So, this is something I've never talked about on the blog before. I have dyspraxia. I've always said that having dyspraxia coupled with anxiety is akin to having anxiety on steroids, however, for some reason, I've never thought to write about it for the website.
That was until my friend and guest blogger, Dylan, suggested that I should!
So here we go. Dyspraxia, for me, affects my hand-eye co-ordination, my balance, and also creates sensory issues. For this post, I'm going to focus on those sensory issues.
When shopping for new clothes, I have to remain mindful of the materials that make up the clothes I try on. Why? Because there are certain fabrics that cause me to break out in a cold sweat, panic, and cry. I know, it makes no logical sense, right? But if you've ever seen me try on a faux leather jacket with all its nylon-y lined goodness, you'll know what I mean.
In school, I would pull my cardigan or jumper over my hand to write because the feel of paper would make me feel nauseous (if I'm honest, I feel a bit ill just thinking about it now). That one always puzzled my teachers.
Loud noises, or too many noises at once are also triggers. If the smoke alarm goes off, I can still be found shaking and fighting off tears half an hour after it's stopped. That one's a bit of a double-edged sword in that it's not just the volume and pitch of the noise that sets me off, but my anxiety also kicks in and causes me to obsess over why the alarm went off in the first place.
Meetings in coffee shops are something I dread. I agree to do them, arrive, and realise that I'm going to struggle. My mind struggles to distinguish between the voice of the person I'm talking to and the noise of the coffee machines. It's a bit of a nightmare! So I'll often give an answer that's irrelevant to the question asked, thinking that I've been asked something else. The same goes in cars – so if you've spoken to me and I've seemed disjointed in anyway, that's why! I can't tell you how much that stresses me out.
Even now, while I'm writing this, I can't help but wonder if anyone's ever thought to research how many people with dyspraxia also have a diagnosis of anxiety? It would make sense to me, because the two conditions seem to slip hand-in-hand very neatly indeed.
I'm going to end this post on a simultaneously funny and horrifying note: When I was in primary school, the headteacher told my mum, “Well, Mrs Haste, it is my belief that these children grow out of it.” I guess we “grow out of it” in the same way an amputee “grows out” of their predicament; we don't “grow out of it” at all, rather we learn to work around our circumstances, often at great personal cost. The world doesn't change to accommodate us, rather it waits for us to change to accommodate it.