"Tourettes is something I have. It is not who I am."
Tic to the Top is a philosophy to which I ascribe. It is a mixture of psychology, leadership skills, and self-motivation that anyone can use to reach their goals. To read more about the author and the origins of this website, click on “About Tic to the Top.”
Tic to the Top
It is important to remember that you are not your tics. They do not define you, nor should you let them. Imagine that you hurt your finger. You would do what you could to help your finger heal. But your identity would not be wrapped up in that finger. Your injured finger is not you. It’s not your identity, or who you are. Similarly, your TS is not your identity. When you come back to a class reunion one day, you don’t want people to see you and think, “Hey, there’s the kid with Tourettes.” Instead, they should think, “That’s the kid with the great sense of humor,” or “That’s the kid who can play the piano really well!” Ask yourself: What words do I want others to use to describe me? How do I want to be known?
Here are some words you might use to describe yourself:
kind thoughtful compassionate
helpful friendly intelligent artistic
determined musical cheerful
humorous dependable responsible
trustworthy optimistic courteous creative
This is just a very small list. But notice that Tourettes is not on it.
Be Your Own Motivator
"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake…"-Francis Bacon Sr.
Tourettes and its associated conditions can be difficult to deal with! Perhaps the most important trait to posses is the ability to motivate oneself. Without this ability, it is nearly impossible to harness any of the other skills needed to be successful. One way to develop this skill is to ask yourself: In five years, what will I be? What do I want to be?
For example, an adult friend of mine was considering returning to college to pursue her PhD. She would be able to attend school part time only, and realized that it would take her six years to complete the requirements. She was feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of six additional years of classes, and was leaning towards not attempting this goal. I asked her how old she would be in six years. She replied, “I’ll be 38 years old.” I told her that in six years, she would be thirty eight years old regardless of whether or not she went back to school. Then I asked, “Do you want to be 38 years old with or without a PhD?” She said she had not thought about it that way. And she decided to go for it. Today, she has the letters PhD after her name.
Trust me- you’re going to grow up. And while it is human nature to take the easy way out, the plans and effort you make today will determine your life later. I know, blah, blah, blah, you’ve heard this stuff before, right? Why should you listen to me? Because I get it. I know the effort you make just to get through each day. It’s a struggle to live with tics. Add the associated conditions, and there are days you’re ready to throw in the towel. That’s all the more reason to use this website. This is going to be your turning point. What worked for me can work for you. It will take commitment and persistence to make positive changes in your life. Once parents, teachers, and friends see that you are taking responsibility for where you go in life, instead of making excuses, your relationships with them will improve. When you learn to coexist with tics, ADHD, OCD, etc., there are no limits!
Where do you Start?