I had a great evening out last night. I caught up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while and met lots of new people. Sometimes I worry that it seems as if it’s not me but just a bunch of wild tics that have come out, and that I’m lost under them.
The vocal tics can feel like they dominate conversations. New people often ask questions about Tourettes, which I’m really happy to answer but it can be boring for people who’ve heard it all loads of times before.
I find the physical tics the hardest to manage. I don’t want my friends to have to hold my hands to stop me hitting myself. I hate it that sometimes I need to be pinned down on the night bus or that my mates can’t hold their girlfriend’s hand because they’re holding mine. To start off with last night I tried to handle my tics on my own but I thumped myself on the nose so hard I felt the tears well up.
I’m lucky that one of my biggest concerns is about my friends and the help they give so willingly. Without that, I’d never be able to go out safely, and have a laugh.
But taking Tourettes out can also be very funny. Whose journey home wouldn’t be brightened by someone shouting, “I tore up a tortoise” or by being offered new and unusual put downs like, “Roll-on dog food”?