Make a negative a positive – help others!
When I was younger I always felt like I stood out from everyone else. I was really tall and clumsy and struggled with balance and co-ordination. I was also very shy, my handwriting was all over the place and I struggled with spelling. I discovered I had dyspraxia when I was four, and later in life I realised I was dyslexic. It did make me a target for bullies and I felt very isolated.
I didn’t know anyone else with the same struggles and was made to feel stupid and worthless. I had no self-esteem or confidence and I spiralled into anxiety and depression. I used to feel very lonely – like nobody understood me.
When I got older, I got myself a degree and then a MA and focused on the many positive things which come from having a different way of thinking – things like creativity, empathy and an understanding for others. I’m brilliant at thinking outside the box.
I began to blog to share my experiences and help others who may have gone through similar struggles. Now I have nearly 40,000 views!
As an adult, the road into employment hasn’t been easy. I’ve faced a lot of ignorance, but even though it’s dented my self-confidence I feel it’s made me a stronger person.
That’s why I decided to become a Digital Connector for Get Connected – so young people know that there is somebody out there who will listen to them and that they are not alone.
When I was younger I used to feel I had nobody to turn to, so I know what a benefit having a service like Get Connected can be. Not only having emotional support right away, but being able to find other services that can help in all sorts of ways, could be a life-saver for so many.
I’m passionate about helping others and hope my story can be a positive one to young people – especially those who might feel different or may be being bullied. I feel like I have changed a negative experience into a positive one, but I hate the idea of others facing the ignorance I have.
I do a lot of campaigning to raise awareness of hidden differences and have worked for dyspraxia and dyslexia charities too. I hope that one day there is statutory training for all teachers in hidden differences. A lot of people still don’t know what dyspraxia is and how much it can impact day to day life and have an emotional impact on someone. I now work as a learning support in a college and have lots of understanding in the workplace. Two weeks ago I spoke at the Dyspraxia Foundation conference in Birmingham, shared my story and hopefully gave some others some hope.
You should never feel like you’re alone – there will be people out there who ‘get it’, just hang on in there. And if you need someone to talk to, Get Connected is here to listen.
This post was originally part of the Get Connected website. YouthNet and Get Connected merged to form The Mix in 2016.
Published on 24-Apr-2015
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