When I was a kid, I
took desperate measures to conceal my TS: I prayed that this weird companion
within me would just go away. Ironically, it was only after admitting
and accepting that it wouldn't go away that it did.
Well….. in my thoughts at least. I found that learning all about
how TS works, talking about it to others at length, both on personal
and professional levels, and surrounding myself with many others like
myself 'satiated' me in a way. TS for the first time no
longer incessantly occupied my mind at all times, insisting that its
presence be constantly in the forefront of every moment. It took
me a long time, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears but eventually
I had allowed my obsessive mind to explore and analyze various facets
of this condition to the point of boredom. Someone's looking
at me because I just barked. Ho-hum. How mundane.
Can't they do something more original??
I once heard the president of the Wellington Waterloo TSFC chapter advise
a parent to take steps to take TS out of the centre of attention.
I agree, and for many reasons (some of which are below):
-The more parents can take TS from the limelight (even if they are faking
it at first!), the more they can communicate to their child that this
disorder isn't the end of the world. Life - even good quality
life - can go on.
-The more individuals with TS can take TS from the limelight (even if
they are faking it at first!), the less of a "target" they'll
be for discrimination - a person who looks at ease with who (s)he is
and openly displays it is a much less appetizing target than one who
communicates insecurity through constant anxious dwelling. Attempts
to hide the disorder can even communicate to potential employers/significant
others that this disorder must be a very disabling and awful thing indeed
if the person him/herself goes to such lengths to mask it
-Any kid, Tourettic or otherwise, likes to push the envelope to see
just how much they can get away with. If, through the attention
of doctors, parents, and teachers, a child gets the sense that this
disorder must disable him/her to a great degree, (s)he may succumb to
this belief, and never realize the extent that (s)he could exert control
and self-discipline over him/herself.
From my experience, the way to take TS from the centre of attention
is to first fully explore and plan for it. One of many advantages
to being diagnosed with a "disorder", in my opinion, is that
while most people in life manage to avoid or deny their shortcomings,
faults or miscellaneous "baggage" throughout life, we are
forced to look at ours head-on. While so many of those poor "normies"
plod through their whole lives with their baggage in tow, we have the
opportunity to face it, deal with it in some way, and move on.
Those of us that turn around and pick up their trailing baggage have
a distinct advantage - we can no longer be tripped, held up, slowed
down, and otherwise inconvenienced by it.
Until next time, my friends!