The Dyslexic Indian Bipolar

Before the year ends, I need to declare and claim this!!!

2020 is the year that I have come to the realisation that I am dyslexic — its only taken forever to get here, a lifetime!

Dyslexia

I am going to make this pigeon-hole a chocolate biscuit tin, to underpin the sweet ground-breaking discovery that has held me back for so long…

Speaking up

I’ve never spoken about this, until now, as I just thought I was not smart enough, and certainly did not want to be stereotyped in any way.

I have nurtured this quirky personality to compensate my hidden flaws, my vulnerability, my sadness, my weaknesses, my personal life… but never did I think it was dyslexia, maybe just depression and introversion that slowed my capacity to learn and speak properly.

Dyslexia — Facts and figures:

Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).

1/10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia, some statistic suggest 1/5.

My speaking, reading, writing, and memory struggles:

  • I lack ‘Declarative Memory’, I find it hard to recall the right words, names, information, so a long pause may occur. People with autism also have a hard time remembering events. Check out types of memories.
  • Not able to articulate myself when I know what I have done with a piece of work, explaining something or an experience in detail and unable to answer competency-based interview questions.
  • I cannot relay or remember full instructions. If two questions were asked, I forget the first or the second question in the process of trying to remember the other one and then would go blank.
  • Not able to cohesively speak fluently sometimes.
  • For the above reasons, I would cut myself short, not elaborate or say the wrong things, which is really frustrating — I beat myself up for it, a lot.
  • I skip words / lines when reading, and sometimes miss out words when writing. Sometimes I cannot remember or explain what I’ve just read.
  • I cannot pronounce Vs and get mixed up with my Ws in pronunciations — try reading this:

‘Vicky updated her wiki page and went viral on Wednesday.’

See Dylexia differently — watch this video.

Life events all piece together now:

  • I spend ages at eye tests— I can see it, however, my left eye is a bit weaker with making out the smaller alphanumeric characters. Even Specsavers get annoyed that I could not see what they wanted me to see. In 2017, I was referred to an ophthalmologist due to Glaucoma / Ocular Hypertension. Now I am thinking maybe dyslexia was part of it.
  • I find teletext really useful — helps me catch up and process what was said. Also helps with expanding vocabulary.
  • I remember copying my friends work in school — teachers did not pick this up. All I needed was extra time to work out what to do.
  • I struggled with maths since childhood, known as Dyscalculia.
  • I was late at reading and talking properly — I remember once reading to the class, and thought I did well, now thinking about it I was aged, 13/14 — very late — neurotypical people learn to read a good few years before that.
  • I spend ages writing emails to ensure there are no spelling or grammar issues— I over iterate, just like this article and write more than I speak as I know my speech will fail me sometimes.
  • I changed my Uni course from ‘Business and Finance’ to Digital Art with Multiple-Media Computing. Read about my analogue childhood.
  • Over the years, I have taken numerous speaking and presenting workshops as well as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) sessions.
  • I learn to drive on a manual car but when I drive my father’s automatic car, I just cannot remember how to start it so have written instructions even though I have driven it many times. I sometimes get my left and right mixed up.
  • I always take a notebook to meetings. Richard Branson is dyslexic too and habitually takes a notebook for that reason — the notes are so useful later on to trigger what was said, otherwise some of that data is lost forever.
  • I bailed out of a live company-wide internal BT event, due to nerves, insecurities, not being able to control what I say or pronounce words, looking silly, fear of making mistakes and people judging me flaws.

My Dyslexia Cons:

  • Low-self esteem
  • Self-doubt
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Bipolar / Depression
  • Sensitive to people’s remarks
  • Pessimistic about everything
  • Comparing myself to others
  • Constantly beat myself up
  • Vulnerability
  • Not getting my point across
  • Have to work so much harder to validate my self-worth, just to be on par and match neurotypical people / colleagues.

My Dyslexia Pros:

  • I have layout, symmetry and spacing complexes.
  • I like content to be simple, short and broken down. Colours need to have good contrast to focus. Don’t like bright colours on the website as it takes away my focus on the actual text. This helps with my current content design role, maybe that’s why I have such an affinity to digital accessibility.
  • I think with the right side of the brain more, so can find different solutions.
  • Not good at arguing with good points or debating. You win!
  • I enjoy problem-solving, but sometimes takes time to understand it first.
  • I have Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I am super organised — physical clutter or too much information feels like noise and my mind cannot focus.
  • I organise email and desktop folders diligently, my iPhone is categorised on one screen…
  • Good way for me to remember something is to associate meaning to the memory or associate visuals to it. For example, to remember whose who when it comes to Ant and Dec — I have memorised that ‘Ant is not the little one’. Strange way to remember but it works.

