The ABILITY in disABILITY

Not every disabilities are visible. I strongly believe that you have no idea what may be going on in anyone else’s life until you have spent a week in their shoes walking the trail they are on.

As I have written about before, I have dyslexia. I didn’t have the choice to have it, but I do have the choice of how to handle it. For most of my life I have been told that something is wrong with me because I don’t learn, read, process, or simply think the way I am suppose to. Yes, it can be overwhelming at times? but what really is wrong with not being the way everyone else is?

Five years ago I was officially diagnosed with dyslexia. When I was tested some really nice people talked to me and tested me. Now all this time I truly believed that I was not dyslexic. I thought I just… was not a smart person. If anything I was NOT dyslexic. During my test they asked me how to spell certain words (btw the word “cupid” is really spelled Q-U-E-P-E-D). After talking to the “nice people,” they discussed my results privately with my mom without me in their presence. After that meeting I could finally leave.

That day I was confident because all I thought I needed to do was pass the little test and be done with that forever. Through the walk in the parking lot with my mother I didn’t say a word. I was sure a already knew the results. By the time I was in the car, I decided to confirm the results, I already had known for myself. My mom tactfully told me I was indeed dyslexia.

I was puzzled. All my life I was the dumb one. I hated that but at least that was better than being dyslexic. When I got home I went straight to my bed and cried. I barely said anything for the rest of that summer day. My parents asked me what sounded good for supper and I told them ice cream. We had ice cream for supper that night.

I was sad because I believed that something was wrong with my brain. For a long time I have despised it, but I have learned being angry about it won’t change my brain. My attitude change has helped tremendously because one of my dearest friends is also dyslexic. This friend has taught me that nothing is wrong with my brain — it is simply different. If my brain functions the way everyone else’s does that would be boring!

Because of this blessing in disguise, I am creative and can solve problems in ways that are outside of the box. When I am in leadership positions, I can quickly come up with new approaches to achieve the task that I am trying to conquer. When I am making a piece of art, I can use different everyday objects to make a piece. Most importantly, I can connect with others who are dyslexic in ways that you can’t even imagine.

My disABILITY is not visible. But through the ABILITY in my disabilities opportunities are endless.

“Why be the same when we were born to stand out?” ~ Doctor Suess

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