He writhes in agony. Pouring a glass of milk is five minute task. His muscles constrict and contort, often causing him endless hours of pain. He is a prisoner in his own body. During the years since he was diagnosed, he has given himself two black eyes, several punches to the stomach, and bloody swollen cheeks. He has a rare form of Tourette Syndrome. He literally beats himself up day in and day out. He lived through much of his childhood believing that there was no hope, that he would spend the rest of his life behind the iron bars of his own flesh. His eyes were empty, devoid of light or peace. The strange thing is that I understand his pain. I have been there, if only inside my mind. I too have constant spasms of self inflicted abuse.
While my bruises and scars are not visible to the outside world, I see them every day. Every day I am reminded of the terrible deeds Iíve done, the hateful words Iíve spoken, the bad choices Iíve made. Each memory is like a punch to the stomach, the eyes, the mouth. I am a prisoner inside my own mind. Like the young man, I am my own worst enemy, held captive by the demons inside that attempt to destroy the life Iím trying to make for myself. I have had days like he has- despair and agony threaten to overtake me and I am left writhing on the floor, begging for release of my chains.
For people who suffer with Tourette Syndrome, there is good news. Recently scientists have discovered a way to slow down the frequency of the tics, offering hope to millions. Doctors install a device deep into the brain that gently ďspeaksĒ to the area causing the tics. This process slows down the attacks, causing much needed relief for the sufferer. Since having had the surgery, the young man is no longer in despair. He is a husband and a new father. He is hopeful. The tics have not left his body; they cannot because there is no cure for this disease. However, they have significantly slowed enough for the young man to live a meaningful and enjoyable life. Finally, he is at peace. He has found a way to overcome the demons in his own flesh.
I too have found a remedy for the brutal attacks that overtake my mind, soul, and spirit. While I will not be cured, I can be made whole again. There is a Book full of hope, promise, and peace. It speaks to the inner parts of me that are bent on destruction and failure. It softens the blows of the enemy, speaking Truth and silences his threats of death and hatred. Every time I read this Book, I hear words of encouragement, love, and acceptance. I am reminded that every foul thing I have ever done has been forgiven. This gives me strength to go forward one more day. Like the young man, my condition is incurable. Also like the young man, I have found hope and new life through a device that speaks directly to the very places that held me captive. I am free.
Read more articles by Sherry Castelluccio or search for articles on the same topic or others.