What Makes Ruth Tic

Tonight at 9:00pm on BBC 3, my friend Ruth will be making her TV debut in a documentary about her life, her singing career and her Tourettes.

It’s called, ‘Tourettes I Swear I Can Sing’ which is a bit of a lazy title. It reinforces the association between Tourettes and involuntary swearing – which is something only 10% of people with Tourettes do. We’ve been having a lot of discussion about better names for the programme that would reflect Ruth’s energy, charisma and talent. Leftwing Idiot suggested loads to the director, including ‘What makes Ruth Tic?’ and ‘Chicks with Tics.’

I came up with, “Tourettes I swear I’m a bin.”

Although their title’s not brilliant, I’m sure Ruth will be amazing and won’t fail to captivate anyone who watches it. A film crew have been shadowing her for the last few months and they filmed her performance at the Touretteshero Launch Party, as well as the two of us talking about Tourettes.

In addition to being a good friend to me, Ruth’s always been a big supporter of Touretteshero – she was the first other person with Tourettes that Leftwing Idiot and I talked to about the whole project.

This blog is my way of processing, reflecting and sharing the surreal experiences that living with Tourettes can bring, making this documentary has given Ruth the same opportunity. You can read about some of our adventures together here.

Touretteshero celebrates the creativity and humour of Tourettes without mocking or self-pity. On the site you can read through thousands of my tics and if you feel inspired, you can create an artwork in response to them for the gallery.

Like Ruth, I do have swearing tics, and not including them here would be like editing out a part of my disability. However, if you don’t want to see any explicit content you can view the site using SafeMode.

We’re all about reclaiming the laughter associated with Tourettes, so please explore, read, understand, laugh, and share what you find. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook if you can’t get enough of me here. But before you go, make sure you have a look at our shop for some last minute Christmas gifts, or make a donation. All the money we make goes towards creative events for children and young people with Tourettes.

I know how much meeting other people with Tourettes has enriched my life and reduced the feelings of isolation that can so easily creep in when you have a condition that makes you stand out. I’m incredibly proud of Ruth for making tonight’s programme – speaking out is a powerful way of changing our day-to-day experiences and helping to educate and build empathy. I’m looking forward to hearing what Ruth has to say.

Festive outburst
“You are not alone. I am here with Christmas trees and dinner.”

3 responses to What Makes Ruth Tic

  1. Lucy says:

    I’ve just finished watching the programme ‘I swear I can sing.’ Suddenly everything seems to be much clearer in regards to ‘ticking’. I used to tic when I was a kid but thankfully ‘grew out of it’. Although saying that, it is still apparent in my life. Whenever i’m tired or stressed it comes out in the form of small ‘motor ticks’. I don’t do the vocal ticks anymore. I just wanted to say I found it so interesting watching the programme about Ruth, and whilst I don’t have tourettes, I believe i do have a form of/related condition. It’s made years of stressful events and bewilderment suddenly so clear and I honestly feel so enlightened! I’ve found it so funny and informative coming on this site! Go Touretteshero!

  2. Catwings says:

    I thought it was quite a good documentary – yes Ruth has quite frequent coprolalia in it, but it’s not something she focuses on too much in the documentary (despite the title!), and I think it’s the first UK documentary I’ve seen with a non-white Touretter and possibly the first focusing on a female Touretter?
    And well done on your part of it too TH! I was wondering if I could work out whether any of the other people mentioned on your blog would show up in it, and then I saw the ‘left-wing idiot’ t-shirt!

  3. Lady Tic-A-Lot says:

    Touretteshero and yes you, Left- Wing Idiot, so much of this journey I couldn’t have done over the last three years without you both. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Sometimes I don’t know if I truly have come to terms with my TS but that’s how it goes with any chronic condition- sometimes you’re mind just gets fed up with your body. But from doing this documentary, Tourettes: I Swear I can Sing and the positivity I’ve received I can see that, it ain’t all that bad!

    Catwings, you are very right! But I do like to break the mold!!!

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