You may think that suppressing your tics can't have such dire consequences, but it can have horrible effects. Some people can suppress without having to fear the consequences, but if you're anything like myself, suppressing is an issue.
Whether you have tics or not, I want to share what it's like to suppress, and if you do have tics, hopefully you can resonate with me.
For quite a few years, I suffered from migraines. We thought that this was just down to stress from school, so I tried to keep working out of school to a minimum. When my tics became more noticeable in around February of this year, my migraines were less intense- which is really saying something considering I would get at least one migraine a week, which usually lasted for a few days. In late February/ early March, my tics were becoming more uncontrollable, however my migraines had ceased.
I didn't link this to my tics, as I was just happy that they had stopped. It wasn't until a bit later when my mum was researching, that we found migraines were an effect of suppressing tics for an extended period of time. This was rather weird to hear, considering I had migraines for a while, yet only just noticed my tics.
One of the worst effects of suppressing my tics that I go through, are the tic attacks. These can be quite scary for me - so I can't imagine how scary it may be for others to see it. Luckily for me, my tic attacks don't last very long, and I haven't hurt myself really badly during one, except for a few bruises. My tic attacks consist of me hitting myself over and over for about 10 minutes (I think the longest one I've had was 15, maybe 20 minutes).
I cannot respond during a tic attack, although I am aware of what's happening and I can get very tired after one.
Now, one thing that I want people to know; I don't want sympathy. Having Tourette's Syndrome has only made me stronger, and despite the fact that I will probably have this condition my whole life, I am and will be constantly learning.
I am proud of myself for trying to be me (although sometimes it's hard), and for overcoming the things I have overcome:
- the weird stares/looks in public
- my body locking up on me, or my legs giving way, meaning that sometimes I have to use a mobility aid
- hey, even telling people that I have Tourette's when I first meet them can be hard.
I am so grateful for my family and friends, for constantly helping me and taking time to learn about ways to help me, things that can trigger my tics, the different tics that I have and may experience, and so much more. I have spoken to so many amazing people that have helped me, like Hazel (@meand_mychild on instagram), Paityn and her mum (@paityns_world on instagram), and Zara (@zara.bethx on instagram).
I am also grateful for my condition. I know that sounds odd, but I have learnt so much. It's also really helped my social anxiety, as having the courage to go out into public and ticcing is really hard, but I can now do it. Obviously sometimes I get really anxious about it, but I am getting better at allowing myself to tic in public, with no need to apologise.
Suppressing my tics is something that I am especially used to, but I am slowly learning that it's okay. My family and friends have been so patient and are helping me learn it, and I'm so thankful for them.
I understand that it can be hard to accept your tics for what they are, and I know what it feels like to wish you were just... normal. But I promise you being 'normal' isn't even a real thing.
It can be hard living with Tourette's Syndrome, but my disability doesn't define me. It's just a learning curve, that makes things just a bit harder. For me, a challenge is good, I love challenges. <3