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COLLEGE WEEK: The nerves are hitting me

Well the nerves about college are finally started to really hit me. I have exactly 4 days until I move into my dorm for pre-orientation. Everyone is getting ready. I’m really buckling down and wrapping up with my exposure therapy. And I got my books, school supplies and some other preliminary things to pack for college. Yikes! This college thing is real!!!

I still have only had a little bit of contact with my roommate, and I have no idea if she’s going to be doing a pre-orientation like me, or if i’m going to be alone in my room for 4 days. Not knowing is hard for me, because my OCD and anxiety make me worry so much about things that I don’t know or things that are not set in stone.

I keep worrying that the reason my roommate isn’t replying to me on Facebook is because she’s checked out my Facebook page and has already decided that she hates me or has no interest in being my friend. I know its more likely that she’s just busy getting ready for college, but my worries seem to get the best of me sometimes even if I know they probably aren’t rational.

This is one of the parts I hate the most about Tourette Syndrome: the inability to control my thoughts and worries even if I know logically they are irrational.

I keep telling myself that my roommate is just busy getting ready for college, or she has to many Facebook messages to sort through, or maybe she’s as worried about meeting me as I am about meeting her. But my involuntary thoughts are still there. Half the time I just keep thinking that my pictures on Facebook make me look too much like a nerd, or a spoiled brat, or something like that.

Or I think that while looking at my page she came across some of my posts or documentary statuses that talk about Tourette and that she’s decided that  I am probably one of the people with TS who swear and shout out profanities and that she is not afraid of me or is dreading even meeting me. Gosh, I just wish my brain would quiet down or that I could just have all the answers right now.

I also keep worrying about telling my classmates about my Tourette and just having to be in a completely new environment and having to explain Tourette all over again to pretty much everyone who sees me tic. This is going to get annoying for me, but I just have to remember to try to be patient with other people. They don’t know that I’ve already told 5 people that day, or that I feel like I just don’t want to talk about it anymore. They’re just curious.

My mom also got me this college book last night. It’s called “How to Survive Freshman Year.” It should be called “How to Scare Yourself into Thinking Freshman Year is Going to Be Awful and that Everyone is Going to Hate You.” … It’s not a very good book. In the roommate section, there were SO MANY stories like this:

“Freshman year, my roommate was just awful. She was such a nerd and never left the room. And she always made a big deal out of such little things. By the end of the year, I was so happy to move out.”

“My roommate was really unstable and went from loving me one minute to hating me the next. She was inconsiderate to my friends. After a few months I had to go to my RA and have her kicked out.”

“My freshman roommate was from the deep south, and told me I was going to hell in all seriousness. She was concerned for my soul.”

And the one that scared me the most:

“I would argue with my roommate all the time. I would tell her that she’s an obsessive-compulsive and couldn’t couldn’t deal with her anymore. She would tell me I’m a psycho. So I didn’t spend very much time in my room.”

While I’m afraid that my roommate could be a person who’s being described like this, I’m even more afraid that I would be the one described like this by my roommate. While I wouldn’t tell my roommate she’s going to hell or be inconsiderate to her friends, it scares me to think of her possibly going back home and saying something like:

“My roommate was a psycho. She told me she had Tourette and OCD. I was freaked out by this and never stopped being freaked out. She was a complete weirdo who twitched all the time and made these obnoxious and annoying noises. I was so fed it with it half way through the year that I had to request to change roommates. Glad I got out of that situation.”

Gosh, I really hope that isn’t the way my roommate feels. But after reading all those stories in the book, the roommates just sound so critical and mean.

Thinking this way though isn’t helping me, and I have to look at the real evidence in my life rather than this book about people I don’t even know. The reality is that no one in my life who I have told about my Tourette or OCD has ever been any less than understanding and accepting.

Whenever I tell someone about my TS or OCD, they seem interested and curious and they want to know more. They are never freaked out by me, and they never reject me. Also, everyone I know tells me that people in college are just so more accepting than people in high school and middle school.

If people in college are really more accepting than people in high school, then I should be just fine because I was just fine in high school. No one was ever mean to me because of my tics, and no one ever made fun of me or mocked me. I was accepted, even when my tics got pretty darn bad.

I just have to keep reminding myself not to let my worries take over and to look at how things have been in the past for me. I have to remind myself that these are just my worries and they are not destined to be reality.  I have to think positively. Maybe my roommate will go back home and say:

“My roommate freshman year was amazing. She told me she had Tourette and OCD. At first I didn’t really know what this was going to mean for me and I was a little worried. Then she explained, and the way she explained it really put me at ease. Everything went really smoothly after that. We ended up being really close friends, and living with her opened up my eyes to diversity and what it means to be different. She’s just a normal person who happens to have tics. Her tics are just a part of her, and she’s so relaxed about it which helped me be relaxed about it, too.”

This is what I am hoping for!!!! I want her to feel like that, and I just hope she can be accepting of me. I hope she isn’t as critical as the people in the “Surviving Freshman Year” book.

Whatever the outcome, though, i’m going to have to live with it. I think I’m strong enough to live with however the situation with my roommate turns out. If my roommate and I don’t end up being best friends, I know I have other friends already who are going to my school next year and I know I will make more friends, too.

There are people out there who will want to be friends with me and who accept me for who I am, tics and all. I know this because of my fantastic friends and the people I have met who show me this on a daily basis. Just like anybody else on campus, I will surround myself with people who like me for who I am and who don’t care about my quirks and differences.

I will end with this quote which I try to live by most of the time:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind, don’t matter.” — Dr. Seuss

RuthieP

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