52 Weeks of TS: Week 45

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. With just 7 weeks remaining in this series, there’s a chance you missed one more entries from his exciting, revealing journey. You can read all of them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

After the insanity of last week, life is slowly returning to normal. I was able to go back to work on Wednesday. Yay, I could finally get out of my house and go back to work. I got ready for work and went to the subway. It was already packed. I sat there on the crowded subway contemplating taking a different train. I knew if I took this train, it was not going to be good for my anxiety. I could already feel it build, but if I took a later train, I knew I would be late for work. I sucked it up and took the train. It was a nightmare. Every stop, more people got on and more anxiety built.

This anxiety thing is a bitch. Yes, my main anxiety is pretty much gone, but I still have the chance of having an anxiety attack depending on the situation. Here it is anxiety attack on the train. I feel everything closing in on me. The tunnel vision starts, and I slowly feel the weight on my chest growing. The subtle hyperventilating starts, the sweat comes rolling down my forehead and more builds in the palm of my hands. I can feel my heart beat through every extremity of my body.

My brain starts going a million miles a minute — “Get away from me, why do you have to stand so close to me? If I get off at the next stop, will there be another train close behind? What if that one is just as crowded? What are you looking at? Do they see my tics? AAHHHHHHHH!!!!”

After about a 40-minute train ride and an anxiety attack that I am convinced cause a heart attack, I have finally reached my stop. I run up the stairs barreling through people to get to ground level and breathe the fresh air of NYC. I’m free.

What the hell? There is no winning. I want to be agoraphobic, until I get a taste of it, then I need back into civilization, but that backfires, too. I guess there is no escape, but it eventually got better throughout the week. I continued taking the train, and eventually it became just part of my day, but the thought still lingered that it could happen again and I’m not going to know when.

One day I was on the train and the woman across was putting on her make-up. I sat there and watched her apply her make-up from start to end. It got me thinking, “What are we hiding from? Is anyone actually fully comfortable with himself or herself?” We cover ourselves with makeup to be a prettier version of ourselves. We pump ourselves with medications to hide from ourselves. You know what? These shoes do not define me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully guilty of this. I spend most of my life trying to suppress my tics out of fear of judgment, but why am I worried about you judging me? I will probably never see you again in my life.

OK, I guess I’m finished with that negative rant. I’m making it sound as if my week was horrible, and it was actually not half bad. One thing that I’m really excited about this week is that my doctor ordered a Chinese herbal medicine for my tics. I should be able to start taking it early next week, and I’m interested and excited to see if it works. It says it takes four to six weeks before you can see any results, but how exciting is that? I could be tic free by the end of the year. I will keep you updated.

Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”

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