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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Learning how to manage her reaction to being dyslexic was part of how Lyn came to terms with her disability.

I mean, I don't think I'm particularly emotional at work, but that's not what you're asking. I think particularly when I was first diagnosed, there was a kind of relief, and even elation. But then I've learned also over the time, that there is no magic cure. And that under stress, all these things appear in different ways, and that - So there's a long term aspect of dealing with dyslexia as a disability. It's not something that's going to get better. I can improve things for myself. But on a bad day, I can be just as - I was going to say crazy. I'm not crazy, but - In all the things that happen, the loss of memory, the not being able to string a sentence together, like just then - not being able to remember what I was going to say - they just come to the fore.

And, you know, you're asking me about what the stress or the emotion is, and then suddenly I'm back in that emotion and experiencing it, and then you see all these things coming to the fore. And if I was writing a report or something, and I - you know - I'd, I could go into blind panic, or not be able to read what was written on the page. And then be - that feeling of overwhelming, out of control-ness - I can't stop this. You know, no amount of blue paper is going to change that I can't see the words on the page right now. And this report's still got to be done by - you know, and you can pile the pressure on. So I think a large proportion of it is learning how to deal with yourself, as well as the long term disability. So, great that you know what it is. Great that you know how to deal with it in some ways. But then you also have - or I do - have to learn how to deal with my emotions, so that when I feel in that place of vulnerability or powerlessness, that I don't allow that to become overwhelming. Or, or to become a spiral thing.

And how do I cope with that? I often just think I've got to take a break now, and. That's on a good day. If I can stop myself at that point and say "Do you know what? I'm not going to get this done. Or I maybe need to ask for an extension. Or I maybe need to do this. Or how reasonable is it? Or can I - What can I get done, and what can't I get done? What do I need to do differently?" So those are sort of the things that can stop me from feeling that absolute helplessness. Which I think is so crazy, that you should feel absolutely helpless over something so small.

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