By Rob Heimann
Turning weakness into strength.
So these are my learning disabilities and metal illnesses:
Twenty years ago, more then that actually, I had a tutor called John Fergar. He was an inspiration. He didn’t talk down to me and he didn’t patronise me. He saw my curiosity through my impatience and my imagination through my more then occasional foul behaviour. He taught me to read, more then that he taught me to love stories and the telling of them.
Years later and a few good teachers later I learned that my dyslexia is a boon, something other people didn’t necessarily benefit from. I know the value of words in a way you don’t. I have had to learn how to pull them (sometimes kicking and screaming) from my mind to lay neatly on the page, in the right order and spelled they same way everyone else agrees is the right way. I found ways to write short being verbose would simple take to much time.
The ADHD has been difficult, my main issue is focus, for example I have cooked two separate dinners, watered the bonsai from my interview, listened to 3 short stories and sorted out some banking stuff while writing this. Now yes, that means things have taken a little while longer than they might have. But do you see the advantage? My interests, knowledge and skills are varied, all of which feed my voracious imagination.
Dyslexia and ADHD did lead to what I didn’t realise (until fairly recently), was near crippling anxiety. I thought it was perfectly normal to want a can of coke but decide that to pass by all the shops because I couldn’t be sure I had the right change in my pocket or my knock over every bottle in the shop, or somehow cause deep offence to the owner. That was every day every interaction with someone I wasn’t familiar with. This taught me thoughtfulness. It taught me empathy. It taught me patience for other people and myself.
So my weaknesses have given me strengths. SCA 2.0 will be really difficult but it will give new strengths and I’m looking forward to that.