Why do I support others?
If you are reading this on my twitter, you will know all the diagnosis I have as I put them in the descriptions bar with #. But still people wonder why I care so much about supporting others. Well here is why.
I was 16 when I was diagnosed with dyslexia and I can honestly say, I do not think I would have made it through 6th form without two amazing teachers.
Mr. Phillips had me for AS Sociology and he noticed straight away that my essay skills for sociology were not that good. Out of a possible 20, I was getting 1-3s out of it. One day he pulled me aside and said I want to help you because I know you are capable of much more just your needing help. NB I had only been diagnosed as dyslexic a year at this point. From that point on when I got my homework back if the result was in the single digits he would find a free period that he and I had together. He would talk about the homework assignment and pointed out places where I could have picked up more marks. He would then tell me to go away, redo and he would grade again. The 2nd grading was not to change my original mark but so that I have examples of good writing for revision. When I got the work back it was a higher graded score. Soon enough I did not need the extra help because I was writing and getting 17-20s out of 20. Before he stepped in I was on the verge of quitting, my confidence was so very low but he brought it back up.
Then there was Mr. Philbin. The first teacher to every say "Suze, I think you're dyslexic". He arranged for me to be tested and his hunch was confirmed. From that day he was on a mission to help me. He realized I was not a reader and wanted to help me get my reading level up. He asked me what my favourite genres were and we discussed it. He would lend me books from his own collection and talk to me about them when I got them back to him. It was something that taught me you know what reading is not so scary. It taught me that being dyslexic does not mean I shouldn't read, it means I need to be smart about what I read. If it is something I am interested in i.e. sci-fi, crime, mythology etc then I will find it easier to read. If I am trying to read a book because everyone else is reading it the likelihood of success was minimal.
Because of these two teachers, I found it easier in 6th form college. However, I have other diagnoses to cover and so I am only putting my main two as there were many more in this college. I went to the college doubting I would even get GCSEs and came out with 5 GCSEs and 3 Alevels. Honestly the biggest turn around for me.
Anyone who has had childhood asthma follow you into adulthood this one should be self-explanatory.
I had an amazing GP who really brought home to me that I needed to take care of myself. When I was diagnosed with depression in 2007 I had made a promise to myself and that was to know myself as much as possible so I would never get to the self-harming stage ever again. Between Dr Yusef and Dr Jordan who really drilled it into me that depressive episodes were normal and knowing myself is the best defence because I will know when to ask for help before an episode took to much hold.
Because of the time and tips these two doctors took to help me learn my depression and tame that lion I am pleased to say that since the first diagnosis in 2007 when I self-harmed I have never been that low again.
Whilst I understood that not only soldiers could get PTSD it did not hit home till I got the diagnosis myself.
I have a wonderful therapist who is so supportive. She helps me understand that I will have times when triggers are worse and times when I am just going to have to plough through. She helped me set achievable goals. I know that I won't ever go back to normal where I can be blarzay about some things but I want to be able to get through a conversation about Grenfell Tower Fire without bursting into tears. I want to be able to not have pinpoint laser focus when I hear sirens. I want to be able to smell smoke and lean out of a window trying to locate the source.
Being diagnosed as an adult it was difficult. I knew that I was different and worried about why I was different. I honestly thought I was defective.
The support worker I had post-diagnosis Aino was a great help. She helped me understand certain parts of my behaviour and how I could organise my day. It was important that I started learning things to do to help myself grow confident in myself. I also realised that I had been hiding from the world because I was seriously scared about how I felt about myself. It is not good. I made sure that I would show the full me negative comments be damned. If people dont like it then its their problem.
I have also had so much support with work and it is something that has empowered me.
So you can see, I have had so much support in my life from key people. Having had those people in my life I was able to be myself. I consider it my duty to help people in need the way I was helped. It is important to share with the world.