Today marks another important day of the year… World Mental Health Day. I feel like this is very important and something that is definitely getting more and more awareness. But it also needs that real awareness where people are able to have that real discussion and be absolutely 100% honest about how they feel. And then to feel like they can actually talk about it without feeling bad for kind of spilling it all into someone else’s shoulders. After all, if we are friends to each other, this is one of the most important things about friends… It’s that they are both always there for each other and will listen to each other mindfully.
Anyway, long introduction out the way, it is fact that what comes with a neurological disorder such as Dyspraxia, is anxiety and other mental health challenges too. These things have played their part and taken their toll at times. So I’d like to take some time today to talk about how in relation to one of my biggest challenges with Dyspraxia and how it affects my mental health on a daily basis.
Worrying about every word choice when interacting with people
Yes, one of the challenging parts of Dyspraxia for me is interacting with people. But when you really delve deeper into this there’s so much to it.
I often spend time agonising about how I come across to others and how to speak in a controlled manner to others whether in real time or whether on social media (where admittedly I may have got the wrong end of the stick a few times in situations).
This then makes me feel unable and afraid to speak up about it. This is because I have a difficult time in thinking how I can fix this problem or even thinking if it’s my problem specifically or a problem someone has with me that I can’t be in any control of.
Believing people are silently judging me
Again this centers around other people. I also end up having a lot of fears that when I have said something and it’s taken the wrong way or put in the wrong context that people built up this very bad and distorted image of who I am. And this makes me question “Who am I?” “Am I really this person someone is making me out to be?”
This can be a very difficult question to think about and I can bet that others may agonize about this sort of question too. Your certainly not alone there.
I know this feeling too well. When I’m at work I’m constantly trying my best for other people and striving to make their life positive.
Yet a lot of the time, I feel like I have failed to live up to my own lofty standards and that I have not been able to make someone else happy. This brings upon the whole self-doubt cycle thinking “Am I good enough to succeed?”.
One of the positive traits I talked about before with Dyspraxia is empathy and I feel like I use this to an advantage at work and I just feel like when this doesn’t seem to have an end product that it’s the end of the road. But then I must remember one of the most common philosophical quotes “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” Because there will be situations where, if you will, I won’t be able to just wave a magic wand and everything will be better. That’s fantasy (but oh don’t we all wish it was real).
Now I have talked about a couple of things that really do strike a chord with me here, but also want to talk about a couple of things that I believe are not only important to know but also imperative.
The difference between a good day and a bad day is not to do with attitude!
I can’t emphasize this enough. In terms of a classic thing that some people with Dyspraxia would’ve been victim of (me included) is that oh so nasty thing of being called lazy.
Well this is just downright disrespectful. People who would question our work ethic when they could see evidence of us working hard or phrasing it differently, working hard in an environment where you might feel out of place and way out of your comfort zone.
This takes a whole extra lot of effort to put yourself in a situation where you would also feel perhaps like a square peg in a round hole. You will be working hard for something and other people may find fault or question our abilities.
So it’s not to do with attitude. It’s a respect thing. It’s people respecting our boundaries and respecting that inside, we might be finding it extremely difficult to cope. And we don’t know how to make others aware of this without being judged.
You aren’t required to impress others with your life choices
I can very much relate to this thought. It’s more of a thing where I’ve been unaware of how difficult decisions could be for others to make.
But now I feel after writing this blog that I’m gaining traction to understanding how difficult decisions are to make.
For example I have had friends (who also have Dyspraxia and may relate to this too) who are enduring the rather hardcore experience of university. And perhaps rather blindly I have offered or tried offering advice when I don’t have as much experience as personally university is not an avenue I would explore.
It came to the point where I would try to say that the correct thing is to first of all put your mental health first (which I think is of the paramount importance) rather than to carry on and get that dreaded last year over and done with.
I’m in no position to really say that my advice should be the piece of advice that is listened to, which is something I now understand.
So when others have lots of questions flooding their mind, believe me I know this all too well, we should never ever feel in a situation where we feel a pressure to impress others with our life decisions.
At the end of the day, mental health is so important, and I’ve always said since I’ve had difficulties with mental health myself, we should all be able to listen mindfully to each other and help each other not just in times of need, but in general life.