Adam has Tourette’s syndrome. This disease has been with him since early childhood. He has never had friends, it is difficult for him to make contact with people. He works as a designer, spends most of his time at home, and only occasionally goes out, though even then only in the evenings so as not to attract the attention of many people. He tries to remain unnoticed. Everything changes when he starts attending a support group and meets people like him. He makes friends, learns to communicate, and comes to understand that life becomes much easier when you are not alone, when there is someone who supports you, and also when someone needs your support. From then on, Adam will make attempts to socialize. This is the main thread (or intrigue) of his story.
I have got used to living with tics. But I will hardly ever get used to its surprising new forms, just like I will never make peace with the fact that I have to live through this. I have long been trying to understand my feelings, but I could never put my finger on the format of our relationship. I’m in a constant struggle with my body. Each of its new tricks catches me unawares. My body can make me cough, jerk my neck, blink, raise my hands, stretch my legs, shout out random sounds. It looks like some kind of a role play for domination, but I often get tired of the battle which feels more like a game of anti-chess. I might find myself buttoning my shirt up and down dozens of times, winding my watch, playing with my phone, opening and closing popular apps as if performing some ritual. I don’t always tie my shoes because I get angry when I can’t align the eyelets. I have to be extra careful when cooking. There’s always a risk I might burn myself. I steer clear of amusement parks because it might have a sad ending. I’m afraid of having sex, too, since I’m not sure I’ll be able to control the moment of orgasm. That’s very distressing. Sometimes, I want to hurt myself, to punish this body of mine that gets so tired of itself that it keeps aching and causing muscle cramps. If you don’t sleep well, your tic is sure to exhaust you in the morning. If you let yourself drink more coffee or alcohol than usual, it will destroy you. Even if I won a million dollars in the lottery, the joy I’d feel would only make my tic worse. That’s why I avoid all kinds of emotional triggers: I don’t read bad news; I don’t watch dramas; I protect myself from intense emotions. It’s quite uncomfortable. A life like this is not fun. I wish I could make a bargain with Tourette’s syndrome or, at least, take a brief vacation from it.