Posted by | December 24, 2011 | The road | 37 Comments

I was just recently diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. More specifically full-blown Tourette Syndrome. The full-blown part (which sounds decidedly un-clinical to me) means that ADHD and OCD are along for the ride as well. According to the neurologist, I’m the oldest undiagnosed case he’s ever seen or heard of.

To be clear, I don’t randomly bust out with cuss-words…well, not without meaning to anyhow. That’s actually a disorder called coprolalia. My deal is physical and auditory ticks, as well as significant obsessive-compulsive behavior…and of course the ADHD thing.

The thing is, I’ve wrestled with this my entire life. I’ve always known there was something different about how my brain works and why I act the way I do, but I could never explain it…could never really put it into words what I was feeling/experiencing other than I’m struggling. Yet, in my 39 years on the planet, I’ve made my way.

I’m not going to lie, hearing the words come out of the Doc’s mouth was a bit like a kick in the nuts. It’s heavy shit to suddenly have the answer for the millions of confusing/frustrating/painful times I’ve found myself, head in hands asking…why? But it also explains why I’m as passionate (translated: obsessed) as I am about the outdoors.

So, in the days since, I’ve made a decision. My past is what it is and I’m proud and blessed to be where I am now and have the beautiful wife and kids I do. In the end, the only thing that’s changed is that, looking ahead, I now know the biggest challenge I’ll be dealing with.

I’ve got two words for 2012: bring it.



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  • Grant Taylor says:

    Amen. Bring it. Merry Christmas, Bud. 🙂

  • Ross aka the flytyinfreak says:

    Wow. At first I thought your statement was just an attention grabber, which it did, but after further reading I think I have a grasp of the situation. I thought you were as normal as I, LMAO well I guess the doc got it right. I have what is called adult onset ADD whatever that is. Anywyas I don’t medicate and probably won’t , ever. So, as far as I’m concerned Bro, bring it! Whatever it is, and if you need someone to pick up the slack, I’ll be there, a bit erratic and distracted but I’ll try my damndest to “get your back” Your a class act and someone I truly admire.

  • Alex says:

    I’m happy to see you’ve got a good outlook on this. You ever need anything, I’m a phone call away.

  • Jennel Dillon says:

    I have to tell you that reading your entry has brought some comfort to my current life. I am actually going through the same thing with my son at this very time. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD combination diagnosis which means he has ADHD and another pending diagnosis they haven’t figured out yet. He also has OCD tendencies and they are pending a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome or possibly Autism such as Aspergers. As you mentioned hearing these diagnosis really takes your breath away until you can wrap your head around it and understand what it means. After hearing the news with our son, we were really taken back and felt very alone until we looked around and realized how many people there are with these diagnosis leading successful fulfilling lives. Since I met you I always thought you were a very intelligent, successful person, and very passionate about all you put your heart into. Although I am surprised to read your entry, I am also comforted with the hope that my son will also lead a successful life as you have. You are a great example to many and I hope you will continue to inspire us all through your positive spirit and passion for life. Thanks for sharing, it has truly given me hope and inspiration during this trying time with my son.

    • fishingpoet says:

      I’m not sure what to say Jennel, other than I’m so grateful that you left me that comment. I’m glad you all are aware and getting ahead of everything. I can only imagine that it will make a huge difference in how he’s able to deal with it as he grows up. I’m happy to have that chance now. Thank you for the kind words. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

  • Good luck Matt! And here’s a great 2012 for you and your family!

  • Mike O'Brien says:

    Matt, thanks for posting – it’s not a trivial thing and it took some courage to make it public. Please know you’re much loved and cared about, more by Jesus than anyone else ever could, but we’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers. As one of your friends so aptly put it you are indeed a class act my friend.

  • Carol says:

    You got this one, Matt. Ain’t no fish you can’t hook and throw in the frying pan.
    Blessed Christmas and New Year to you and your beautiful family.

  • James says:

    Matt I think 2012 will bestow many blessings to you my friend. Merry Christmas.

  • Getting a dose of reality is like stepping out of the safety of a warm home and getting a big breath of that super cold January air. It surprises you at first, even to the extent that you feel as though you can’t breath, and then it hurts like hell. Eventually your surprise turns into acceptance of the horrific events that just unfolded, and then you exhale. Once you realize that you have survived that first breath, the thought of the second ain’t half bad…….and you take in another!!!!

  • Pete says:

    The woods and water is what you need. Hunting and fishing has gotten you this far. It’ll take care of you the rest of the way.

    Doctors are crazy anyway. Unless you found one to write a script for fly fishing. That’s about the best medicine for anything.

    Good luck in 2012. But with your approach I don’t think you’ll need much luck. Get after it.

    • fishingpoet says:

      Thanks Pete! Great to hear from you. You’re absolutely right…fur, fins and feathers have gotten me this far. Best of luck to you in the new year as well.

  • brett wood says:

    Its and asset- dont let things like that be a burden- As a teacher i see it everyday- and as long as its pushed in a positive direction- and thought of in a sensibleway- its all good. !!!!! Sorry- Ducks sucked- it may and hopefully will get better on the water one day before the end of the season- did i send you mixed bag results the other day??? gd luck- wait u dnt need luck

    • fishingpoet says:

      I appreciate the encouragement, Brett. And I’m glad we’ve been able to get out a couple times too. I’m sure there’s one more good day in the cards before the season’s over!

  • Tom Murdoch says:

    Hey Nephew, (little Brother ??)

    We all have had kicks in the ass or whatever in life. They are who we are and what we are made of. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has something that that occurs in their life that really makes them stop and think things out. It is all how we deal with it that shows the world the people we are. So take this bit of information and turn it into something that helps define you and continues to strengthen you and make you such a great person.

    Love ya.. T

  • Bjorn says:

    Must be nice to have a bit of the puzzle fall into place, eh?

    Happy fishing in 2012 and I hope things go well. Now, you can cuss at ANYONE.

  • Pam says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve never met you but rather enjoy your blog. It’s a testament to you that so many people have spoke up to give you encouragement and support through your diagnosis. Keep up the great work you do and use all of the above posts to keep focused on how you may be touching and helping others. God bless.

    • fishingpoet says:

      Very cool of you to stop by and drop me a note, Pam. I am extremely thankful for the encouragement I’ve received – including yours. I hemmed and hawed about actually posting about it. I didn’t want it to come off as a woe-is-me deal. I truly look at this as a positive thing. It’s funny – I still have all the same baloney going on in my head, but I’m not carrying the weight anymore. 🙂

  • Fish Cop says:

    Sounds like you have the right attitude. It is nice to read an honest, personal post. And the rest of your blog looks great too. Thanks.

    Fish Cop

  • Erin Block says:

    If I was 2012, I’d be shaking in my shoes right about now…

  • greg says:

    Get out in the outdoors and take 2012 on!

  • Ivan says:

    I like your spirit. As someone who has ADHD, I know that there are things that I will struggle with on a day-to-day basis, that the “normals” (no offense to the “normals”) might not even consider challenging. But, at the end of the day, it is part of who I am and what makes me…me. Fight the good fight, but don’t fight it too much. Cheers to you, Matt.

    • fishingpoet says:

      Thanks Ivan! I think you’ve hit on the balance – fight, but don’t let it dictate your life. For me, the most liberating part is now knowing what the deal is. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve felt this confident in where I’m going since I was in Basic Training.

      Great list of to-dos/will-dos on YGF. I just crossed pike off my own list this past fall.
      Be well, bro. Hope we get a chance to fish together sometime (do you know a Jeremy Brown, by chance?).

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