Having Tourette’s didn’t hinder my life to an extreme degree, especially considering that my case is far milder than some of my counterparts. However, that’s not to say that it didn’t impact my life to any extent at all; some of life’s simplest tasks required ample amounts of focus, energy, and time to complete.
For the duration of my education, I was among the last of my peers to finish any sort of in class reading, as every time I started, my eyes would shut and reopen rapidly at a pace that prevented me from retaining any information. That same tic had made goalkeeping an even harder task for my middle school soccer team. Required periods of silence for whatever reason became a war between myself and my auditory tics that simply yearned for me to click my tongue or clear my throat and disrupt the serenity of my environment.
I received my learner’s permit recently, and was naturally ecstatic to get on the road. My driving lessons had gone smoothly and I felt confident I would make an excellent driver in due time. I began to drive with my dad on minor errands, and did so aptly. However, on each of these drives I would begin to tic while on the road. My heavy blinks made consistent appearances (perhaps I was under added stress driving without an instructor) leaving me visually incapacitated for a multitude of seconds, with only brief windows in which I could see the world before me. Undoubtedly, this was cause for concern, as each moment my eyes wavered led to an increased chance of getting into an accident, not only putting me and my dad’s lives at stake but also whoever else is on the road. I’ve thankfully gotten much better at controlling those tics in the car, but I let my auditory ones roam free in exchange.
Tics vary per person: the array of physical and auditory tics that I have may be completely different to someone else’s. That being said, while some tasks may be grueling to me, it may be effortless to others with TS and vice versa. For some people, a walk in the park could be next to impossible due to complex tics that they have
The mental toll required to accomplish the bare minimum of life’s daily routine was, and still is, immense for me and countless others; every urge I feel by my body’s demands must be counteracted with a stronger desire to remain steadfast on whatever task is occupying my attention at the moment. Oftentimes, people will see my Tourette’s as just something I do because I have nothing better to do, as something that comprises the smallest part of my day. These same people fail to understand that having Tourette’s really does change my life, that doing the same things they do is an entirely different task for me. The point I’m trying to make is that two people can’t approach the same thing the same way, that underlying conditions such as Tourette’s can make even the simplest aspects of daily life a demanding feat.