About a year ago I found out that I was more dyslexic than I thought I was and that I also have dyspraxia (of course neither of which I can spell without the helping hand of spellcheck). In the days afterwards I decided to blog about it. What I wrote now follows.

There have been moments where I have felt that I’m ok with all this, but to be honest I feel like crap. People keep telling me how clever I am, that I’ve covered it up and worked through it for so long, but it doesn’t feel like that at all.

I feel like before I just wasn’t clever but that I could learn more and beat it. But now I feel like there is this physical block, and that I cannot and will not ever be able to get past it. And that no matter how much I try or how much effort I put in this will always be the case. Things will always take longer for me to do. I will continue to be that girl in dance class whose body doesn’t do what she asks it to. I will also continue to be that girl in class who has read the question through a few times but still doesn’t know what it’s asking.

I know I’m no different than I was before. I know I’m not stupid. I know this shouldn’t bother me. And I know that God knew I would be like this and would see me through it But I feel like faulty goods and that I’m at the back of the shelf with a reduced tag on. I have a fault that cannot be fixed and it does bother me, it really does.

I know that I can achieve and that I can do things. But I hate that the hill I have to climb appears so much larger than everyone else’s. I’m sick of trying so hard to be average. I’m sick of people looking at my work and saying ‘you’re lazy’, ‘you’ve not read the question’ or the real ball buster,‘you just don’t sound academic’. When all I hear in my head is how hard I’ve tried and that I’ve given my best. Or the ever comical: ‘I actually don’t remember what I wrote’ (A symptom many people don’t even know comes with dyslexia/dyspraxia).

All this accompanied with the knowledge that so many people, no matter how nice they are or how hard they try, will never understand it. They won’t understand the annoyance of dropping another piece of food and looking like an incapable child. They won’t understand the amount of concentration required to pick up a dance step that ‘should come naturally by now’. And they won’t understand the shame that comes when looking at an essay that has taken hours to write only to see it covered in little red squiggly lines to remind you of your faults.

And yet through all the confusion, anger and just plain crappyness (yes I did just add that word to my laptop’s dictionary), I can’t shake the knowledge that I’m loved. The sheer fact that I’m alive says that God loves me enough to want me here. He made me in the knowledge of what I’d be good at and what I’d not be so good at. He made me with a purpose; to love him and love others. And that love doesn’t need to come in a perfectly formed sentence; it just needs to come from my heart.

So I can laugh when I drop food, and I can choose to value the food that made it to my mouth. I can look forward to dancing because it’s a language I speak (even if I speak 50 per cent of it from the floor with bruises). And I can smile when I look at my essays because I’ve overcome obstacles and spellcheck has kindly added colour to it.

So as they say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or as I say, if life gives you learning difficulties, you tell it to jog on and learn anyway.

Written by Charis Duckworth // Follow Charis on  Twitter

Born and raised in the South West, Charis has slowly migrated to the East finding herself in both London and Essex. She is a huge fan of people, grace and creativity, which is convenient for her work as a chaplain and youth worker. She's a proper keen bean for anything involving the sea, treacle tart or a cracking film.

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