Bookmark – ‘Let’s be Real’ – Tourette Syndrome, Mental Health Awareness


Price is shown in CAD. Exchange rates fluctuate daily, but the approximate USD price is $2.39

These bookmarks are an affordable and useful option for collecting printed material of Micheline Ryckman’s art. Bookmarks are printed front and back in a 2″ x 6″ size with an attractive gloss sheen. All profits from the sale of this bookmark will be donated to the Tourette Canada charity, for more information please read below.

In stock (can be backordered)


My son, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of eight years old, he is now seventeen. Tourette Syndrome (TS) tics are sudden, intermittent, repetitive, unpredictable, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movements or sounds. Tics that produce movement are called “motor tics,” while tics that produce sound are called “vocal tics” or “phonic tics.” Tics can be either simple or complex. The most important thing to understand about the tics associated with Tourette Syndrome is they are the result of a neuropsychiatric condition. The sounds and behaviours are involuntary and are not being done by choice. Tourette syndrome can often come with a package of other syndromes so in addition to TS my son has OCD, anxiety, ADHD and low level depression as well. While some medications are available to help with these syndromes they do not completely take them away and there is no cure. Everyday since early childhood daily life has been an ongoing battle for my son, and yet, despite this very hard journey he is growing into one of the most likeable, kind, and loving human beings I have ever known. My son and I decided that we’d like to try to raise more awareness for people who, like him, suffer with real mental health concerns. In addition we also wanted to try to give back to an organization that works hard to support people with TS here in Canada,  All of the profit from the sale of this item will be donated to Tourette Canada. We hope you’ll consider partnering with us through this endeavour by purchasing or even just joining us by sharing this story, painting, and products with others. 

Further note on this art:

Let’s be real with each other, shall we?
Life is not a bed of roses. 🌹
Don’t get me wrong, I live for positive thinking, for beautiful things, for growth, for inner peace. I believe in working to stabilize and sustain both our mental and physical health to the best of our abilities, BUT, the reality is, life is not a bed of roses. To quote the Dread Pirate Roberts, “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
Trying to cultivate a predominately positive spin is good and admirable, something we should strive for, but we are not only one emotion or one experience; we are living, breathing beings. And real, living breathing beings, feel things, and feeling things is ok.
The world, particularly the online world, can lead us believe that we should only ever talk about the positive, it’s that whole concept of ‘put-on-a-happy-face’. But it’s kinda creepy—it makes me think of the Joker and how he cut himself a perma-grin… Pretending we feel only one way all the time isn’t what it means to be human. Being human means; joy, anger, peace, sadness, passion, pain, love—we are an amalgamation of glorious emotions and experiences, and it’s okay to express them.

Now, I’m not saying we go out and rage at someone just because we’re feeling gloriously angry today, no, this isn’t about hurting others, it’s about expressing our own emotions naturally, in a healthy way. And we should be allowed to talk about everything; our joys and struggles both. Expressing emotion shouldn’t be stigmatized or suppressed, life shouldn’t be a ‘happiness only’ situation, not only for our own personal mental health, but because sometimes the only way to connect with, or help others, is to talk about how we’ve been struggling ourselves. Being REAL can change lives.

I cannot count how many times, when I have shared my own struggles, that people have messaged me or commented to say how nice it is to hear they’re not alone. It’s given me multiple opportunities to connect, to encourage others and be encouraged in return. We are made for community.

The Dread Pirate Roberts is right, though life is many good and splendid things, it is also pain, and when those painful seasons hit, we are not meant to bear them alone.

I created this piece to convey the concept of people not being one dimensional, and to highlight the idea that some of us might not be as happy on the inside as we appear on the outside. In addition to that, I hoped to convey that sense of being REAL, of owning the fact that we feel more than one thing, daily. I added the Alice in Wonderland twist to the clothes to bring in the sense of life feeling topsy turvy at times and I made the reflection in the mirror less realistic, and more dark, to show opposite emotions more effectively.




You may also like…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *