Even in this day and age, I seem to find that Tourettes is still a very taboo subject to most people. I understand different doctors specialise in different things, but you would not believe the amount of times I have said to medical professionals “I have Tourettes” and they look at me with a blank face and ask what Tourettes is. Naturally, most other people have no clue about it either. I often find myself explaining ‘what is wrong with me’ to a lot of people.
The only exposure most people have had of Tourettes has been TV programs where the person’s case of Tourettes was quite bad. Which of course, that can be a reality for some people. But for me it’s not. My Tourettes is not as obvious to people, if you met me, you would not think I have it. This is both a blessing and a curse.
It can be nice with people not knowing. There is no judgment, no passing comments, and no acting differently around me. Now I can understand that many people do this without intentionally meaning to, but they still do it. Then again, even when people do know there are always questions. People assume because I have it but they can’t see it, that I still function the same as everyone else. This is a very incorrect assumption. I believe, in comparison to someone without Tourettes who functions at 100% capacity in day to day life, I function at 70%. Obviously this isn’t a proven fact, but it is a way for people to relate and realise I can’t do what a normal person does.
I will always be tired, even after sleep. My brain is constantly active and always thinking about three different things at once. I will never be able to focus as well as others, even if I try. I don’t and most likely will never have full control over the things I say and the way I express emotions. There are so many traits about me that some people simply cannot comprehend, and no matter how many times you try and explain, they just cannot get their head around what having Tourettes actually means.
But you learn to adapt to your environment. You learn how to deal with the situation yourself and you learn to cope with other people. It is never easy, but life goes on.