The True Cost of Dyslexia/Dyspraxia
Hello, I am Mel and apparently I am dyslexic and dyspraxic, can someone stop the disability bus please, because I want to get off. This post invites you into the head of someone with a neuro-diverse brain. There is so much in my head that needs to go onto the paper but it just ends up in a jumbled up repetitive mess. Please don’t send me writing strategies or I might just punch you, and if one more person tell me Steve Jones was dyslexic I may not be responsible for my actions (You have been warned!).
I am not normally prone to angry outbursts but some days it just effing sucks! This brain slows me down and makes the smallest jobs a flipping nightmare. Everyone posts about the positives to neuro-diverse brains, I know there are some dyslexic geniuses out there but there is a lot of people feeling pretty shit about them too. When left unsupported it can lead to anxiety and depression and other mental health difficulties.
Confession time, I am so jealous of the book and course writers out there, you have no idea how long I have messed about with this bit of writing and half the time I don’t hit the post button out of fear of judgement. Yes I know there are standards but I struggle to reach them in the writing department. Writing the words for a book overwhelms me, I have no structure and the subjects I could write on is too vast to get any focus.
I just want someone to just do the writing for me, I really need someone to translate my words into text for me as I think it might be quicker, however stubborn me wants to do it myself. I was only diagnosed 12 months ago, when I got overwhelmed with a doctorate and decided I preferred the client work to coding research data. The whole process of research felt like I’d been asked to dig to France with a teaspoon, when I knew I needed a JCB. I was sad and angry when diagnosed. Angry that it had not been picked up earlier and with myself that it took so long for the penny to drop. Sad because I am stuck this way!
When you run your own business there are all these jobs to manage, the blog writing, invoicing, appointments, emails to write and I have been asked to deliver training. That gets in me in such a muddle. My accountant needs a medal for patience. I have complex processing disorder so information just seems to get out of control.
There must be a million people like me out there, some diagnosed some not but all struggling in one way or another. I risk the fear of ridicule for my poor grammar and the over sharing because I think its important to talk about the cost of these disabilities to our health and our full potential.
I am only half way up the potential tree and its so frustrating I could toss the laptop out the window. But I would have to buy another one and it comes with Windows 10, which would mean having to learn how to do simple things all over again, that’s if I can remember my password to get into my google accounts. Why do they keep upgrading everything. I just learn how to work something and overnight they move all the buttons. If its not broke just don’t fix it. Please please stop the necessary upgrading.
Seriously there are days I would give anything to have better short term memory. I know the grammar in this post is really rubbish and some of you will be horrified but I know my stuff and most of the time I do more than OK. I just can’t flipping structure well. I lose everything and fall over my own feet a lot but I continue to run, ride my bike and pray its not the day to sit in A&E.
My experience at school was awful I was called thick, stupid, clumsy and I felt awkward, I know I am smart but there are some things that just don’t work well. Some of us are smart we just can’t show it so well in our essay writing or exams.
If you are dyspraxic dyslexic or struggling with anything I urge you to speak out about it, and if you can get support. I get how hard it is to live with something that just won’t get any better. Sorry if I sound whinging or whiney. I just think its time to stop feeling ashamed and speak out about how flipping hard it is. I hope that this will encourage people to get support and to know that despite the difficulties it is possible to cope with disabilities and amount to something. I hope you feel less alone too.
I wonder if there had been support earlier would I have I tried so hard or would I have settled for less and hidden behind the labels.. I am pretty determined and courageous in my own little way, although the clumsy stupid has slowed me down. I going to post this attempt at writing about dyslexia as I have tried several times and given up. Determination is a great quality and I have that in abundance thankfully.
Often people you have writing or reading difficulties but its so much more than that, I love books and read well. I struggle with logistics and hate driving to new places, because there is too much to do, my rights and lefts don’t work well and I get mixed up, I can’t remember the instructions and the people beeping in the car behind you because you’re in the wrong lane, does not help. It can be so very stressful. Sometimes my brain goes into meltdown and tears can happen on the very challenging days. What other people do without thinking can take me an age. However there are some moments of brilliance. I can remember a clients partner and dogs name that came back to therapy after several years! Don’t ask me how?
When travelling I prefer the train and I know others prefer the safety of the car, we are all very different with our disabilities. I get lost a lot and sometimes I want to cry and swap this flipping brain but then that wouldn’t be me. Acceptance is key, I know this as a therapist but sometimes it gets lost, like my sunglasses. I calm down eventually and I have learnt to leave time, to get lost, calm down, recover and get to the damn conference that I was so excited about attending.
Well there you go inside a dyslexic’s head, it feels like I live with a thief most days items just vanish and can take ages to find. I am still missing gloves form Bonfire night. So that’s me and my struggle with disability It. does not define me but it does make life a challenge. Here are some of the things that have worked for me.
- I have spares items where possible, if you lose stuff due to short term memory problems, partners and dogs are excluded. luckily they follow me around.
- I use a day note book because I cant trust my memory.
- Be disciplined only have one note book, I know you’ll lose it and be tempted to get another out but don’t. Find it because four books on the go just doesn’t work. If I really have to write something on paper, I transfer it to the note book as soon as possible.
- I use an electronic diary that’s backed up, it gives you reminders and it tells you when you overlap. It also helps when you lose or drop your phone and break it.
- Leave plenty of time to get to places if you get lost a lot, nothing worse than having to stress about being late too. Don’t be frightened to say your prone to getting lost I have asked people to come and get me from reception in large buildings.
- Don’t over pack your diary as it can take longer than you anticipate if a muddle happens
- Consider apps if it makes your life easier, the underground app that works out my routes is great for me, and when I forget the route, I can look at my phone instead of fighting the crowds for the map.
- Declutter and have homes for your belonging, train yourself to drop your keys in the same place, this is working.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you get it in a muddle be kind to yourself
- I carry headphones for noise and shades for bright places due to sensory issues.
If you mess up, own your mistakes, apologize explain what happened and most people will be accepting and forgiving. You will get a jerk that doesn’t get it but peoples behavior says more about them than you.
Self care is so important, while I sound chaotic, most of the time its calm and quiet here and the chaos is intermittent. I have got much better at relaxing Be gentle with yourself, its not your fault you got wired up this way.
Get in touch if you need support and if you are offended by my lack of grammar, I am sure you can find something else to read. I just don’t give a stuff, I have been quiet for way too long, through the shame of not being able to make the grade!
Anyone who wants to to be my book editor can get in touch! eek!!!!!
Best wishes Mel & River