"Life, Interrupted: The Memoir of a Nearly Person" by James McConnel
James McConnel always felt like a 'nearly' person. Alienated and bullied at school, playing music was the only time James felt in control. But as his piano playing skills developed, so did a bewildering array of strange compulsions. Initially the jerking, coughing, grunting, repeating, tapping, sniffing and counting, was dismissed as a "funny little habit". But it was clearly much more than that. Growing up, he had dreams of becoming a concert pianist, and he secured a place at the Royal College of Music. But the bittersweet discovery that drinking temporarily stopped his twitches saw him slip into alcoholism. Aged thirty-two, James was finally diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and at long last, began to understand himself. He still has tics and obsessive routines but his attitude to these has altered dramatically. He is happy. Touching, humorous and intimate, "Life, Interrupted" is the astonishing story of one man's journey to self-acceptance.