In a world that seemingly glides effortlessly for many, my journey has been a complex dance through the intertwined challenges of dyspraxia, dyslexia, and mental health struggles.
These companions, each with its distinct nuances, have woven themselves into the fabric of my daily life, casting a unique set of frustrations and triumphs along my path.
Dyspraxia, a silent conductor that orchestrates missteps and coordination hiccups, often turns routine tasks into formidable challenges. I remember the countless times I struggled to tie my shoelaces, my fingers entangled in a web of confusion. Always last to be picked for netball in sports lessons as I couldn't catch for toffee.
The world around me became a maze where buttoning a shirt or pouring a glass of water morphed into a series of intricate manoeuvres, each step fraught with the potential for miscoordination.
Simultaneously, dyslexia added its own layer of complexity to my narrative. The written word, once a gateway to exploration and expression, became a cryptic code that my mind grappled to decipher. I recall the anxiety that accompanied reading aloud in class, stumbling over words while my peers exchanged puzzled glances.
Writing, a form of self-expression, became a battleground of frustration as my carefully crafted sentences warped into a chaotic jumble of letters and ideas.
Yet, beyond the internal struggles, the true frustration arose from the external judgments and misunderstandings of those around me. The world often branded me as careless or lazy, ignorant of the silent battles I fought daily. The feeling of isolation and the weight of societal expectations became as challenging to navigate as the physical and linguistic hurdles.
Imagine then adding another layer of complexity; for years, I struggled with my mental health, lost in a world where even if I weren't afflicted with dyspraxia and dyslexia, I didn't feel worthy of having a voice. Abuse, trauma, and a dysfunctional family meant I was a freak, and I felt that no one would want to hear about me.
However, amidst the frustrations, I discovered resilience. I learned to adapt and develop unique strategies for facing a world that seemed indifferent to my struggles. Every small victory, from mastering a previously insurmountable task to decoding a particularly tricky paragraph, became a triumph over adversity.
Support came later in life when I finally recognised my potential beyond the stumbles and celebrated my progress. I then felt worthy to ask for help, and the added encouragement from my family and the understanding of close friends became a beacon of light, guiding me through the maze with unwavering support.
Now, as I reflect on my personal odyssey, I find strength in my ability to navigate the dance of dyspraxia, and dyslexia, and overcome mental health adversity.
My story is not one of defeat but a testament to the power of adaptation, resilience, and the beauty that emerges from the struggle. It's a call for a world that sees beyond labels, celebrates diverse perspectives, and offers support to those dancing through their unique journeys.
About Jude Price & the Speakers Collective
Jude Price is a member of the Speakers Collective and their specialisms include talking about Mental Health, overcoming adversity, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and Creative thinking