Saturday, 11 February 2017

A blog of gratitude

When you have any kind of need, difficulty, mental health condition or disability the focus is usually  on the person with the diagnosis. In this blog I wanted to say a thank you to those in my life who have supported and helped me through.

Making and maintaining friends is something which I've always struggled with. I'm someone you have to spend time with and get to know, so I can come out of my shell. My interests have always been slightly different to my peer group and I'm a unique soul.

If you know nothing about dyspraxia, it can seem pretty difficult to understand with its many different things challenging aspects. As with having an anxiety disorder/social anxiety, unless you have it yourself or know someone with it, it can seem really difficult to understand. Growing up and into adulthood my difficulties made me very socially misunderstood: I was left out, I went through bullying and  I was always the person nobody wanted to be friends with. I've experienced loneliness, feeling isolated and detached from others.
Having social anxiety and being a naturally shy person can mean that sometimes I'm misinterpreted as being rude or disinterested. I can also be quite softly spoken. But also creative and I'm able to think outside of the box.

5 years ago I came into what is now a long term relationship, with a man who will openly admit he didn't know much about anxiety and didn't have a clue about dyspraxia. A man who has his own social anxieties and difficulties and can take a while for him to feel relaxed in social situations and come out of his shell. But also a complete technical whizz. That man is my boyfriend Matt. Over the last few years there have  been ups and downs. Living with someone with anxiety is not the easiest at times and it has been quite challenging for both of us, with all of the irrational thoughts and physical symptoms. I feel like the word anxiety is freely used a lot in society these days. But he has always seen Rosie, and accepted me for me. We don't have a "typical" relationship of people our age, we're probably both 10 steps behind everyone else and we very much do things in our own unique ways. Most importantly he has tried to build me up when I don't believe in myself and been patient when anxiety has tried to push him away. He knows I will always need that bit more time, patience and understanding, as will he.  He has supported me through so much, been my rock and never gives up on me and motivates me to help myself and sees my strengths.

The same could go for the people in life I'm lucky to call friends,  people who I've met through awareness work, and people who have taken that little bit more time to find out more and get to know me and allow me to come out of my shell.  I still find social situations challenging and making friends.  Sometimes anxiety might mean I can go quiet for a while, or I've had to make other plans or leave early.   To those who see Rosie and  listen to my waffle! (I can imagine that line has provoked a laugh from a few of you!) I'm very grateful to  you and to my parents who had to fight difficult battles to get me a diagnosis growing up. I don't find accepting compliments or being centre of attention easy at all due to my social anxiety and find it a lot easier to make others centre of attention and found it easier to talk about and advocate for others a lot easier than talking about me. Alongside my confidence this is something to work on.

6 years ago I was lucky to meet a lovely lady who I look up to, if you've read my blogs previously you'll know who it is. I will be always be grateful for the empathy and understanding she has. Mollie, always seems to see the bigger picture and takes her time to listen to what fans have going on in their lives and give a few reassuring words or a hug.

Lastly , thank you for reading this blog, it will always mean so much to me. Going through what I have has made me appreciate the people in it and the little things. It's made me see the bigger picture and not judge others and give people a chance.
The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

Until next time...

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