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My Tourettes Story

Posted Mon 3rd Feb 2020 at 12:53
by Anastasia Carter

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Hello, my names Anastasia and I have Tourette’s. I was first diagnosed when I was 7 and it’s been one long, amazing and emotional journey since then. My tics started off at quite a young age, starting with my facial tics. They started with rapid eye blinking, shoulder, arm and head jerking and mouth movements. And over the years they progressively got worse. My current motor tics are rapid eye blinking, shoulder shrugging, head and neck jerking, clicking and clapping. My vocal ones are making high pitched squeals, noises in my throat, making a sort of clicking sound and making sudden sounds.

Going through junior school and high school was the biggest struggle I think I've ever had to face at the moment. People severely bullied me not just in school but outside of school as well. People would point, laugh, make fun, imitate me, call me names and just push it too far. Eventually I developed anxiety and depression. I went through really dark times in my life and shut myself away from everyone and everything. And then I found karate.

Since then my life has changed a lot more than I thought it would. I started back in September 2018, totally shy, not wanting to talk to anyone and scared of what they would think of me. But eventually I gradually started coming out of my shell, and it’s the best thing I've ever done. What I now call my karate family have helped me achieve so much more than I ever thought I would. From doing my first tournament last year to going to my first ever nationals tournament and becoming a national champion at only orange belt, I now believe I can do anything that I put my mind too I learn so many new skills and gain so much more knowledge and it's all down to the help of my sensei’s. Without them I wouldn't have started pushing myself beyond my comfort zone or my limits. But I did and still do and I can't wait for this journey to carry on because not only will it be hard and frustrating at times but it will also be exciting and fun.

I would honestly recommend karate to people because it hasn't only helped with my Tourette's and confidence, but it has also become a great activity to do in my spare time. However karate still does come with challenges like pain, mind strength and the anxiety I get when going to tournaments with hundreds of new people, as they don't know straight away about my Tourette's and I never know what their reactions will be. It has helped me build confidence of myself and has taught me that I should love myself and be more confident about who I am no matter what people think of me. Because Tourette's doesn't define who you are, and I learnt that the hard way.

Having TS may feel like a person is at the back of your mind who is constantly telling you what to say and do (just like anxiety) which doesn't help, but it doesn't mean that's who you are. I can't say that anxiety will just go away because it doesn't and I still struggle with it every day. With the constant fear at the back of my mind of what people are going to say or what they will do. Or even just about my self-image. And on top of that, when my anxiety gets bad, my tics get worse and then my anxiety gets even worse, so it’s just one vicious circle. But you can learn to live with it, and become strong minded enough to become in control of it. Nothing or no one is stopping you from doing that. So I hope this little insight of how my life has gone so far can help to motivate and inspire you to change your life like I did and become more confident and in love with yourself and your Tourettes.


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My Tourettes Story

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