My youngest brother Toby is one of the strongest and most inspiring people I know. Have you ever been somewhere and they ask you who your hero is, and why? Or if you could step in someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be? My answer for as long as I can remember has been “Toby.”
Toby was diagnosed with ADHD and tourettes at a young age. Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder where a person has both motor and vocal tics. The movements and sounds, (or tics) are uncontrollable
As he got older his tourettes got worse. To the point where he would take 5 minutes to string out a sentence between tics. He had constant migraines from head banging tics. Tourettes is something that unfortunately in our society is made fun of and misunderstood.
So if you could step into someone else’s shoes for a day, step in Toby’s. 2 years ago, you were a 15 year old boy, going through high school at an age where kids are nasty and judgemental. You already had it hard enough with body image, ‘cool factor’, athleticism, whether you’re in the right clothes, self worth, direction and purpose. Now add in uncontrollable noises such as sniffing, snorting, coughing, mmm-hhmmming, squealing. On top of that you have facial tics, where you might scrunch your face up, lick your lips, you might bang your head, jump, hit your chest, flick your fingers and your toes etc.
People in public give you dirty looks or flick snide insults your way. Kids at school tease and make fun of you. Your family try to pretend your tics haven’t given them a headache. How would you feel???
Toby has never let his tourettes stop him. He has never let anyone get the better of him. People glare at him at the movies and he just takes it in his stride. He doesn’t let it hold him back, or bring him down. He is one of the kindest and most generous people you will ever meet. He is always there for a friend in need. He has dreams and goals to help other people living with tourettes. He knows that his family and friends love him, and that no-body else’s opinions really matter.
No matter what the circumstances, never let the world bring you down. There are a few quotes that come to mind (I’m not sure who they are all by);
- “A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.”
- “What other people think of me is none of my business.”
- “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, coz hate in your heart will consume you too.” -Will Smith
- “I can choose to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me.“
On my facebook feed today, a quote popped up. It moved me, as I visualised all the quote entailed. I wanted to share this beautiful quote from my 17 year old hero :)
“Close your eyes and picture your dream, when you open your eyes do not ever stop until what you see everyday is the same whether your eyes are open or shut.” -Toby Monaghan