I've Learned To Love My Dyslexic Life And I Think Anyone With A Learning Disability Can Too
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I've Learned To Love My Dyslexic Life And I Think Anyone With A Learning Disability Can Too

The journey to remediation and learning to love my learning disability

I've Learned To Love My Dyslexic Life And I Think Anyone With A Learning Disability Can Too

I am one in 40 million Americans that live with Dyslexia, but it's said that only about 2 million of us know it. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading, writing, math, interpreting words, and so many other things that influence your day to day life. I would say, as an adult, 95% of the people in my life now would never know that I have a learning disability. If people misspell something or say something wrong I'll always say, "wow sorry I'm dyslexic" and most people will laugh and say, "me too". I correct them and say no I really am and they're shocked and say they'd never know. I love when people say they'd never know I have a learning disability, but it has taken me a long time to get to this point.

I was cursed with a passion for writing and the struggle to learn spelling and grammar. Writing has always been an outlet for me and ever since I was little I would always journal. Looking back at some of the things I would write is now comical to me. I love seeing my spelling errors or how I'd misuse words without even blinking an eye when I wrote them. I don't talk about my learning disability much, but this year I've had events come up that have really tested my dyslexia and my patience with myself. Events that took me back to the feeling I had in elementary school that I wasn't good enough because my brain just didn't work the way it was "supposed to". Struggling with these events has caused me to want to write about it more. My dyslexia doesn't at all define me, but it's a big part of me that I'm learning I need to re-embrace because it never goes away and I want other people struggling with their learning disabilities to know they're not alone.

I have always been very intelligent and loved learning, but when it came to learning to read in elementary school a teacher made me feel like I was wildly unintelligent. My parents knew something just wasn't right and took me to a specialist to get tested for a learning disability. I am one of the few people lucky enough to have caught it so early on. I was in the first grade when they diagnosed me with Dyslexia and my mother dropped everything in her life to help me learn to read and write so I didn't feel different. When I was first diagnosed, I was young and so confused on what it all meant. I thought I was "stupid" and that I was different and that everyone had a justifiable reason to make fun of me. I went through years of remediation, spending hours every night after school going over letters, sounds, spelling, grammar-you name it. I had to work twice as hard as any of my other classmates just to have a chance at staying close to the same reading level. I had teachers who suggested that I should be held back so things weren't as hard for me, but that just motivated me and my parents more to get me to where I wanted to be. I hated feeling different, I spent so many nights crying throughout elementary school over it until I finally "caught up" to where I was "supposed" to be.

As I grew up and progressed forward with my classmates I was brought a new batch of struggles with my dyslexia, in the form of math. Mental math has never, and probably will never be a reality for me….my brain just doesn't work that way as many years as I've tried. Even now, I will flip numbers around or second guess what my address is because lucky for me my previous house and current house have very similar numbers and I just mix them up sometimes. I have been lucky enough to have had parents that educated themselves on not just my learning disability, but all learning disabilities. They educated my teachers on it, they found me the best schools they could and they constantly believed in me and pushed me to keep fighting through school. I graduated from one of the best high schools in my area with a GPSA I'm very proud of. I got a scholarship to a great college and focused my energy on my abilities rather than my disabilities. Dyslexia is never "cured" but I am so remediated that most people never know I have it.

This year I passed my classes and finished schooling in May for a career I wanted to pursue. Since then I've been attempting state and national exams to earn my license in that field. These tests are designed to make people question the answers and designed to make you fail, essentially. And that I did. I failed the exams the first try, and the second try I passed one of them. It's been 6 months of me retaking and retaking and retaking the other exam and still missing it by a few points. It has been so incredibly hard on me mentally and emotionally. I know lots of people who have failed these tests before they pass them but it doesn't mean I'm not going to be hard on myself. I am smart, I know this field and I know these answers but there's something about this test I can't pass. I have called my mom and said it felt like I was back in that first-grade classroom being told I just wasn't smart enough to keep up with everyone else. I know that's not at all the case, but this year has really brought out the worst in my insecurities about my dyslexia. It's numbers, and knowing your math and asking questions in a way that the answer could be several things because I don't understand the wording of it. It's pulling at the strings of my learning disability that still hang down in the left side of my brain blocking my clear path to the answers.

This year has reminded me that while I'm not that little girl in first grade completely perplexed by how to say or spell certain words, I am that woman who will misuse words or phrases and always need a calculator and spell check. I will always have parts of my dyslexia pop up in my life and while sometimes they break me down to tears, they now just make me laugh and smile and remind me of how far I've come. Even in last week's piece I wrote, I texted my mom something that happened. While typing I spelled the word 'multiple' wrong, multiple times. Yet somehow, I spelled the word schizophrenia right the first time. We both just laughed and said that definitely sounded like me.

I may not have perfect spelling, grammar, or be able to do quick mental math, but I can do a lot of other things. I can find ways to communicate with pretty much anyone because I struggled so long at clearly conveying what was in my brain. My right side of my brain has flourished to make up for any of the left brain that got mis-wired. I am incredibly organized and thrive at finding new, more efficient ways to do things because that was the only way I got by when I was younger. If I never had the struggles I did, I never would've discovered and pursued my strengths either.

To those of you who are struggling with a learning disability, or anything that makes you feel "different", please learn that you're so incredibly lucky we're not all the same. It makes you unique, and quirky, and I'm sure there will be things you do that make other people laugh and smile and say "that is just so you". There will be things about yourself that will never be cured, never go away, and even if you can hide them most of the time, embrace that they are still there. They make you beautiful.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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