So last night was a very exciting night for me! I got my acceptance letter from my first college! I had applied for a writing scholarship there but didn't think I would be hearing from them for at least another month or so. So when I got a letter in the mail yesterday that said I had been nominated as a finalist for the writing scholarship I was very happy but did not want to get my hopes up too much so I put down the letter before I had read the whole thing. I thought I got the point. I was soooo wrong!!! About an hour later, my mom came over to me with my grandpa on the phone and told me that he wanted to talk to me. She handed me the phone and he said "You better read your full letter from the college right now!". I was a bit confused but read it all the way through and to my enormous surprise at the end of the letter it said "Congratulations on your acceptance!". Oh my gosh was I in disbelief! In fact for a solid couple of minutes I thought it was a typo because I thought it was way to soon! Then I read over the letter a few more times and was eventually convinced that yes they did accept me into the University! I immediately called my relatives, texted my friends, and posted a facebook status about my accepted. Within minutes people were liking the status like crazzzyyy! I felt like a mini celebrity! It is really a huge deal to get in I could not be more honored and overjoyed!
All this excitement has a flip side for those of us with Tourette's though. I have been ticcing like crazy since last night. Tics increase with any intense emotion, good or bad. If I am excited I tic more, if I am stressed I tic more, if I am angry I tic more, etc.....You get the point! So today my tics were crazy. But I so didn't care because I was so excited about getting in. It was one of my very top choices, and getting an acceptance from like you #1 top choice pretty much is more than exciting! I worked so hard for this; you have no idea! Plus today was the first real day of my trimester since yesterday was senior skip day and pretty much only 3 or 4 people from each of my classes showed up. So the stress of my two new classes, plus the excitement of my college acceptance made for one ticcy day! So as a very ticcy fist day of my new trimester I decided to make a goal to try to begin to become comfortable with doing vocal tics in my new classes. I only have one class that I feel totally comfortable ticcing in, French. The reason for this is that I have been in the same French class with the same people pretty much since 9th grade. The people in that class know me and I have ticced so much around them and answered so many questions about my tics and Tourette's during the classes over the years that there is really no reason for me to feel self-consious. They all know about my Tourette's and they have never seemed to be bothered by it. I feel kind of close to the people in my french class in a way. They seem to care about me too. They ask me questions about collage and are very nice to me. They seem to know my situation more than anyone else in any other classes. So in French class I can do my vocal tics without feeling self-conscious. In other classes I tend to hold back, hold back, hold back, then do my vocal tics anyway just in a more suppressed way or try to hide them by couching around them or leave the class a lot. If French can be okay for me, then why can't it be that way in my other classes too?
So today I made a goal to start out with my history class. It's a pretty relaxed environment so that always helps, and my friend Cheetah from French class who sits right near me every day in French was sitting next to me in the history class so that helped too. Cheetah and I aren't really close friends since Cheetah doesn't really hang out with my group of friends and is more of the athletic cheerleader type, but she is always really nice to me. She jokes with me a lot about how bad my handwriting is, and we have known each other since 7th grade. She knows me situation really well and is very used to Tourette's. I knew that no sound I made would get a reaction out of her. So I started off my trying to not hold back so much. I ticced kind of quietly a few times, but when I let little vocal tics out, the louder ones are not far behind. So I then just had to let go, and my "eee" vocal/ pokemon sounding vocal was the one that decided to pop up, and yes I did get a reaction. One guy turned strait around to stare at me, and I heard another guy quietly say to his friend "did you hear that?". Cheetah and another girl from my French class gave absolutely no reaction, my teacher gave no reaction, and other kids in the class who have been in other classes with me gave no reaction either so the kids who hadn't had classes with me and who stared settled down and didn't make any comment. This is much of an improvement from the "What was that?!" reaction that I will get a lot. If I was in a class, I didn't know about Tourette's, and I suddenly heard a loud noise coming from behind me, I would probably turn around and stare too. So I mean I get it, and I don't take it personally. I could tell Cheetah was trying to reassure me that everything was alright. She asked to be my partner when it came to choosing partners for an in class assignment, and did most of the work and typing in case I wasn't really feeling up to it at the moment. I chimed in and helped though as much as I could to let her know I was okay. Then when we were done with the assignment she talked a lot with me and walked back from class with me. All the way back she chatted with me about French class and how our new History class was going to be. This made me feel a lot better. Hopefully, I will get to a point in my History class where I can tic without having to hold back so much and without provoking a reaction. The fact that Cheetah and another girl from my French class was there helped a lot.