This is the essay I submitted to the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) for their 2013 Children’s Scholarship Award contest. I hope you enjoy it! And here is my profile on the NJCTS website.
Having no control over what your body does is a scary thought for most people. For me, it’s.just a typical day. I have Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder in which I make movements and noises that are uncontrollable.
My parents have always taught me to be open about it, because they didn’t want me to be embarrassed about my Tourette’s. The worst thing I could do is to hide my tics, because I would be hiding a part of myself. They wanted me to be proud of everything I am.
My parents have been there for me no matter what, especially in the worse times. Whenever I hated my Tourette’s, they would tell me that it was given to me because I could handle it, and I was strong enough to overcome the challenge.
They also made me believe that because I was given this hard thing to deal with in my life, I would be extra smart and extra amazing at everything else. Of course, I’m just an average person and not extra talented and special, but it has motivated me to believe I could do anything if I set my mind to it.
There are times when I wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have
Tourette Syndrome, and what it would be like to be “normal.” Would I be popular? Would my parents be happier and richer? Would I get along with my sister?
Although it is out of my control, I always remind myself of the amazing things that have come from my disorder and the person it has made me. I know that I would not have such a close and supportive group of friends that accept me for who I am.
I probably wouldn’t have transformed from a shy person into an outgoing, strong and mature person without my Tourette’s; I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to find my passion for public speaking and educating people about my disorder.
It allows me to see the world from a different perspective, and I have more empathy for other people’s struggles because I deal with my own every day. Whenever I speak to a crowd, they always say they are inspired by my story of my life with Tourette Syndrome.
Seeing that inspiration in others makes me inspired to keep sharing my story and keep educating people because I love doing it so much. If I could, I would speak about Tourette’s for the rest of my life, because every time I speak to a crowd people become more knowledgeable.
My goal is to educate as many people as possible and show that just because people with TS can’t control what they do doesn’t mean that they are any different.
I believe that because I have Tourette Syndrome, it motivates me to be a better person and work harder to achieve my goals. My family and friends are very tolerant and accepting of me, especially when I have my moments of complete rage; but I take those experiences, and with their help constantly learn to control my actions and emotions.
My friends and fbmily mean the world to me, and if I had to choose between them or giving up my Towette Syndrome for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even hesitate to choose them. They always taught me that anything is possible with determination and hard work, and now I am going to the college of my dreams.
Like my idol, Tim Howard, I have shown the world that my Tourette’s cannot hold me back from achieving my dreams and reaching my highest goals. My Tourette Syndrome will always be a part of who I am, but it will never take control of me.