Takeover Melbourne winner, Zoe – Melton, Victoria
I'm holding my tics in right now.
It takes a lot of concentration and it really hurts.
It's kind of like holding onto a cough in the middle of an exam when everyone is quiet.
It's a really uncomfortable feeling that just keeps building until it's a heavy pain.
When we're learning from home I can turn the mic and camera off and tic as much as I want.
I have lots of different tics — some are squeaking noises, some are head jerks, and some are swearing tics.
These ones aren't fun, especially at school.
I also have a tic where I flip people off.
A less fun tic is where I punch myself in the head or in the chest. Or when I pass out in the school hallway, having a seizure.
Before October, I had tics that were barely noticeable. Before I was diagnosed, I had barely any symptoms.
Until, one night, I had hundreds of seizures, on and off, for hours on end.
I missed the entirety of term four. I had to quit my job. My tics were non-stop.
I was having ten tics every second, I was exhausted. I was on a whole heap of medication and none of it was really working.
People don't realise that Tourette's is debilitating.
Tourette's can appear to be funny and can have its own personality — using my body and my voice to say and do ridiculous things. But for me it's relentless.
There's no real cure for Tourette's.
I've found that, personally, the best treatment for it is acceptance, not fearing judgement, and being comfortable in who I am.