Friday, 6 February 2015

Guest Blog, Part 3 - The impact of understanding

Just to start by echoing Rosie's previous comments, thanks to all the positive support for my previous blogs, if it can make the smallest difference to someone, or attitudes of others towards hidden conditions then I've been successful. So thanks for everyone for their support.

I'm going to use this blog to talk about the impact of understanding, something I personally feel is very lacking in modern life, and how this has a bigger impact on those suffering from hidden conditions. This is something that affects us all, including myself, and we will touch on all aspects and if the blog is successful and people want more depth then maybe Rosie will allow me to touch on items in more depth in the future.

The last few months have been pretty major for Rosie. As I touched on before she's moved down from a small town in rural Lancashire to Croydon, which if you aren't aware is a very large town on the outskirts of London, the two places really couldn't be more different. The differences are night and day, from the simple things such as the last bus not being at 8pm in the evening, the only shop being open at 9pm is the Tesco etc. To the more dramatic, like the pure number of people around 24/7 - to the 24/7 life that comes with being in a global city, it never stops and sadly I don't think people stop and take time out and give thought and consideration to others.

The biggest change for Rosie has been travel, although well traveled on long distance trains, a daily commute though London (over 90mins in each direction!) was another thing. I'm sure some people here are going, what that's stupid, but seriously it's tiring, its difficult, trains get cancelled, or are late - we had a bus strike (again) yesterday. The tubes go on strike, and for those who don't know London Bridge Railway Station is a complete building site and it's causing major problems on trains in South London as they are being cancelled or removed from service - and we have this until 2018! It's very easy for those who don't have to deal with this daily to just toss it aside and laugh about it, but that is far from the reality, and comes down to my blog title and the importance of understanding.

Those who suffer from hidden conditions often suffer from self-esteem and anxiety issues and sometimes can develop even more serious issues. It's key to understand that the small things such as a train being cancelled, or being packed on a rush hour tube like sardines, or what is very easy in a major city, getting lost only heightens these conditions and the key to all this is understanding - the issue with modern society that it's probably 'uncool' to be understanding as everything is about 'banter' and 'trolling' online (and offline!)

As part of the move down to London, Rosie got a new job. In her previous job there was little to no understanding of dyspraxia and Rosie had a major incident with a fellow work colleague who ultimately accused Rosie of not being able to do her job! The difference between then and now is like night and day. Rosie's new job in a college, the people couldn't be more understanding. In fact they are embracing Rosie's dyspraxia/dyslexia and her contacts and knowledge of hidden conditions to make their own understanding within the college better. It's obviously taken effort on their own behalf to understand better, but that's the difference, every little second that someone takes out of their own time to understand others helps everyone have the confidence to achieve anything .
To end my third blog I'm going to briefly return to my comment about understanding and how online social networking has a deeper impact then people feel and how this deeply impacts those who think in a literal way. Rosie's mind is seriously one of the most amazing I've come across. It's also her downfall, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Rosie really does think outside the box, be it in creativity, helping others, sharing ideas - basically everything. The issue with this, and it's something that I personally feel that I'm suffering from myself - is that the lack of understanding to whom a person is - basically by not fitting into the stereotypical box - heightens the lack of understanding. I know one of the reasons Rosie looks up to Mollie is because of how understanding and how she often sees past someone's struggles but at the same time motivating people that they can be anything they want in life

With the right understanding I have seen such a change in Rosie the amount of charity and awareness work is inspiring to me and I'm sure so many people, now she has people saying she 'can' do things so many opportunities have happened which are making a huge difference to society. Today she is off to Manchester to hopefully launch her own awarenss campaign with Fixers, yesterday she was at dyapraxia foundation headquarters helping plan a conference she is speaking at, been in the local newsletter and later today launching Mollie King's Birthday fundraiser. Quite remarkable to be honest all in a week. Her determination to proove others wrong and not let others go through what she has is something we can all learn from, I would never have the confidence to do half of the stuff she is doing so it takes a lot of strength and courage. What can you do to make a difference today? How can you help someone? Sadly it all boils down to the word 'understanding', it's okay to be different, embrace it, it's not odd/freaky/strange/creepy to be different, just be yourself and don't let society force you to be something that you aren't and embrace others differences. Wouldn't the world be a boring place if we were all the same.

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