Friendship and Flying

Laura called earlier. She’s been reading the blog which she’s been enjoying. She told me that it’s made her think about Tourettes – and its impact on me – in new ways.

One of the things she wanted to know was why she didn’t have a tic-name, like Leftwing Idiot, King Russell or Fat Sister. I said that me ticcing about someone doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m close to them. If it did, I’d be good friends with an array of 1980s celebrities for a start. I’ve got lots of good friends who have never featured in tics.

I’ve since remembered that although she might not have a tic-name, we did in fact have a shared tic. Before I was properly diagnosed with Tourettes I went through a stage of saying “I believe I can fly” (a lyric taken from an R Kelly song of the same name). It was a tic, but at the time neither of us knew what was going on. After my diagnosis, Laura said, “I always thought that was our thing, but now I know it’s just your tic.”

What Laura might not have realised was that sharing this tic with her made something that was odd for me feel much more normal. I really appreciated that.

Laura, like a lot of my friends, offers me support in many areas of my life, including the challenges I face having Tourettes. It isn’t always that straightforward though. Sometimes she doesn’t know how to respond, and she doesn’t always get it right, but that’s true for everyone I’m close to.

My friends and family often say or do things that make me feel incredibly supported, but sometimes their responses upset me or make me feel shit. Some of this is to do with Tourettes but I think it’s mainly just a part of everyday life.

Laura threatened to write a reply to my blog, about life as the friend of a superhero with Tourettes. I said I thought that’d be funny but potentially embarrassing.

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