‘How many of you have had a night out planned, or arranged coffee with friends and suddenly the 4 walls you inhabit seem the only safe haven because it’s the only place you don’t have to pretend you are ok, so you cancel.
Or when you are invited out you tell them how terribly sorry you are but you’re already booked up that weekend, when you are actually just really busy holding it together in your safe box.
And so the first problem starts, all by itself. People stop asking you and the isolation that at first wasn’t true becomes your only truth.
Please don’t give up on your friends. Ring them, go round, even when they don’t want you to. Because they really do, they just don’t know how to say it.’
This was a recent thread circulating on social media. I shared this statement on my Facebook page to support Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a sentiment that resonates deeply with me. It may look slightly different, but I think there is truth in this statement for many of us in the Tourette community. October is Mental Health Awareness Month, but it is also a month dedicated to raising awareness for anti-bullying, OCD and ADHD. These topics are real and relevant, woven throughout our lives. The reason I share this is to say, if you are experiencing any of these, you are not alone and we, the Tourette Association of America, are here for you.
We are continually working and improving upon programming for all ages and various awareness efforts. My hope is that our impactful work will result in a day when we no longer have to dedicate a special month to make our voice heard and combat stigma. But we can’t do it without you. We rely on you to tell us how can we better serve our children, parents, caregivers, adults, teachers, doctors… the list goes on. If you have an idea, we welcome it.
Thank you for all that you do to make life better for all people affected by not only Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders, but mental health issues and co-occurring conditions.