When I was 8 years old, I was diagnosed with TS, and this was not something I have spoken about my entire life. Because I was so ashamed of myself and struggled with self-esteem issues and bullying for so long, this was not a subject I was comfortable with.
However, as I got older, I was so inspired by the Miss America organization that I took a huge leap and refused to hide myself anymore. TS is now something I have shared with thousands of people. TS hasbeen a part of my life for more than 12 years, and it’s an struggle I can relate to 100 percent.
The best part about it is that it not only allows me reach out to children with TS, but also children who are facing an adversity in any way — and at some point in our lives, we all face challenges.
Growing up with TS certainly can make you stand out a little more than others. I know how it feels to have teachers tell me “stop doing that!” or have your peers laugh and make fun of you because you cant stop “ticcing.”
The best piece of advice I have ever been given was to accept myself. I learned very quickly that once I embrace myself and everything I embody, then others will begin to do the same.
This is just a small part of everything I have to say, so I will continue to contribute blog posts, and thank you all for providing so much insight into TS! Feel free to ask any questions you may have! My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can :)
— Miss Iowa 2012, Mariah Cary