Stop this! I scolded myself. You look stupid! But my hand didn’t listen. Against my will, it continued to move back and forth frantically in front of my face. It wasn’t like I was trying to make a scene, but I knew it was distracting because the professor had stopped speaking to stare at me. It had been a really stressful day, and my Tourette Syndrome was really acting up. Tics that I could usually keep under wraps were jumping out at me left and right. I left class that night feeling ashamed. It might have been somewhat normal for a preschooler to do something like that, but it looked really strange when a college student was doing it. I knew it wasn’t her fault for wondering about my strange habits. I just wished that more people could relate, who understood what it was like to feel out of control of one’s body.
As time went, I began to realize that Tourette Syndrome and my OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) tendencies are just a part of who I am. I began to understand that God had a reason for making me the way I’m made; just because I had neurological disorders didn’t mean God had made a mistake. Instead, I like to think that He simply “wired” my brain a little differently from other people’s. And I was fine with that. In fact, I rejoiced in knowing that God takes time to make me into the person He wants me to be. Still, I just wished sometimes that other people could understand what it felt like.
Then I read Brad Cohen’s book, Front of the Class. Brad Cohen is the leading voice for people with Tourette Syndrome, and his story was the first blockbuster to reveal a first person perspective of having Tourette Syndrome. While the extent of his Tourette’s is much more severe than mine, for the first time, I felt like someone was saying exactly what I felt. The more I read, the more excited I became. I devoured his book in about a day and then jumped on my computer to find more. I figured there had to be more stories like Cohen’s! According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), it was estimated that in 2007 about 148,000 children in the United States were affected with Tourette’s. Surely someone must have written something else about his or her experiences. As much as I searched, however, I found very few resources or books with first-hand perspectives on Tourette’s.
That’s why I’m going to be writing here. I’m Brittany, and I want to share with others what it’s like to cope with TS (Tourette Syndrome) and OCD tendencies in day-to-day situations. I’m praying that not only individuals like me will find this helpful and encouraging, but parents, teachers, family, friends and other curious individuals as well. And while I love data (I’m an info junkie.), I don’t want this to be just another site with medical facts. I want people to see that it’s possible to face the challenges of disorders and still have an amazing, adventuresome life. I love my life. It’s not always easy, but in the end, it’s the life that’s perfect for me.
I’ll be up front and tell you right now that my greatest weapon in slaying my dragons is the grace of God. Even on days where I’m battling anxiety attacks, tics and that stupid perfectionistic voice in my head that never shuts up, I know that my Lord and Savior is always there to catch me. Not once have I cried out for mercy and grace and been denied it. With each passing day, month and year, I’m learning that no matter what happens, God’s plan for me is the best. And if you cry out to Him as well, trusting that He’s your Lord and Savior, I know He will do the same for you. Finding peace in one’s situation rarely comes overnight. Instead, it’s a beautiful story of how God proves His love over and over again throughout the lives of those He cherishes, drawing them closer to Him always in the process.
I hope you enjoy following my adventures (and misadventures) with each post. For more information about me, as well as the type of posts I’ll be putting up here, please visit my About page. Also, I’d love to hear your feedback on my posts. Comments, stories, ideas and resources are welcome on my Comments Box below. Thanks so much for joining me!