Did you know that there’s a Tourettes Syndrome National Awareness month? My guess is you probably don’t know and with good reason. It’s not something that effects a lot of us. Ya I know it seems like theres a “month for anything and everything” but this one is particularly special to me. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with this tic disorder. Finding this out was a sort of relief. I had no idea why my body always felt like it was itching all over. Why did I have to tweak my shoulders or pop my wrist consistently? Why did I have to stretch and twitch my neck in odd patterns to find relief? Why was I the only one I could see around me having this issue? Kids at school would make comments or mimic me which would bring on more stress and compound the symptoms.
Luckily, I have had an incredible support system through my life that has treated me with patience while never making me feel as if I was odd, strange, or incapable of doing anything I wanted. To say I was blessed is an understatement. Many other kids aren’t as lucky. They get bullied and picked on. Paralyzed in their own bodies, they can feel helpless. Knowing what I’ve been through and what others continue to go through has brought a sense of empathy and compassion that continues to guide my life.
Now, my tics are nowhere near as consistent and complex as they were when I was in my teens and early 20s. Now, they come out to play when i’m feeling highly stressed or anxious. This reality gives me a drive to actively seek out methods of relief. I’ve been forced into research and experimentation to avoid the cycle that can begin if I’m not conscious and proactive. Looking back through my life and analyzing where I’ve placed my efforts, nothing has provided me with more relief than playing with my body.
Movement and play have always been my places of comfort. My sense and awareness for my body in space has come naturally. I consider this to be a gift from Tourettes. Movement has always been my medicine and as time progresses, I’ve found better ways of healing with this medicine. Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to find a culture of people that understands the importance of movement and its incredible power. They’ve set a fire within me to spread this message. This is what you will usually see me posting about on here, so today, I want to shed light on all of those who are silently seeking relief.
If you don’t know someone who has TS, now you do. If you don’t care about my story, then you might care about someone else who is close to you. You may know someone with Parkinson’s, Dystonia, Tremors, or even restless legs syndrome that is experiencing a movement disorder. If we can bring awareness to Tourette’s, we can help bring awareness to a multitude of movement disorders. You may even be preemptively helping yourself or your children.
ps. Tourette Syndrome Awareness month is from May 15th – May 17th. If you’d like to learn more and support, check out the link in my bio.
pps. The awesome culture I’m talking about is at @republicofmovement. If you’re in Miami, check them out. They just opened their playground in Wynwood!