I took this to be true and lived with undiagnosed and untreated TS until I was in my second year of university. At this point, my TS was getting worse, and it was interfering with my studies, my sleep, and my social life. I went to see the doctor on campus and was referred to a specialist.
Immediately after I left the doctor's office, I experienced an identity crisis and had many questions: Is my brain broken? Is this going to get worse? How can I hide this from my friends? Most importantly, what is TS? I tried to find the answers to these questions myself, but it was not until I sought out psychological treatment and discovered the Ottawa Chapter that I was able to start answering my questions.
After finally receiving treatment and subsequently owning my TS, I was able to put my tics on the backburner and start working towards the things that I wanted out of life. Completing university and then college put me in a position to begin my legal career which I have been successfully managing and excelling in for over 6 years. I have been able to start a beautiful family with my partner, and I continue to push myself to achieve my goals. My most recent achievement was sitting for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and scoring in the top 95 percent of all North American test takers. This success wouldn’t have been possible without the treatment that I received and the confidence that resulted from treatment.
By volunteering with the Ottawa Chapter I hope that I can use my experiences with TS, both negative and positive, to show parents with children living with TS and children living with TS that it is not a life sentence. I have struggled with my TS at different points in my life, and I know that I will continue to struggle at times but I truly believe that the struggles and day to day management of TS have taught me a level of resiliency that I would otherwise not have, and a chip on my shoulder that gives me an extra push to succeed.
I truly believe that the first step to owning TS is to accept it. Explore what TS means to you. Each case of TS is like a snowflake, and no two individuals experience it the same way. Talk about TS with your family, friends, and colleagues. It is a paradoxical condition in that the more you engage with it the less obstructive it tends to be, and the more you try to ignore it the more predominant it becomes.
I could not be more thankful for the people at Tourette Canada, including every member of every chapter for the time and hard work that they dedicate to TS awareness. The community, and Ottawa chapter specifically, has been extremely helpful for me. I hope that my story and advice resonates with you and provides proof that TS is not a life sentence, but just a hurdle that can be overcome.
VIRTUAL ADULT SUPPORT GROUP