Indian Female / Asian culture

Indian cultures don’t really talk about these kind of subjects or mental health.

Bipolar / Depression

I prefer solitude to calm the noise and reflect on life. I do love banter, sometimes live for it — people have known to call me mad, but I have this other side to my personality, self-doubt, pessimistic, worrier, craving to be loved… like The Joker! I am peculiar!

Even if I’m sad, I’m so use to hiding it and nobody’s none the wiser — Tricks of the trade! I rather help someone else feel better or help them out. I have a good radar for emotional intelligence.

Neurotypical people make everything look easy — they have the ‘gift of the gab’ which really helps in any situation, helps moving up in their career, find love… it just seems they don’t need to try that hard at all and still get everything they want! Grrr

My Childhood

Growing up, my grandad use to tell me: “Say something, tell a story, speak!”

I struggled with maths for sure, I took GSCE maths a couple of times with not much avail of a higher grade. I remember my dad trying to teach me at home.

On the flip side, my sister was amazing at maths and very chatty — such a user, a left-brain user!

My self-sabataging thoughts, Indian Female complex, my upbringing of never being good enough and now the catogerised Dyslexia chimp are all part of the algorithm and contributing factors that holds me back.

But maybe now in hindsite it was my dyslexia that was blocking me and maybe not so much the ‘introvert’, ‘shy’ ‘middle child syndrome’ me!

Breakthrough, 2020 vision!

The left brain is the logical, mathematical and language skills side.

The left brain — comparing dyslexic and non-dyslexic brains.

I love art, photography and nature, dyslexic people tend be wired to use the right side of the brain more, the creative brain. The right brain! ;)

Check out my art and mind website.

I just think differently, takes me longer to recall memory and process information, I cannot fluently articulate myself or pronounce my word properly, thats all.

Neurotypical people tend to be amazing at art too, they really do have the best of both worlds! Full brain power!

The left and the right brain comparison
The left and the right brain comparison
The left and the right brain hemispheres

Learning/admitting something is halfway to recovery, right?
Well, I’m going to openly claim my struggles. I am done with feeling inadequate, and feeling like an anomaly among neurotypical people!

I’m not going to let this hold me back! Not anymore!

I have a penchant for neuroscience and psychological films.

Limitless, 2011

Bradley Cooper in Limitless
Bradley Cooper once he has taken the Limitless drug / NZT pill. The mind is activated.

Love these quotes from the film Limitless, all makes sense why now:

“Somehow my unconscious had served that up, a memory I had never even recorded. Or was it there the whole time and all I needed was the access?”

“Everything I had ever read, heard, seen was now organised and available.”

Sometimes I could really do with the Limitless drug — I just want immediate access to my data!

Gattaca film poster

Another film I was gripped with is Gattaca —so underrated, one of my best sci-fi cerebral films ever.

Gattaca, 1997

The film’s title is based on the letters G, A, T, and C, which stand for guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA.

Inferior man was discriminated for flaws in his DNA, which was invalid in the system but he is more determined — he used a genetically engineered man who was valid in the system and had the right genetic code, so he can realise his dreams going to space. The inferior man’s younger brother was genetically engineered by his parents so he had the perfect DNA.

Quotes from the film Gattaca that really stayed with me:

‘For the genetically superior, success is easier to attain but is by no means guaranteed. After all there is no gene for faith.”

“Each stroke to the horizon is one we have to make to the shore.”

“It was the one moment in our lives that my brother was not as strong he believed, and I was not as weak. It was the moment that made everything else possible.’

The weaker/inferior brother finally swims further than his stronger ‘perfect DNA’ brother in a swim off, he then looks up to the sky and feels like his getting closer to his dream.

This scene captured me as I was compared to my smart neurotypical sister, and I did not understand at the time what was wrong with me.

When the stronger brother asked how did you do it, the weaker brother states: “I never saved anything for the swim back.”

Wow.

So don’t focus on the flaws — focus on your strengths!

This Is Me from The Greatest Showman is another song!
“I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum”

Having FAITH, GRIT and a GROWTH MINDSET really does help but we also need others to understand our neurodiversity and adapt accordingly.

Elusive Ambivert. Dyslexic. Partial to the sky, George Michael, coffee, dePRESSiON, supercars, neuroscience, films 🎬 | Get Accessible with iAdControl.com 🚀