Yesterday London was bathed in long-awaited sunshine, just in time for the annual Ticnic in Hyde Park. About a hundred people, either with Tourettes or a close connection to it, gathered for a relaxed afternoon of lolling and LOLing in the park.
I went with Fat Sister who pushed my heavy courtesy chair around all day without any moaning. While the wheelchair might’ve made our journey tough, we certainly hadn’t travelled the furthest to get there. People had come from all over the UK – two people even came from Holland. This in itself is a testimony to the importance of events like this, which foster friendship and mutual support.
It was lovely to see old friends and meet and chat with lots of new people too. I remember going to my first Ticnic about four years ago. I found it a nerve-wracking prospect even though back then it was a much smaller event, and I’d already met other people with Tourettes. If I’d known what a cornerstone of my life meetings like this would become I’m sure I wouldn’t have put off going for so long.
If you have Tourettes and have never met anyone else with tics before, or have a child who tics, do think about coming to a meeting or event like this. I can guarantee you’ll be welcomed and I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t felt encouraged by the unspoken understanding and solidarity of everyone else.