Living with Dyslexia: A Bird in a Cage and a Tin of Paint

My disability, my curse, my reason for being abused and the single most issue that I did not understand for the longest time, was my Dyslexia. When first given the label in my mid forties I struggled getting my head around the fact that I was ‘one of them’. For so long I had worked as a professional for people with disabilities, then all of a sudden I had their label. I ran around telling colleagues and family as if I had a flag strapped to my back saying ‘look at me, I have a disability’ . All I could see was the hurt and pain it had caused me. The distance I had felt from others, from talking about books ( that I never read) to lists ( I  never remember sequences) to spelling ( I  never master the order of letters in words) to Writing ( just scribbled and hoped people got the gist of what I was trying to write!) to learning ( I have a terrible short term memory) to being untidy ( If something is put away and I cannot see it then it is often ‘lost’ to my memory). I now had an answer to all my issues and had gained a bigger issue, A DISABILITY!!!

It took me a long time of being in a very therapeutic learning environment, working under a caring and empathic line manager, and having to gain a very supportive and loving relationship with my new wife to be able to see all the positive benefits of having dyslexia. I now am surrounded by people who see what I can do and let me get on with life. No negatives are thrown at me or placed in my way about what I cannot do because of my dyslexia.  I can not paint or play an instrument but I have an artistic streak and engagement with music that I can share and give joy to many people. I have never read a book in my life but now have written one. My greatest academic achievement by far.  Having a disability gives me an empathy with others who also are disabled by society through impairment. What joy I gain when I am told how my writing has a positive effect upon some troubled soul or enabled a self learning in others. What I can not write I can say and although  not eloquent in words am never phased in front of hundreds, even thousands of people when I have a microphone in my hand. I have gained an advantage over others, the advantages of Dyslexia.

Living with Dyslexia to me means knowing what I am blessed with and using those skills to the benefit of others. What I can not do or struggle with I can bypass or gain access to through others or technology. Being able to enable learning, love and laughter are the greatest blessings I can ever have.

Use my story and site to gain access to other people’s stories of courage and strength. Write about your own issues, share within a caring and empathic community, pains will lessen and any healing needed will begin.

Chris Stewart

You can buy the book on Amazon here

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