Thursday, 13 October 2016

Dyspraxia and anxiety in the workplace

From a young age I've always loved helping people, when I was at primary school I would always rush over if I saw someone who had fallen over in the playground or who was upset. I remember lining up my cuddly toys (all named) in a big circle and pretending to be a teacher, I even made my own register. I've also loved animals of all kinds from having pet dogs all my life, to Elvis and Lucky the hamsters (who was named after the Britney Spears song- blame my dad!) I also loved horse riding. I always knew I wanted to do something which involved helping someone or something. It's important to remember that no two dyspraxics see the same and will decide to go into the same field of work.

But when I got into the world of work there was a problem,whilst I have empathy and understanding for others for miles. I also struggle a lot with day to day tasks in day to day life which many take for granted. Simple tasks which require fine motor skills, co-ordination, memory and organisation. My brain takes a lot longer to process information. When I'm tired or under pressure it makes me prone to mistakes, mistakes I often have no idea why they happened. Then you add anxiety into the mix and beating yourself up and it becomes a vicious circle.

Anxiety over new and the unknown has always been a struggle for me. It always takes me that bit longer to get my bearings and to feel comfortable both in my environment and with other people and to come out of my shell. When I get anxious I can become quite shaky and panicky, which when you already struggle with fine motor skills isn't the best of combinations.

When you become an adult there isn't a magic wand, your differences, disability or condition don't  simply disappear or you grow out of them.  People need support and empathy as they go through life. To the outside world dyspraxia can make you come across like you don't care, not trying hard enough, slow, messy and in a complete state of chaos. Or socially someone who appears very nervous or doesn't speak very much. Alongside the lack of dyspraxia awareness and understanding which is out there. This ignorance, bullying and general complete lack of understanding, it made my anxiety 10x worse, become too anxious to speak and in a really dark place. Being told you will never get anywhere in life can really crush your confidence, when you already don't have much of that as it is. After realising anxiety was controlling my life I made the step to go to my doctors where I got given a diagnosis of anxiety and the relief of that it wasn't just me being a worrier, it's something I wish I'd done sooner in life.

It's important however to find something you enjoy or are good at, and despite my experiences having an impact on my mental health they have shaped me into the person I am and my values. I'm able to show so much empathy for the students I support in my job as a learning supporting various students with difficulties, disabilities and mental health conditions. My experiences have made me patient, encouraging and I'll never give up on someone who struggles either a student or a friend. I can also think outside the box and see the bigger picture meaning I see different solutions to problems and a unique perspective on tasks. My border collie Toby is also a huge part of my life and well being and don't struggle in silence if you are struggling with your mental health if you're dyspraxic or not there is help and support out there it's about finding what works for you and hopefully through therapy it will help me learn  to control my anxiety and not let it control me.

With time and a little bit of understanding and empathy many people
With dyspraxia/anxiety can achieve. For me I just need little reasonable adjustments which can make a huge difference to me. It will always take me just that bit longer than others to get there which  has been frustrating alongside often high levels of anxiety. It's made it more difficult to feel proud of myself when I achieve something,  but rationally  I need to have more confidence in myself and it shows resilience and determination something I know I should be prouder of and I hope if you're reading this now and you can empathise I hope you feel proud of yourself.

Life isn't a race, it's a journey, we all process information differently, in our own ways at our own paces. We all have mental health just as we all have physical health, and we all have different personality types. The world we live in needs diversity and difference to thrive, and we can all do a little bit to be kind and help someone come out of their shell. You never know what you or your business might gain from simply seeing things from a different perspective. The little things really can make such a huge difference to someones confidence.


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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing yourg your experience of life with me a typical "Oddball" LoL I was recently diagnosed with EUPD I am nearly half a century young lol My research which I know how blessed I am to be able to execute on my own, has lead me here to your blogspot. I am both inspired and humbled by your empathic yet no holds barred style of writing. Keep up the much needed work. peace to u wise one 😇

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