This is a gift I’m borned with and every day it gives me growth and challenges that helps me to become a better person. Oh man – this sounds so sugar coated but in all it’s how I feel about it because it has made me a survivor.
To have a good and normal life I have 4 rules: to use the body every day and exercise on a regular basis even when I travel, get enough sleep, eat well and healthy and the most important one – have fun.
I was borned with Dyspraxia and at that time it was called physically or motor skilled challenged if they gave it a name. The fancy title “dyspraxia” came in the 80’s. I only learned about the fancy title a couple of years ago.
The first sign was that I didn’t crawl as a baby. I pushed myself around on the rear end and I wasn’t the fastest learner as a baby/little kid.
Dyspraxia is a weird disorder because it’s very different from person to person. What I find hard can be easy for another with dyspraxia and visa versa. I’ve f.ex. no problems tying my shoelaces, cooking, knitting, doing math, being creative, remembering (some calls me a walking encyclopedia – unless I’m at the exam ;-D ) etc.
The benefits of living with Dyspraxia
There always comes good out of all situations and for me the dyspraxia has taught me a lot in life:
- To be hardworking and persevering – I haven’t come to where I’m today with folded hands sitting in the sofa. I’m used to have to work hard for what I want.
- I’ve learned to think positive, focus on the positive things in life and the things I can do.
- Patience – I’m patient when I teach others because if anybody knows, I know that we all can learn most things. Some are fast learners others need more time. The only thing needed is patience and guidance from the teacher.
- I’m good at analysing situations and finding solutions or alternatives and therefore also used to creative thinking.
- I’m usually a fast learner because I’m curious.
- I focus on having a good life, being happy and living healthy and that includes getting enough sleep.
Before you read on, remember that I’m 45 years old and I don’t think I’ve had a colleague or boss’ that have any idea of the dyspraxia before I became open about it January 2015. Most people just saw me as clumsy or a bit quirky in my movements and having to be careful about what I eat. Many of the people I’ve met through my life including friends have just had a good laugh once in a while. Most of it I’ve learned to hide or just laugh at it 🙂
My challenges with the dyspraxia
For me this is the big picture 🙂
- I’m clumsy and most of the time I manage to hide it. I can walk on a wide road and walk right into the pole :-D. I’ve always had a really poor balance but by using MBT shoes it has become much better.
- In general I’ve a very high level of tolerating pain. I always have bruises and most of the time I’ve no idea where they come from.
- It sometimes takes longer time for me to learn new ways to use my body that challenge my balance or motor skill centers. Like I’m learning to surf and SUP now – I know I need a private instructor with patience and I need more lessons than others. But I’m going to learn to surf 🙂
- I don’t have a dominant right or left side and I still mix right and left. That was really fun in kick boxing where I was punished each time I got that one wrong 😀 I got extra exercise there 😀 – Taking my drivers license was also fun 😀
- I’m oversensitive/allergic to cold which really is “perfect planning” living in Scandinavia where we have 6-9 months of cold weather ;-D – I so need to move to a warm place instead of living in a popsicle :-D.
- I’m sensitive to what I put into and on my body, so I’ve intolerances and allergies. But I know what it is. It just gives me more to carry around in my daily life, but that is extra and free exercise ;-).
- Eating is a challenge (not an eating disorder) but I just have to think when I eat, because I need to swallow the food right so it doesn’t end up in the air-pipe. Most days all is good. I love food types where I only need a spoon, fork or can eat with my fingers 😀 – But I’ve dined a couple of times with some of the nobles in Denmark and it went well – nobody noticed anything. I’m also pretty handy with chopsticks.
The most annoying thing about it all is that I love fun, partying, going out eating amazing food, bowling, dancing etc. but because I can’t drink alcohol (the sensitivity in the body) – most people think that I don’t party 🙂 – Fortunately I’m normally good at finding people who don’t care and sees behind the surface.
How to make life work
First thing is to choose to have a life where you find ways to live with the dyspraxia, so it doesn’t control your life. You’ve to take charge of your life and you’ve to make the right choices for you.
Think positive, surround yourself with good people, find solutions and focus on what you can do and have done in life. The most important thing is to laugh and see the humour in what you do. I often get a good laugh from what I do of silly things.
The best way to get a good life is keeping active and physically fit. The more fit you’re the more your body is your friend. The more you challenge yourself the good way the less problems you’ll have. Never give up – keep on trying. A lot of things that others take for granted may take time to learn but it can be done. F.ex.:
- it was first in late 2012 that I manages to balance on a beam. But the day I got it, I managed to go forwards, backwards and also doing a very slowly walk forward while taking a ball under my leg each time I lifted it.
- I have the U-gen (curling the tongue) – it was about 2002 I managed to do that by accident 😀
To keep me active I need it to be fun so this is what I do.
You can read more on:
Dyspraxia in Adults (Dyspraxia foundation)
The Danish dyspraxia union (danish/dansk page)
The norwegian dyspraxia union (norwegian/norsk page)