Hi my name is Sam and I am 14 and I have Tourette’s Syndrome and some other disabilities. My mum is the author of “Second Chances: a young person’s guide to emotional resilience” book and she asked me if I would write a few things in the book that might help other young people, so I have.
I have had to face a few difficulties in my life so far, like living with Tourette’s Syndrome and injecting myself every day and being responsible for taking other medication and I admit I wish sometimes I didn’t have to go through this but I am determined not to let my disabilities define who I am because there’s lots more to me than just that.
When I was first diagnosed with having Tourette’s I didn’t think about it at all – I didn’t really understand it because I was only young. Then as I got older I became more aware of other people’s reactions to my tics, and I began to feel more self-conscious and anxious about talking to people or going to school.
For a while this made me sad and angry but then my mum helped me realise that if I could just manage to “shift my focus” away from my Tourette’s for just a short while and focus on something that made me feel a little better and more confident then I could achieve more and be less anxious.
I have been using some of the techniques in the book like “shifting my focus” to help me stay mentally strong and happy and even though it’s not always easy I would rather do that than stay angry and frustrated with my life.
My message to young people is never give up even when you think things are bad.