30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know
1. The illness I live with is:
Tourette Syndrome, social anxiety, and trichotillomania (well... that one is kind of visible if you stare at my hair, I guess)
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:
when I was 15 for Tourette's, and for the others I self-diagnosed, and doctors confirmed it when I told them
3. But I had symptoms since:
pretty early for Tourette's (I don't remember when I first started showing symptoms, probably in preschool?), I've always been rather socially inept but didn't really feel anxiety about it until I was 12-ish, and I think I started pulling my hair when I was 10 or 11
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:
The social anxiety thing kind of controls my life in some aspects... I think if I didn't have it, I would travel more, be involved in more things, and I wouldn't have taken so long to find a job a few years ago. Sometimes I agonize over whether I can even leave my house.
5. Most people assume:
I can just stop twitching/pulling. Well, I can physically avoid it, but then there's this inner nagging, and if I don't give in, the "nagging" bugs me until I give in. It's not that simple.
6. The hardest part about mornings are:
dragging myself out of bed, but that's just because I'm lazy
7. My favorite medical TV show is:
Scrubs (I don't like medical shows, but Scrubs is funny)
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:
my computer, but that's just me...
9. The hardest part about nights are:
nothing, really... I like night
10. Each day I take 0 pills & vitamins.
Hooray for being med-free!
11. Regarding alternative treatments I:
guess it depends... I don't really treat anything
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose:
invisible, they're more interesting
13. Regarding working and career:
it's really a challenge at first, getting jobs and adjusting to new social situations, but after a few months, I settle in, and it becomes routine... but I still freeze up if I have to use the phone
14. People would be surprised to know:
I'm fine with going out in public most of the time, like going to restaurants and grocery shopping. But I really prefer to do these things when places aren't crowded.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:
that other people have a problem with it
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:
do things like Alpha, Confluence, and Pennsic
17. The commercials about my illness:
either don't exist, or I haven't seen any
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:
This makes it seem like diagnosis is some sort of doom. It's not. It's just an explanation so you can understand it better and seek the right treatment, if needed. I don't really feel limited, except in social aspects
19. It was really hard to have to give up:
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:
I have a zillion hobbies
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would:
I don't want to feel "normal," but if I didn't have social anxiety for a day, I'd go to a party or event or something and meet people.
22. My illness has taught me:
you need to communicate with people so they understand better (and then they'll leave you alone about it)
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:
"stop twitching!" or "stop pulling your hair!" (especially if I'm just running my fingers through my hair, which I do all the time)
24. But I love it when people:
are cool with the whole not-being-very-social thing and would rather hang around playing games or something than go to parties and stuff (then again, most of my friends are also introverts, so it works out fine)
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:
"don't let the bastards get you down"
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them:
it's not the end of the world, you can get through this
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:
most of the people I know have been really awesome and understanding
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:
well, when I got appendicitis and missed the last week of high school, some of my friends did really awesome things. A couple went around getting everyone to sign cards, my speech and comp class made a short video for me, and a couple others made this banner and brought it over... it was just so amazing, and it blew my mind that people would do such nice things for me.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:
I didn't know there was a week for it. Then again, there's a "week" for everything now. Which reminds me of the hilarious Tom Lehrer song "National Brotherhood Week."
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:
uh... I don't really "feel" any way about it. But good for you for educating yourself?