The power of writing

When I started writing this blog, I didn’t know what to expect and quite frankly I was terrified about what peoples reactions would be. I certainly didn’t envisage seven months down the line still to be contributing to this blog and to be enjoying the process, I didn’t think that there could be so much related to my Dyspraxia that I could talk about. I knew that the majority of my friends who I’ve previously told about my ‘disability’ have been understanding and supportive, so this gave me faith that the rest of the world could be too.The internet can be a scary place, especially if you put yourself so out there online as I have done, but it can also be such a wonderful place too. A place to learn so much and where we can educate each other. I have certainly learned loads from a whole world of Dyspraxic online bloggers, that I didn’t know existed until I embarked on the journey of writing and being inspired to continue this blog. I think it’s always important to be inspired, otherwise your writing will be false. I’ve found writing from the heart is one of the best ways. I’ve learnt from these other bloggers about aspects of my condition that I hadn’t yet considered, through reading other peoples writing I developed ways to express myself and find a voice to describe things that I had otherwise found impossible. I realised what it meant to have ‘sensory issues’ and related this to much of who I am and difficulties I have encountered but brushed off as me being a bit odd. I understood that other people have felt ‘stupid’ at school. I also learnt that its okay to describe how you feel through writing and that It brings comfort to others on the internet to know that they fit in. Realising that I’m not actually a freak was amazing. I have also discovered that people have felt this same sense of comfort through reading my blogs, the messages I’ve received from across the world saying ‘you’ve just described my son’ and ‘it all makes sense now’ has been overwhelming and a massive encouragement for me to continue.

At the beginning of this blogging journey I gave myself some unwritten rules but now I’m going to write them down so I guess they’ve become ‘written rules.’ I decided that:

  1. Everything must be positive, despite going through some quite negative experiences, I wanted to portray the positive impact it has had on me. No one wants to read a sob story and I did not want this blog to be one.
  2. To take and listen to advice from friends as the blog progresses.
  3. To describe things how it is, I hoped to raise awareness and understanding of Dyspraxia and to do this I have to speak from the heart. Not dress it up or down.
  4. To give those close to me time to ask questions and give me the opportunity to verbally express how it feels to be me.
  5. To challenge stereotypes associated with invisible disabilities.
  6. To only write when I feel inspired. To never force my writing.
  7. To only post things that I would feel comfortable discussing in person.

These seven now written rules have formed the basis of what has become known as alittlemoreunderstanding and the foundations of a medium that I have found to be very empowering. I have found a way to express myself and learned that people want to listen and understand. It also made me realise through reading other blogs and talking to people with dyspraxia on social media that there are many other people out there who ‘get it’

Having a diagnosis of Dyspraxia can be very lonely and isolating at times (I promise that this isn’t the start of a sob story) and sometimes it can feel like there is literally no one in the world who understands you. Today I am at home, writing but wishing that I was at a festival, a festival that I have been to every year for a while but this year I didn’t think I could cope with a festival environment, so took the easy option and avoided the situation. There are so many sensory and social anxiety issues that without the right support and understanding from those around me, I don’t think I can deal with at the moment. Although next year, when my anxiety is under control and I have finished my cognitive behavioural therapy,  I hope that I will be able to enjoy things that I used to love before. I have gained great comfort from writing and this blog has helped with days like today, when my mind is occupied with so many thoughts and emotions, that will become overwhelming if I didn’t have an outlet for all of the stress. So thank you, world of the internet.

When I was at university studying for my Masters, I learned about power and how power affects everything we do, think and feel. It also dictates how we behave and relate to others. This blog has given me a great sense of power that I have never had before, I would like to think that I have ‘power with’ my readers rather than ‘power over’ but if you think otherwise please let me know. I’ve realised that for a vast proportion of my life people have gained this ‘power over’ me but now I have finally gained the power from those who previously had this dominating role. It often appears that with invisible disabilities we focus on what we can’t do, that we have bad co-ordination, bad organisation and that we need a lot of support. It is very rare in this relationship of power domination that we focus on what we can do, how we can achieve and ways to make people listen. Hopefully through this blog I have turned the concept of power on its head and challenged those who once had ‘power over’ me. Hopefully my writing has made people realise that having ‘power with’ an individual helps them to succeed and to prove to the world that thinking differently to the norm can be a really inspiring and wonderful thing.

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