhhh hello, why the fuck would you do that if you know?! I cried the whole drive home. WHY ARE PEOPLE SO IGNORANT TO REALLY LEARN ABOUT IT?! I'm doing my absolute best to share with everyone what I deal with and what I experience, but it's not all the same for everyone. YES, I am always trying to be positive and preach positivity and staying strong, but I definitely have my moments where I want to crawl under a rock or become embarrassed. I'm only human and the truth is, I got 99 problems and TS is one... but I tackle it head on!
If you or someone you know is dealing with Tourette Syndrome, anxiety, depression, OCD, WHATEVER it may be... reassure them that they are NOT alone and to #loveyourself. Also please visit www.tourette.org for any any all information! Please! Listen, self-acceptance is one of the hardest things to achieve and while we may not feel it 24/7 -- once you accept you for who you are and love who you are, that's all that matters! If someone doesn't feel that way about you too, screw them; you don't need them in your life. Life is too short to be anything but happy any anyone except for you!