When first diagnosed, I became fearful. There is something wrong with me!?!
Prior to my diagnosis, I was confident speaking to large groups of people, and darned good at it. Suddenly I became full of self-doubt. I now had a disorder, Tourette Syndrome, that caused me to have uncontrolled tics and behaviours. I could blurt out (god knows what) uncontrollably in public. To save myself from embarrassment, I withdrew myself from the outside world. I didn’t trust myself anymore. I was no longer normal.
It took me years to realize that the only thing that changed was a diagnosis. My abilities and weaknesses had always been present in me – and I was unchanged by the diagnosis.
I needed to discover why I had been gifted my neurological disorders.
Being diagnosed with differences from “the statistical norm” gave me reason to check myself (too much at first), creating debilitating self-doubt within me. During a lengthy period of rediscovery and rebalancing, I learned about my disorders and became aware of the unique gifts and challenges my neurology presented. I was neurologically gifted my disorders.
Having numerous neurologic conditions due to Tourette Syndrome, I discovered how to offset my challenges by using the gifts of one disorder to minimize the deficits created by another. For example, I learned to let my ADHD distractibility dominate when I was getting stuck on perfection at work (OCD). I also drew upon my OCD symptoms to force me to finish what I started. Oddly enough, I often blend the 2 disorders in a comical way that sees me complete multiple tasks simultaneously (a little of this, then a bit of that, some of that, back to this, and presto !).
OCD and ADHD both take great amounts of energy – ADHD takes physical energy while OCD sucks up emotional/mental energy. When driven by hyper activity, I often redirect my energy towards productivity by allowing myself to become obsessed on task completion or organization. Let’s face it, it feels great to have a physical outlet, but gosh, does it ever feel good to line things up too!