From Idea to Reality

This time two years ago I made a resolution – to look for ways to acknowledge and celebrate my tics rather than ignore them and the increasing impact they were having on my life.

I’m proud to say that this is a resolution I’ve kept. And it’s done me more good than any other New Year’s promise I’ve ever made.

Two years ago Touretteshero was an idea that Leftwing Idiot and I had just had.

A year ago, half of this blog existed but it had only been read by a handful of people. We had some amazing images but no amazing gallery to show them in. Excitingly though, we’d just held our first event.

Today we’re a fully formed CIC with a beautiful website. We’ve got amazing exclusive tracks, interviews, and huge support from loads of people.

I’m very excited about what the coming year will hold for Touretteshero.

Personally, the last two years have had some very tricky times as well as many high points.

Two years ago I was more mobile but my face and chest were constantly bruised because of my motor tics and I didn’t have the confidence to talk about Tourettes without tears.

A year ago I wasn’t yet having explosive ‘ticcing fits’ but neither was I sleeping for more than a few hours a night. This made me a lot less resilient during the day and very dependent on my friends for practical and emotional support.

Today some people will see my wheelchair, my support worker and my fits as signs that things have got worse. They don’t feel worse. There have been times I’ve felt things were pretty tough, but with the help of friends, professionals and strangers I feel well supported and ready for the challenges and opportunities 2012 has in store.

There have been some big changes in the last year, marriages, moves and my mobility but some things have stayed the same:

There’s been shared laughter with Laura
The joy of hanging out with Poppy
The unstinting loyalty and love of Fat Sister
The consistent IT genius of King Russell
And my enduring friendship with Leftwing Idiot which has made Touretteshero possible and my life with Tourettes much easier and happier.

During the last six weeks I’ve spent over 113 hours having ‘ticcing fits’, an average of almost three hours a day. That’s obviously a lot, but when I looked at the UK Time Survey (which shows how people in this country use their time), I discovered it’s less than the average person spends sitting on the sofa every day.

I was shocked to discover that most people spend an average of only 6 minutes a day laughing. Thanks to Tourettes, I know that my friends and I laugh a lot more than this. Hopefully now you’ve found this website you will too.

6 responses to From Idea to Reality

  1. Rachowl says:

    Another amazingly positive and inspiring blog TH – perfect for New Years eve.
    I’m quitting moaning for 2012 and will be raising a glass at midnight to you, leftwing Idiot and this fantastic creation of yours xxx

  2. Mr Dan Farrow says:

    Happy New Year Jess!
    I’m proud to be a part of the continuing Touretteshero story
    With love and best wishes for 2012

  3. pandairo says:

    I only discovered this site after seeing your episode of Planet Word and i would like to thank you for such an open and honest description of your life. You’ve made me accept that i do have tics and that maybe i don’t need to try so hard to hide them from everyone else.
    As i have Asperger’s Syndrome i’m not sure whether my tics are just a part of that or whether i could also have Tourette’s Syndrome, but it’s something i’d never even allowed myself to think about until i read through this site so thank you again.

    "If you’re not crazy, you’re not normal."

  4. pandairo says:

    Over the past nine days i’ve been making an effort to ‘not suppress my tics in public’ as much and i’ve noticed that as a positive, my body aches a lot less and i feel less anxious but as a negative a lot less people smile back at me in the street.
    "Swings and roundabouts, flowers and trees."

  5. pandairo says:

    I just spoke about this to an old friend for the first time, and he said "i thought you knew you had Tourette’s but you never talked about it, that’s why i never mentioned it."

  6. pandairo says:

    I guess it’s just another physical/mental attribute that we are born with, attributes that shouldn’t/can’t be hidden no matter how we perceive ourselves and how we think others perceive us. If everyone wasn’t different, we’d all be pretty boring.

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